6 March 2024Analysis

Parallel lives: ICCIE also hits 20

Captive International catches up with Mitch Cantor, executive director of ICCIE, to chat about how ICCIE is also celebrating its 20-year anniversary.

"The internal growth of ICCIE as a programme has been gratifying." Mitch Cantor

Captive International is not the only captive-related organisation celebrating 20 years of existence as we head into 2024—so is the International Center for Captive Insurance Education (ICCIE).

ICCIE is now one of the most important learning sources for captive insurance professionals in the US and sets a standard that many international observers can only admire in terms of name recognition.

Every year captives sector professionals of all ages and backgrounds in the US study at ICCIE-accredited events, take ICCIE’s exams and receive ICCIE diplomas. The Associate in Captive Insurance (ACI) is a qualification that is increasingly sought out and admired in the captive insurance market and is now on many a CV.

It’s important to stress the importance of the work that ICCIE does. Every year, in conference after conference we hear the same fears from the lips of captive insurance professionals—the difficulties of recruiting young blood, the retirement of so many old hands in the market and the holes they leave in terms of expertise and professionalism, as well as forebodings about the future health of the sector.

Programmes such as the ones ICCIE offers are the encouragement the captive insurance industry needs. The educational benefits that ICCIE offers help to fill in those gaps that open from time to time in the industry, and add a rich layer of knowledge and thought about the sector and the way it is adapting and changing.

Captive International asked Mitch Cantor, executive director of ICCIE, about how it has developed—and how he started 20 years ago.

What you were doing 20 years ago, and how did you get here?

As the current (and only) executive director of ICCIE, 20 years ago I was embarking on this current journey of organisational development for ICCIE and tremendously excited about the opportunity it represented. It was a bit risky (as a startup), but that also made the situation more interesting. Happily, it seems to have worked out for everyone.

Prior to that, I had a long history of running small companies (including my own) and micro divisions within bigger companies. These were all in either entertainment or the software industry—I had no prior experience in risk management.

What are three key changes you have seen over this time that have helped change the captive insurance industry?

The biggest change I have seen is the recognition from the traditional risk management world that captive insurance is not just “smoke and mirrors” or a way to get a quick tax deduction. This is because the practitioners are more educated and have done a terrific job of communicating to prospective captive owners about the actual nature of captives.

There has also been growth in the ways captives have been used, along with new structures that didn’t exist 20 years ago. These have all contributed to—and have at the same time been a result of—the strong growth in the captives industry.

What have been your personal highlights from the last 20 years?

It has been tremendously gratifying to see the growth of ICCIE—from ground zero to a thriving and essential part of the captive insurance industry today. It has been especially satisfying because so many (hundreds of) captive professionals recognised the need for it to exist and provided a helping hand, either by teaching or taking some other leadership role. It has been a great personal pleasure to meet and get to know so many of the practitioners in this field.

What have been your highlights of ICCIE?

The launch of ICCIE in August 2004 was tremendously exciting, if not risky. But it felt like the whole captive insurance world was hoping it would be the Little Engine that Could. Twenty years later it is the Engine that Did—with a key role in helping to develop a large cadre of incoming captive professionals.

The internal growth of ICCIE as a programme has been gratifying: going from a mere five core courses and no electives to its current slate of seven courses and nine active electives. And there are plans to grow even more. It has been a feather in our cap that as the industry has grown and developed, ICCIE has kept pace and will continue to do so in the years to come.

For more information about ICCIE visit: