7 January 2015Cayman analysis

Time has flewn

As his two-year tenure draws to an end, Rob Leadbetter, chairman of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman, reflects on the achievements of the association during that period and why the future remains bright for the Cayman Islands’ position in the captives market.

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss

It is hard to believe that my two-year tenure as the chairman of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) is drawing to an end, and I will soon be handing over the reins to the very competent Kieran O’Mahony of Marsh (Cayman).

We have accomplished a great deal as an association in the last two years and I am proud of the work that our group of dedicated insurance managers and the rest of the industry have undertaken.

We have successfully rebranded our industry, launching the Cayman Islands. Clearly Better Business philosophy to the world; we have continued to act as the conduit between industry, our regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, and the Cayman Islands government; we have continued our ongoing campaign to correct misinformed, populist negativity about the Cayman Islands financial services industry (and have made some decent headway in this regard); and we have continued to nurture innovation in Cayman and have used this innovation to expand into new markets.

The last points are particularly close to my heart. At the time of writing, our latest announcement has been Cayman’s removal from Colombia’s ‘tax haven list’. We welcome Colombia’s appreciation of Cayman’s whitelist status by the OECD, our 35 tax information exchange agreements (with an additional 15 currently in negotiations), our Aaa rating by Moody’s; and our thriving book of quality business, and in the end, determining that Cayman really is Clearly Better Business.

We are looking forward to working with and developing relationships with Colombian companies as they seek better ways of self-insuring through alternative risk structures.

Cayman remains one of the world’s most complete financial centres—we have the sophisticated infrastructure, the world class quality service providers and the history of solid financial services covering a breadth of industry sectors above and beyond captives: banking, investment funds and trusts, for example. The table is now aptly set for the further development of the reinsurance and insurance-linked securities industry.

Niche understanding

As an association, we are actively pushing the benefits of Cayman as a captive domicile in new markets, including Canada and Latin America, taking our niche understanding of the requirements and uses from our US clients, and in particular our specialist knowledge of healthcare captives and adapting that to the unique and specific needs that companies in these new environments can address through a Cayman-domiciled captive.

Our most recent statistics prove that we are steadily making headway in terms of market share—another considerable achievement, considering that there are now some 80 jurisdictions with captive insurance legislation.

Today, Cayman is home to 765 captive insurance companies, not including the many segregated portfolios under each segregated portfolio company structure, with premiums of $12.4 billion and assets of $55.1 billion, which makes us the second largest captive domicile in the world, a position we have held consistently for decades.

"Our most recent statistics prove that we are steadily making headway in terms of market share - another considerable achievement, considering that there are now some 80 jurisdictions with captive insurance legislation."

We understand that people have a fair amount of choice when selecting a domicile and collectively we are working to ensure a breeding ground for innovation as well as maintaining security in consistency. We intend to be here for the long haul and will work towards ensuring that you know we appreciate your business.

We are also actively engaged with the Cayman Islands government regarding several issues that relate to doing captive business in Cayman and are pleased to relay that our Premier, the Hon Alden McLaughlin, made a presentation to the attendees at our exclusive client party at this year’s American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) event in Anaheim, California, announcing changes to the immigration legislation that will further facilitate the process for directors attending board meetings in Cayman.

Although a small change, it is a perfect example of IMAC’s ability to bring the issues that affect business in Cayman to the legislators along with considered solutions in order to enact positive change.

The 2014 Cayman Captive Forum had in excess of 1,400 delegates, once again confirming the forum as the world’s largest captive conference. There are good reasons why all of these people make their way to Cayman each December. The best way to discover why is to meet them there and find out first hand!

There is more work to be done. I encourage Kieran, as I hand over the chair to him and his able team, to remain diligent; there are many who would like to overtake our enviable position in the market.

Of course I will remain involved in the association and would still love to hear from you. Keep in touch and join in our many varied conversations through LinkedIn, Twitter (@caymancaptive), Facebook and of course our website and blog at

Rob Leadbetter is chairman of the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman. For more information visit