9 October 2021ArticleAnalysis

Intelligence, energy and integrity

“My team has been managing portfolios for the Cayman-based insurance sector for a long time, so we have a well-known history and reputation within the space.” Stephen Price, RBC Dominion Securities

Why has the Price Team of RBC Dominion Securities been recognised for this award?
The power of the team is why. Our values, our culture and who we are as a team is why we have a long history of consistent success managing investments in a changing world. Our team advises on more than $2.5 billion with clients who reside across the globe, and we have a focus on managing investment portfolios for Cayman captive insurance companies.Providing prudent investment management, protecting what’s important to our clients and delivering the best client service are the cornerstones of our business. The power in our top-performing team is an unrivalled breadth and depth of international experience, backed by the strength of our parent company, Royal Bank of Canada.Three qualities are essential to being a member of the Price Team of RBC Dominion Securities: intelligence, energy and integrity. On our team, we have four chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholders, we are from six different countries and speak six different languages.This is my 20th year leading one of the investment teams at RBC Dominion Securities Global in Cayman, and our values never change. These values guide decision-making and what’s important to our team. We embody putting clients first, transparency, hard work, smart work, positivity, trust, straight talk and we don’t cut corners. We have fun, embrace our differences, and we love what we do.What would you describe as your wider USPs?
My team has been managing portfolios for the Cayman-based insurance sector for a long time, so we have a well-known history and reputation within the space. We offer quality service through sound investment solutions that are reflective of an agreed-upon risk profile and return objective, executed in a disciplined fashion over time, and offered at a fair price.The client benefit to the captive insurance company is pretty simple:

  • We are a North American investment platform located outside of the US that resonates with US, Canadian and European underlying clients.
  • We offer segregated and secure custody with one of the safest, highest-rated banks in the world—we do not co-mingle your funds with other clients.
  • We are flexible, offering cash management, execution and discretionary investment accounts at competitive costs.
  • We can offer competitive rates on cash and have a broad range of safe, liquid, short term investment options. For example, right now many of our clients are holding their cash in RBC 30 Day Cashable Guaranteed Investment Certificates that yield 0.20 percent, at a time when most banks are paying zero on cash.
  • We are flexible from a cost perspective. The fee our clients pay depends on the services they require and the portfolio’s asset allocation. To illustrate, our pricing on conservative high quality portfolios used by a typical captive recognises the realities of the current lower yields when compared to our equity mandates, where higher remuneration is more appropriate.
  • For US or Canadian clients, we are in your time zone.
  • Lastly, we can facilitate banking solutions through our local, US and Canada-based RBC Banking partners. This includes letters of credit.

Combine the above benefits with our history and commitment to Cayman, and we are unique. We opened in Cayman in 1964. Currently, RBC is the 10th largest bank in the world by way of market cap, and we have offices around the globe, as well as a long-standing commitment and tradition of excellence in the Caribbean. As a firm, we have already celebrated our 150th year: 130 of those in the Caribbean, and 57 of those right here in Cayman.For nearly 20 years, I’ve been with RBC doing what I do today, leading our investment team, the Price Team of RBC Dominion Securities. Our investments business, RBC Dominion Securities, opened its doors here in 1972.Within RBC, we continue to be a cross-border centre of excellence, with clients living in many countries. Our clients’ portfolios are subject to Cayman Islands law, yet are held on the books and records of RBC Dominion Securities, which is a really well-oiled machine, as Canada’s leading full-service wealth management platform, with more than 420,000 clients and $406 billion in client assets under care.Our clients know our long-term commitment to Cayman, and my personal commitment to the captive space. Like RBC, the bank that I work for, my family has been in Cayman for quite a long time, too. My two children are 10th-generation Caymanian, and my great, great grandfather was the last Caymanian Custos, which was the governor equivalent of that day. Neither RBC nor I are going anywhere else.What have been your highlights of the past 12 months?
There are three to mention. First, our team won a mandate to advise and steward the core capital for a newly licensed reinsurance company here in Cayman. Hands down, this is a big deal for us. One of the team’s investment advisors was crucial in this process, given his focus in this institutional space and interest in collateralised loan obligations and ways to earn a little more yield on relatively conservative investments.Another highlight is our tangible commitment to the insurance space in Cayman. We hired a dedicated RBC banker based at our Camana Bay office, focused on the captive and insurance space. Etienne Jensen-Fontaine joined us earlier in the year with the title, senior relationship manager captive insurance and international business.Lastly, RBC Reinsurance moved its operations here. This is a big deal for the jurisdiction and further bolsters our commitment as a firm to Cayman, a top domicile for insurance companies.What are your goals and objectives for 2022?
To keep doing what we are doing. We will be there for the captive managers with whom we collaborate and we will be there for their underlying clients. We also hope to manage the core capital of new reinsurance companies that sign up to make Cayman home.We are increasingly focused on the high-net-worth family office and insurance space that has more physical presence in Cayman, so our goal is to become a larger player. We are very proud of the Price Team of RBC Dominion Securities and our banking operations here.We remain committed to Cayman’s future, but we are not the exception. Many other world-class companies are committed to being a big part of the community for many years to come.How would you characterise the health of the captives market in Cayman?The Cayman captive market is evolving. Notwithstanding the pandemic, for 2020 and 2021 on the whole, Cayman-based captive mangers have seen interest in new captives, and the sector as a whole has successfully converted a consistent number to new formations. Owners and operators across businesses around the world continue to look for ways to retain risk in a formalised structure.Cayman continues to be as a well-regulated domicile with a top level of financial service provider expertise—this bodes well for our future. According to industry experts, inflation is showing up in the insurance space, too. Global commercial insurance rates have increased materially across various lines of cover over the last few years.This should set Cayman and the captive sector up well for new interest in captive establishment, as business owners and enterprises consider their own risk retention vehicles to retain risk in a controlled manner, or protect themselves against certain exposures. We are also seeing some interest in the family office captive space.