Two practitioners from Guernsey's finance industry stirred up significant interest in the Island's captive insurance sector when they presented at the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) annual conference last week.
Mike Johns, Chief Underwriting Officer at Alternative Risk Management (ARM), and Paul Eaton, Director of New Business at Heritage Insurance Management, attracted more than 60 delegates to their fringe session on captive insurance during day one of the conference held in Manchester.
The presentation looked at the potential benefits of captive insurance for brokers and their clients who are small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the merits of using Guernsey for this business. It prompted an extended question and answer session and also resulted in a number of follow-up inquiries.
Mr Johns said: "We are delighted with the way the session worked and the positive comments received from many of the attending delegates immediately afterwards. The session generated significant interest in both the captive concept and for Guernsey as a Captive domicile."
The presentation was titled 'What you need to know about captives' and content included: cutting through the jargon – the basic essentials that all brokers should know about captives; what captives are used for, the benefits, what to look for, and why brokers shouldn't be reluctant to suggest this to their clients; why brokers are setting up their own captives; and the merits of basing a captive in Guernsey – the leading captive insurance domicile in Europe.
The session focused on the fact that captive insurance has been the preserve of large multinationals but this is no longer the case. It went to explain that Guernsey pioneered the cell company concept in 1997 as a way for the Island's insurance sector to be able to pass on the benefits of captive insurance to a wider pool of companies, including SMEs. Mr Johns and Mr Eaton told the audience that the use of Protected Cell Companies (PCCs) and Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) has proved extremely popular in the insurance sector but there are still many brokers who are unaware or unsure of the potential advantages for them and their clients.
The presentation was facilitated by Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry internationally. Guernsey Finance has exhibited at the conference for the last few years but this time decided to take a different approach and instead sponsored a speaking session.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Deputy Chief Executive at Guernsey Finance who attended BIBA as a delegate, said: "We are very pleased that this session generated so much interest in Guernsey's captive insurance sector. The strong turnout demonstrates the enthusiasm among brokers to learn more about captive insurance and Mike and Paul certainly delivered in terms of content. The presentation was pitched at a wide range of brokers, from those with no or little knowledge of captive insurance right through to those already very well informed. It clearly demonstrated the Island's professionalism and expertise and the extent of the follow-up questions shows that they had engaged the audience and generated significant interest in the issues."
Both ARM and Heritage were also exhibiting at the conference in their own right.
Mr Eaton said: "We have been exhibiting at BIBA for several years now but we also like to support any of the Guernsey Finance initiatives at the conference. We saw a number of inquiries as a result of the presentation and we also saw significant interest at our own stand in what Guernsey's captive insurance sector can offer brokers and their clients."
BIBA 2011 was held on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 May at Manchester Central Convention Complex with around 4,000 delegates attending.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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