Captives must grasp opportunities presented by ‘perfect storm’: CICA’s Towle


Captives must grasp opportunities presented by ‘perfect storm’: CICA’s Towle

Dan Towle, president, CICA

The captives community globally will have learned much from tackling the adversity and disruption of the past year due to COVID, but it also cannot rest of its laurels and must continue to collaborate and share knowledge if it is to grasp the opportunities presented by a “perfect storm” for the wider risk transfer industry.

That was the message from Dan Towle, President of the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA), introducing the body’s first annual international conference for two years, due to cancellations due to COVID, which is taking place in Tucson this week (March 6-8).

Towle stressed how good it was for the industry to be meeting in person again after so long. He highlighted the strong 500+ attendance of the conference with delegates coming from 44 US states and many overseas countries. More than 100 captive owners are also present as are regulators from almost 30 domiciles.

“The past two years will have changed our perspective on many things, and it will have changed how we do business. As risk management professionals, we plan for the unexpected, but this has tested us in ways we never imagined. But I believe it will also result in a renewed confidence to be prepared for the unknown. Perhaps that is why we like captives: we can be in control of our own risks.”

Towle said that the combination of a hard market in the wider commercial insurance markets, increasing interest rates and economic disruption caused by the war in the Ukraine, represent a perfect storm for the captives industry, which has an opportunity to take an even more prominent role at the forefront of risk management for companies.

But he also warned of risks ahead. He stressed that the industry, and CICA specifically, must also continue to advocate and lobby for the industry to ensure that regulatory bodies and governments, some with potential misconceptions about the captives industry, do not introduce laws or regulations that could hamper the industry.

Part of this battle, he said, would also be ensuring CICA continues to champion innovation in the industry as well as moving to attract the best possible talent into the sector. “CICA believes continuous innovation is essential for this industry as is a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.

“What is more, these changes are essential to attracting the best people in the future – over the next 50 years.”

He also acknowledged the journey CICA has been on since its humble beginnings 50 years ago when a dozen captive owners met to discuss shared concerns and share knowledge. He described the publication, published by Captive International, as a time capsule of this journey and a reflection of the body’s development at a moment in time.

“It documents where we have been and where we are going. I just hope our successors continue our spirit of collaboration,” he said.

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Captive International