Guernsey's capabilities as a (re)insurance domicile have been highlighted during two recent conferences in London.
The Guernsey Insurance Forum 2008 was held on Wednesday 12 November and this was preceded by a seminar on Tuesday 11 November entitled 'Destination Reinsurance: Guernsey – an alternative to Bermuda?'
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: "This has been a very good week for Guernsey's international insurance industry. We have seen from both these events that Guernsey's insurance sector is still buoyant and in good shape. The continued strength of the Island's capabilities has been reaffirmed by captive managers and we are stepping up our expansion as a reinsurance domicile, particularly in light of the new regulations which were approved last week."
At the reinsurance seminar it was announced that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has been working closely with Lloyd's to identify an appropriate structure that will facilitate the growth of Lloyd's business in Guernsey. To this end, new regulations were approved by the States of Guernsey on 3 November and signed by the Commission's Chairman on 7 November.
The new framework will allow Lloyd's syndicates to establish a physical presence in Guernsey which will operate under Guernsey's Insurance Manager regulatory framework. The GFSC will be happy to meet with any Lloyd's member who wants to know more about the regulatory environment that will apply in Guernsey.
The reinsurance seminar was held at the Andaz Hotel (formerly the Great Eastern Hotel), near the Lloyd's buildings. It was chaired by Mr Niven and included contributions by Guernsey industry practitioners, as well as a presentation from Bronek Masojada, Chief Executive, Hiscox.
It was followed yesterday by this year's Guernsey Insurance Forum. The keynote speech 'Opportunities and Risks in the Global Economy' was delivered by Hamish McRae, economic commentator at The Independent. It also featured the plenary sessions 'Counterparty Crunch' and 'Market Crunch' and a final panel session 'The Captive Clinic'. Breakout sessions included 'Solvency II', 'Captives – the Supervisory Landscape' and 'Guernsey – the Innovative Risk Solution'. Delegates were also able to walk through an exhibition by the Island's service providers, ranging from world-renowned to boutique captive managers, multi-jurisdictional law firms and major accountancy firms.
Peter Berring, Group Risk Director at the UK-based De La Rue PLC which has a Guernsey captive, said: "The forum is a good networking opportunity and I think it shows Guernsey's facilities in a very good light. We are very happy with our captive and its functioning in Guernsey. The benefits of Guernsey are the proximity to our head office in the UK; more importantly the strength of resources in the Island, as far as supporting all the aspects of captive management, and the open-minded flexibility that Guernsey represents is very important, coupled with the fact that the Guernsey is very strong in areas such as capital management. It has got a strong control factor, good discipline and a well-managed skill-set to run a captive."
Richard Le Tocq, Chairman of the Guernsey Insurance Company Management Association (GICMA), added: "The quality of the sessions has been very good and the feedback I have had from clients has been superb. There's the CPD training element, the updating on the latest developments from Guernsey and the groundbreaking, new thinking. The last-minute changes to the programme, in terms of making it more topical to the economy was a great move. Generally, it's been a big success."
Guernsey is host to more than 700 international insurance entities, comprising 369 international insurers (captives, PCCs and ICCs) and 353 cells (of PCCs and ICCs). The Island is the leading jurisdiction in Europe for captive insurance and number four in the world in terms of premium written (£3bn in 2007).
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.