Working tirelessly to promote Cayman


Working tirelessly to promote Cayman

Between regulatory changes and promotional visits to international markets such as Canada, it has been a busy 12 months for the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman. But through working smarter and harder and through greater collaboration, the future is bright for the Cayman Islands captives sector, says its chairman Kieran O’Mahony.

It has been a very busy 12 months for the Cayman Islands insurance industry—tempus fugit appears to be our new byword. The Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) has been working tirelessly to promote the domicile internationally, and working closely with the Cayman Islands government and the regulator in enhancing our regulatory and compliance framework and honing our innovative offerings.

Cayman, as is well known, is one of the most mature, well established and proven captive insurance domiciles of the world. That being said, we in Cayman take nothing for granted, least of all our valued clients, quite a number of whom have been with us since the very birth of Cayman as a captive insurance domicile in the early to mid-1970s.

We must, and do, guard and nurture our current client base, but we are also mindful of the need to expand our ‘captive footprint’ geographically beyond the traditionally bountiful (for Cayman) US market.

To wit, this year marked the IMAC’s first concerted foray into the Canadian market and our first attendance, as an association, at the Canadian RIMS conference. Of course, many of our member companies had attended Canadian RIMS independently, over the years, but this was our first attendance as an ‘association’.

"SPCs now have the ability to form separate subsidiaries and conduct themselves as insurance companies—thus facilitating segregated portfolios to become fully-fledged captives in their own right."

The objectives for attending RIMS Canada included highlighting Cayman as a sophisticated and proven captive domicile, creating awareness of Cayman’s products and services, communicating Cayman’s sustainable competitive advantages, developing new and existing client relationships and encouraging two-way communications by identifying needs and exploring opportunities with Canadian prospects.

It is fair to say that our delegation was very successful in this regard and we welcome representatives from Canada back to Cayman to events including the Cayman Captive Forum in late 2015.

Developing compliance

As a founding member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) Cayman, via the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), is at the forefront of developing, shaping and enhancing our own (and indeed the world’s) regulatory and compliance architecture.

Cayman does so with due regard to the nature, scope and complexity of our Cayman-domiciled captives’ business model. Cayman’s prudent, risk-based approach to regulation, enshrined in our insurance law, necessitates that the IMAC, the Cayman Islands government and CIMA work collaboratively to develop best practices for captive governance and regulation.

This year we have been busy working closely with the aforementioned organisations in updating various statements of guidance and rules which will better serve our industry and strengthen our domicile as the domicile of choice for ‘best in class’ captives and commercial insurance, reinsurance as well as life and annuity companies.

We have seen some very interesting developments in our marketplace. Our recently enacted portfolio insurance company (PIC) legislation and associated regulations have, as anticipated, fanned the flames of human ingenuity. Innovative uses of this extension to our segregated portfolio company (SPC) law have been put in place.

This flexible and typically practical Cayman solution to a global need exemplifies the Cayman approach. SPCs now have the ability to form separate subsidiaries and conduct themselves as insurance companies—thus facilitating segregated portfolios to become fully-fledged captives in their own right, to contract with other segregated portfolios part of the same SPC or to have their own board for greater governance and control.

While much work has been done, there is much more to do. Today, there are some 65-plus domiciles in the world who wish to compete with the Cayman Islands. We as the IMAC and our industry associates—auditors, bankers, investment managers, lawyers—know that we must work smarter, harder and longer to maintain and grow our world-class domicile.

Cayman. Clearly Better Business.

Kieran O’Mahony is the chairman of IMAC; for more information visit 

Kieran O’Mahony, Insurance Managers Association of Cayman, IMAC, Cayman

Captive International