25 October 2022Reinsurance

Guernsey celebrates captive centenary

More than 100 insurance industry professionals have celebrated a century of captive insurance in Guernsey at a special event in London hosted by WE ARE GUERNSEY and the Guernsey International Insurance Association.

Speakers at the event included Mark Helyar, counsel at Bedell Cristin, Julia Graham, chief executive of Airmic and Malcolm Cutts Watson of Cutts Watson Consulting.

The first captive registered in Guernsey was in June 1922 by the Commercial Insurance Company which was listed with the Guernsey Registry as the island’s first captive vehicle. Since then, Guernsey has grown into a captive insurance domicile, with more than 300 structures based in the island.

Helyar said captives make up an important part of Guernsey’s global reputation as an international financial centre. A component of this success, he added, is a desire by industry to keep improving.

“The key thing is it's never stopped innovating, with PCCs, ICCs, ILS. The insurance industry doesn't stop moving. Risk doesn't stop changing. And we continue to adapt and provide a market for that kind of alternative risk.”

Cutts Watson added that Guernsey has all the right attributes to make it a jurisdiction of choice for captives. “One thing I see is a great synergy between the captive and the various other financial services sectors like fiduciary, family offices, investment funds, and, and capital markets,” he said.

“And I think Guernsey has got all the right characteristics and attributes to be a natural home for those type of vehicles.”

Graham agreed and added: “When you invest in a captive in Guernsey, I very often hear that it's a domicile that you can trust.

“If you want somewhere that you trust and that’s got a mature and proportionate regulatory environment, where you know there’s a stable financial environment, and pool of talent, then Guernsey’s got the lot for me.”

Rupert Pleasant, chief executive of WE ARE GUERNSEY, the island’s promotional agency for the financial services industry, told the audience that Guernsey continues to lead the way in creating innovative solutions to today’s challenges.

“Guernsey is home to a specialist, pioneering and highly innovative insurance sector, boasting a position of leadership in the structuring and execution of alternative risk transfer for sophisticated clients.

“Guernsey has also made legislative advancements that have created a regulatory environment which allows for captive’s flexible use. This combination of experience and creativity means Guernsey is leading the way in providing cutting-edge solutions to meet clients’ complex risk transfer needs.

“The result is an environment perfect for start-ups, state of the art operations and niche providers.”