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14 December 2016Cayman analysis

Building on strong foundations

As Cayman Captive goes to press, the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) is preparing for the annual Cayman Captive Forum on November 29 to December 1, an event that the industry always looks forwards to, as it provides the focal point for what IMAC undertakes on an annual basis.

The forum, we are proud to say, is client-centric and is, de facto, driven by the clients. It is essential from IMAC’s point of view that clients control the agenda. It’s important to see what clients want, to get a feel for what things look like from the clients’ perspective and to get their critique on what we can do better going forward.

This year’s event has a slightly larger number of people signed up compared to this time last year, so we are on target for 1,400 to 1,500 attendees again, and I think we’re fast approaching the maximum number of attendees—if it were to get much bigger then, perhaps, we would lose the intimacy. Clients, industry practitioners and carriers need to be able to sit down and meet together as it’s very important to share our knowledge of the market, and clients’ needs and wants, with one another.

The end of this year will also mark the end of my time as chairman of IMAC. We’ve been through a great deal of work in the past two years, including the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority rolling out some new updates to rules and regulations, as well as statements of guidance. Cayman wishes, and will continue, to be at the forefront of industry best practice.

"Up to the third quarter of 2016, 33 new captive licences were issued here—a significant achievement given the competition that’s out there and the continuing soft market."

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the international standard-setting bodies determined that part of the system failure arose due to failures in the corporate governance frameworks for financial institutions. As part of this response, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) issued an application paper for captives following on from its original Insurance Core Principles publication which states that insurance regulators should determine an appropriate and proportionate supervisory approach to captives and traditional insurance and reinsurance companies.

The Cayman regulator and IMAC have worked collaboratively to bring these enhanced rules and regulations to fruition. That has taken up a lot of time and effort over the past 24 months but as a result of all our hard work, I strongly believe that it will stand the jurisdiction in good stead for the foreseeable future.

The Cayman captives industry remains in a strong position—there has only been a handful of involuntary liquidations from the captives industry over the past 40 years. What we have been doing therefore is building on the already solid foundations that we have, with additional appropriate governance, oversight and framework.

New captive formations

Up to the third quarter of 2016, 33 new captive licences were issued here—a significant achievement given the competition that’s out there and the continuing soft market. That brings the number of licensees for the Cayman Islands as a whole to 711.

We continue to see competition from more domiciles worldwide, but we have the institutional knowledge, the intellectual capital and the physical infrastructure here, along with our top tier client base, to ensure that we capture and retain more than our fair share of new business in an ever more global environment.

As we head into 2017 there are many friends of the Cayman Islands who can attest to the maturity of the Cayman market and how appropriately and well-regulated it is.

Kieran O’Mahony is chair of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman and senior vice president & client services leader of Marsh Captive Solutions. He can be contacted at: