Vermont is in the process of updating its captive insurance regime, with a bill currently being considered by the legislature that will make a number of tweaks designed to make it easier to do business and increase transparency. David Provost and Ian Davis talked about the bill with Captive International.
The Internal Revenue Service has scored some notable victories against abusive micro-captive insurance tax shelters in recent years, with settlement offers to some 200 captives last September earning it floods of cash from captives eager to end their uncertainty. For those that did not receive such a letter however, the 831(b) scandal is far from over, as Solomon Teague reports.
It is very rare for the yield of the S&P 500 to eclipse the yield paid on US Treasury 10-year notes. When it does, it means either the bond market is overvalued or the equity market is undervalued—or both, says Jack Meskunas at Oppenheimer & Co.
As the equity bull market continues to roll on, headlines and broad-market investors focus on returns, but risk management should be their principal concern. While it is easy to be tempted by the potential for higher returns that comes with higher risk securities, higher quality credits reduce portfolio volatility, say Brian Allen, Bryan Johanson and Jason Pettner at C.S. McKee.
When a company changes hands there are often significant effects on the underlying business. Employees can be made redundant and departments merged, and the fate of the company’s insurance and captive programmes may also be called into question, but captive managers can protect their interests, says Jeremy Huish of Business Transition Advisors.
Micro captive growth has slowed down considerably as potential owners digest the implications of IRS manoeuvres against the industry. But the presence of a few bad apples should not detract from the good work done by most captives, says Jeremy Colombik of Management Services International.
The demand for insurance talent is growing, which is especially true for the captive insurance industry. With baby- boomers retiring, generation X aging and millennials switching off at the mention of insurance - , where is the talent going to come from? Kathleen O’Neil Larkin, attorney and instructor at Missouri State University, says the gap between industry and academia must be bridged.
Just 10 days before the scheduled trial in the US Tax Court, the taxpayers conceded the remaining issues in Pilot Series of Fortress Insurance et al v Commissioner. The pretrial pleadings highlighted many of the key questions that remain open in litigation over the tax treatment of captive insurance transactions. Those questions—and the parties’ efforts to answer them—provide a roadmap of what to expect as additional cases move toward trial. Jenny Johnson Ware, founding partner of tax litigation boutique Johnson Moore, analyses those key questions and what we can learn from them—despite the fact that the Tax Court will not be providing any answers.
The failure of a captive can often be traced to a breakdown in quality corporate governance. Ben Whitehouse, senior counsel at Butler Snow, outlines the important attributes of good captive governance.
Could high-profile settlements with the State of Washington lead to more captive domiciles following a similar path? Or will they adopt a more pro-business stance, like North Carolina? Pete Kranz, executive managing director and captive practice leader of Beecher Carlson, provides some key considerations on where to domicile a captive.