Captives offer opportunities amid disruption, says CICA president


Against a backdrop of disruption in the risk-transfer industry as a result of cyber crime, natural disasters, regulatory changes, automation and new technology, operating successfully in such a marketplace provides constant challenges, according to Dan Towle, president of the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA).

“Captive and risk management professionals have to be nimble in identifying opportunities to address these challenges so they can efficiently finance the cost of risk for their entities,” he said.

Towle spoke to Captive International ahead of the CICA 2018 International Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, about the theme of this year’s conference, the ‘Challenge of Change’.

“We’re focusing on the Challenge of Change because simultaneous change has become a constant that is driving the need for new strategies for business success,” said Towle. “By bringing together some of the most creative and innovative captive leaders in the world, CICA can help our industry find new approaches for using captives to manage risk and improve business results.”

There are a wide variety of sessions this year that tie in directly with this overarching theme.

“I am excited about so many of our sessions this year,” Towle added. “We have sessions on helping captives and risk managers address cyber risk and new technologies. We also have sessions on how captive insurance programmes are significantly contributing to healthcare cost containment, and we have an interesting session on the cannabis industry.”

The conference’s tax session, ‘What’s New on the Tax Front’, Towle said is particularly popular, featuring tax experts Tom Jones, Bruce Wright, Dan Kusaila and Rick Irvine.

Towle believes the event is also very helpful for attendees who are newer to the industry.

“We have a first-time attendee breakfast Monday morning where you can network with others who may have some of the same questions you do about setting up a captive, or getting started in the captive industry,” he explained.

“The ‘What Prospective Captive Owners Need to Know’ session on Monday afternoon, with Lance Ewing and Jason Flaxbeard, will provide the inside scoop on how you can review and evaluate domiciles, service providers, how to pitch your ideas to your senior management and more.”

Towle was unveiled as CICA’s new president on March 9, 2017, succeeding the outgoing Dennis Harwick, who retired in June. He is the second president in CICA’s 45-year history.

Under Towle’s leadership, CICA is looking to increase its visibility and activity within the industry.

“Our members are asking for this and that’s our focus,” he said. “Being domicile neutral means we have a holistic view of the industry which gives us a larger potential audience than simply being aligned with a single jurisdiction. It also arguably gives us the most unbiased voice in the industry.”

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