6 August 2019

Predictability and responsiveness the keys to Vermont’s success in captives

Speakers at the inaugural Captive Immersion session on the eve of the VCIA Conference were unanimous in praising Vermont as the leading onshore captives domicile, with most citing its consistency, or predictability, as a key component of its appeal.

Jason Palmer, regional managing director for the US in Willis Towers Watson’s global captive practice, said: “Vermont is very predictable. That is good for the captive manager, who wants to know how the regulator is going to react to certain types of business proposal.”

New York was held up as an example of a state at the other end of the spectrum in that regard. At one time the state had plans to develop itself into a captive domicile but its commitment proved fleeting.

Ed Precourt, senior vice president in Marsh's captive solutions group, said: “When an individual moves on attitudes towards the business can change. That’s not good for captive managers who want to plan for the long term.”

In Vermont there is very little churn among public sector officials, or service providers for that matter, meaning captive managers can build up dependable relationships last for many years.

Meanwhile Zaw Win, director at law firm Downs Rachlin Martin, praised Vermont’s commitment to the captives industry, and in particular the responsiveness of its regulators.

“It’s unbelievable how quickly the regulators respond to questions in Vermont,” he said, claiming that feedback that might take weeks in some states can take mere hours in the Green Mountain State. “I find myself wondering why David Provost isn’t out having fun on a Friday night,” he joked.