"The recent formation of UNISON Management (Jersey) Limited represents a significant step in the development of Jersey's captive management industry" commented Tony Hillman, Chairman of the Jersey Offshore Insurance Association. "We welcome the fact that the opportunities now offered to captives in Jersey have been recognised by the Johnson & Higgins / UNISON partnerships, who as the world's largest captive management organisation, will greatly assist in our Island's initiative to create a world class captive insurance centre."
Commenting on the reasons behind the establishment of UNISON Management (Jersey) Limited Managing Director, David Johnstone, who is also responsible for their Guernsey operation, says, "Jersey has a substantial, quality reputation in the offshore markets. J&H and the UNISON partnerships are driven by a quality aspiration to deliver what clients want and value. We believe that there are many captive owners and would-be owners who value Jersey as their preferred location for their offshore activities. Jersey is very well known in the banking, finance and trust company sectors, and now that the States have provided the platform for captive insurance business with the 1996 Insurance Law, we feel certain that an increasing number of captive clients will opt for Jersey, so as to combine all of their offshore business structures in to one location."
But isn't the world already saturated with captive domiciles? How can Jersey compete with such a diverse choice of locations already available? And where will the captive business come from?
"Reputation and a firm but flexible regulatory environment always feature high on the basic list of considerations for captive owners. We feel that with the recent appointment of Nigel Woodroffe as Deputy Director of Insurance of the Jersey Financial Services Department has shown a clear commitment to offering captives a dedicated service" comments David Johnstone. "When combined with Jersey's strong local infrastructure to support insurance business, in terms of lawyers, auditors, and banking and investment services, there is no reason for Jersey not to be able to attract new captive business interest."
"Europe, the Far East and now South Africa are still under-developed markets in terms of captives by comparison with North America and the UK, so there is plenty of scope for new business. A total of 279 new captive companies were formed in 1996 taking the worldwide number of captives up to 3,535. Of these, 898 are based in European captive domiciles which collectively attracted 81 new formations last year; a higher growth rate than in the USA, where the market is now fairly mature. With Jersey F.S.D.'s recent marketing initiatives plus our promotion of Jersey within our organisation, we are confident that Jersey will become a serious alternative location. But we do not expect this to occur overnight. Captive business has a very long lead time from initial interest to actually forming the company. It will probably take five to ten years before Jersey will see any significant business volumes; but it will be worth waiting for!" concluded David Johnstone.
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