Senior management from a major Chinese insurer have been in Guernsey to assess the viability of establishing a captive in the Island.
The delegation from the Beijing headquartered Sunshine Insurance Group, which is one of seven insurance groups in China, included Chairman Weigong Zhang. Also present were representatives of its London-based broker Newman Martin & Buchan, including non-executive director Ralph Snedden.
Mr Snedden is also already a non-executive director of a Protected Cell Company (PCC) managed by the Guernsey-based independent captive manager Alternative Risk Management (ARM). He introduced the Sunshine executives to the ARM management team, who in turn also facilitated meetings with representatives from the Island's regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) and Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry.
"The whole delegation from Sunshine Insurance Group found visiting Guernsey and meeting with managers, regulators and the promotional agency to be extremely beneficial and informative," said Mr Snedden.
"It was particularly useful for Sunshine's executives who were able to learn more about the Island, its finance industry, its insurance sector and in particular the products and services, such as captives, that are provided by international finance centres like Guernsey."
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, added: "This was a fantastic opportunity for us to show a major Chinese financial institution the potential benefits of using Guernsey. In particular it gave us a chance to highlight our risk management offering including the on-Island captive expertise, robust yet pragmatic regulatory framework and our tradition for innovations such as the PCC. It is the latest in a series of initiatives we are undertaking to strengthen our links with Chinese government, regulatory and financial institutions."
Guernsey has already established an office in Shanghai managed by Chinese national Wendy Weng. It was officially opened in March when government and business leaders visited to meet with their counterparts in the city. In addition, Mr Niven visited Shanghai and Beijing in June as part of the Lord Mayor of the City of London's delegation to the region.
In October a delegation from Guernsey will visit Hong Kong and Shanghai to promote the Island's expertise in fiduciary services. The team will be showcasing Guernsey as lead sponsor and exhibitor at the STEP Asia conference in Hong Kong, through a specific fiduciary seminar in both locations and a series of meetings with key decision makers in the two centres. Discussions with Chinese government and regulatory officials are also planned and will be led by Guernsey's most senior politician, Chief Minister Lyndon Trott. During this visit it is intended to meet with Tu Guangshao, the Vice-Mayor of Shanghai, who has met with Guernsey representatives on each of their last two visits.
Guernsey has already invited and arrangements are being made for representatives of the Shanghai Stock Exchange to come to the Island and in particular for them to visit the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX) later this year.
In addition, the GFSC has invited its regulatory counterparts in Shanghai to Guernsey so they can see at first hand how the Island regulates a diverse financial services industry in a small jurisdiction which has similarities to the Shanghai model.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit http://www.guernseyfinance.com.
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