8 May 2015Bermuda analysis

BDA delegation drives Canadian interest in captives

A delegation organised by the Bermuda Development Agency (BDA) to Canada to spell out the benefits of establishing captive insurance companies and e-commerce entities in Bermuda has already picked up several promising leads as a result of the mission.

A 20-strong delegation from the Island delivered the message about the benefits of Bermuda to well-attended sessions in Toronto on May 5 and Calgary on May 6 for invited guests interested in finding out about setting up in the jurisdiction.

The session specifically on captives was moderated by Joe DaSilveira of Liberty Mutual Management. In it, he explained what a captive insurer is, a captive’s structure, key reasons to set up a captive, along with common risks insured, citing several case studies.

Panels of industry speakers included the Bermuda Monetary Authority’s Leslie Robinson; David Gibbons of PwC Bermuda; Oceana Yates, of R&Q Quest Management; Philip Cook of Omega Insurance Holdings; David Downie of KPMG Canada; and David Platt of Encana Services Company.

The captive session was repeated Wednesday morning at Calgary’s landmark The Bow building, hosted by Encana Corporation. Mark Jewett, a former general director of tax policy and legislation for the Canadian Department of Finance, joined Dr Gibbons and Webber for the opening plenary, while Darcy Moch, of Bennett Jones, and KPMG’s Jim Samuel joined the panel of speakers.

Bermuda has been of growing interest to Canadian corporations following the June 2010 signing of the Canada-Bermuda Tax Information and Exchange Agreement (TIEA), which allows Bermuda subsidiaries of certain Canadian corporations with international operations to be eligible for Canadian tax benefits, including the tax-free repatriation of certain dividends to Canada.

The forums also featured an opening plenary session, moderated by BDA CEO Ross Webber with Dr Gibbons and Michael Horgan, a former deputy minister of finance for the Canadian government, as panellists. Separate sessions addressed the benefits of establishing both captive insurance companies and e-commerce entities in Bermuda.

“We had standing-room-only for the session held at Toronto’s Trump International Hotel on Tuesday morning—we adjusted our configuration after that! The sessions were very well attended,” said Webber. “It was encouraging to see the keen interest the audience had for both our captive insurance and e-commerce offerings.”

The delegation has already picked up several promising leads as a result of the mission, with industry practitioners in continuing dialogue with several of the prospects who attended.

“This initiative is being implemented according to our agreed strategy of finitely targeting regions, sectors and audiences. We deliberately showcased actual case study examples. This is highly persuasive for those who are on the fence,” Webber added. “We are following up on the interest we have generated here to ‎help prospective companies set up physical operations that equate to real jobs for Bermudians.”