Reinsurance and insurance professionals have shown increased interest in using Guernsey as a reinsurance domicile after hearing Barbican's experiences of establishing in the Island.

David Reeves, Chief Executive Officer of Barbican Insurance Group, was part of a panel of Guernsey and UK industry experts speaking to a London audience about the opportunities that exist in the Island to establish a reinsurance vehicle which can deliver superior return on capital deployed.

"This seminar was undoubtedly a success," said Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry.

"We had a good turnout and the presentations were extremely well received. The audience was particularly interested in hearing David talk about the processes his firm had gone through to establish its reinsurance operation in Guernsey.

"This included Barbican thoroughly researching which would be the best jurisdiction and finding that Guernsey came out on top. They chose the island as the domicile in which to establish their operation and importantly the senior personnel remain very pleased with the decision. Indeed, Barbican has found the environment in Guernsey so conducive to doing business that having established its reinsurance operation, the firm has gone on to launch a separate entity to carry out domestic business on the Island."

Barbican Reinsurance Company Limited became the first major commercial reinsurer in the domicile and will be writing a combination of Group and third party reinsurances.

Mr Niven added: "Since the arrival of Barbican in Guernsey a licence has been issued to Lloyd's which permits its underwriters to write direct general insurance business (including domestic business) in or from within the Island. This development significantly enhances Guernsey's potential for attracting reinsurance business."

The seminar was titled 'Reinsurance – Location, Location, Location: Maximising Return on Capital through Choice of Domicile,' held on the afternoon of Tuesday 19 May at the Willis Building in Lime Street. As well as David Reeves, the other expert speakers were: Tony Mancini, Executive Director for Tax at KPMG; Nick Wild, Executive Chairman (Ex Americas) at JLT Insurance Management; and Christopher Anderson, Partner at Bedell Cristin.

They examined the key attractions of establishing a reinsurance operation in Guernsey. Since Guernsey is outside the EU, the regulatory regime is not bound by EU directives or Solvency II requirements. As a result it is able to operate flexible capital requirements that, whilst following international standards, can be tailored to the specific nature of the business. The speakers also covered the attractions of the speed to market and the availability of resources on Island to support such businesses.

Mr Niven said: "The main presentations showcased the advantages of establishing and operating a reinsurance vehicle in the Island, including ensuring that the return on capital deployed is maximised. Afterwards there was a question and answer session where Caroline Bradley from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission was also on hand to assist with inquiries. The pertinent and focussed nature of the exchanges – which went on for some time – demonstrated the high level of interest in using Guernsey as a reinsurance domicile."

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