21 January 2015Cayman analysis

Guernsey closes 2014 with 85 new insurers

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) licensed 85 new international insurers during 2014.

This includes eight limited companies, three Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), 54 PCC cells, five Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) and 15 ICC cells.

The majority of the license entities originated from the UK (35 percent), with the Cayman Islands (29 percent) and Ireland (13 percent) close behind.

The range of business written over the 12 months to December 31, 2014 includes insurance linked securities (ILS) (45 percent) and insurance lines covering property (13 percent), life/health (8 percent), and after the event (ATE) legal expense (7 percent).

The latest figures show that there were a total of 797 international insurers licensed in Guernsey at the end of 2014.

Dominic Wheatley, chief executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, said: “These figures show that last year was very successful for Guernsey as an international insurance centre. We continue to see growth in new entities related to ILS transactions but also a steady stream of more conventional captive insurance vehicles.

“Much of our business continues to originate from the UK but the figures show the truly international nature of our client base, with a growing number coming from domiciles in Europe and much further afield.”

Kelvin Re has become Guernsey’s first rated commercial reinsurer, while Artex Risk Solutions was selected to provide the insurance management services for the BT Pension Scheme’s longevity risk vehicle BTPS Insurance ICC.

Towers Watson recently announced that it will provide its pension clients with direct access to the reinsurance market through the use of its ICC, Longevity Direct, managed by Willis. Longevity Direct is aimed at providing cover through the reinsurance market for liabilities between £1 billion and £3 billion. The Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) has become the first scheme to utilise this facility.

“Pension longevity risk has become a key strength for our insurance sector towards the end of 2014 and we expect that to continue into 2015. Likewise, we understand that a number of other commercial reinsurance companies are in discussions to follow in the footsteps of Kelvin Re, which is extremely pleasing,” said Wheatley.