Guernsey: Guernsey’s Pursuit Of Becoming A Successful Captive Domicile

Last Updated: 11 March 2013
Article by Chris Le Conte

Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, September 2018

Chris Le Conte, of Robus Risk, speaks of his love for Guernsey and takes a look at the journey the island has taken in its pursuit of becoming a successful captive domicile.

The first record of a Le Conte on the island of Guernsey is in the 12th Century and we know our family tree back to the 1500s, so it is fair to say that a passion for Guernsey is in the Le Conte blood!

Personally, I arrived in Guernsey in 1978 from the US where I had lived for 10 years as my parents had made careers there. If you had asked me in the 1980s if I would still be in Guernsey in 2013 I would have laughed at you. Back then I had the urge to travel and work in other places, as my sister Sarah has gone on and done, working in the US, Egypt and many Asian countries. So why am I still here? Well, simply because I have had an incredibly enjoyable career in captive insurance and there has been no better place to be in the past 20 years than Guernsey when it comes to captive insurance.

The period of growth: 1985 – 1995

Captives really started to take off in Guernsey in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Insurance companies were formed in Guernsey because of a commercial regulator, a flexible tax regime, professional advisors and communication links to the UK generally and the City of London in particular. The traditional captive model was at the forefront and popular with many UK companies. Even the introduction by the UK of Controlled Foreign Company Legislation and, a little later, insurance premium tax couldn’t stop the flow of business.

The period of innovation: 1995 – 2005

The 1997 emergence of protected cell companies (PCCs) is well known as driving Guernsey’s business growth and is an innovation that the 2012 statistics demonstrate continues to generate material new business. But there were other key innovations in this period also – mortgage indemnity captives assisted many UK banks and building societies protect their balance sheets and offer protection to their customers. A number of insurance groups used Guernsey’s efficient capital regime to assist their group capital management. Again the regulatory framework was key and Steve Butterworth, the then director of insurance epitomised all that Guernsey stood for in insurance terms and ensured Guernsey had a leading role in international regulation too.

I am sure this, along with active marketing by the industry, helped international companies begin to express interest in Guernsey and we formed captives for Japanese, South African, American, Israeli and Australian clients as well as a host of continental European clients.

The period of consolidation: 2005 – 2010

This period saw Guernsey to my mind pause for breath a little and Guernsey’s captive market remained fairly stable.

Guernsey insurance managers started looking abroad for new business opportunities and it is no coincidence that almost all the insurance managers established in Gibraltar and Malta during this period were driven by people in Guernsey; our innovative outlook, and wish for new business needed a new outlet!

The market also changed with a gradual reduction in the number of insurance managers as smaller managers were acquired, primarily by the larger independents.

The period of reinvention: 2010 – ?

At a governmental and finance industry level, Guernsey faces decisions as to its approach in a number of areas. Offshore centres in general are coming under increasing pressure from most Western countries due to their perception as tax havens and Guernsey’s economy needs to be redesigned if it is to continue to flourish. While this should have little direct impact on captive insurance, that is not to say it won’t have some influence on how Guernsey’s captive market grows.

From a regulatory perspective Guernsey has made the clear decision to sit outside Solvency II, and that approach is undoubtedly correct while the Solvency II framework remains mired in debate and disagreement. If it does ever take

over as a European regulatory framework Guernsey will need to consider the impacts of remaining wholly outside it. Alongside this, Guernsey’s own review of solvency methodology is on-going and we must ensure Guernsey maintains the flexibility, pragmatism and capital efficiency that have made it the great captive and offshore insurance centre that it has become.

In the meantime I am pleased to report that innovation continues to flourish with PCCs being used for the UK housing NewBuy scheme and the launch last year of the Risk Purpose Trust as a risk management and risk funding tool.

The ideal captive domicile

I realise that this is an unashamed advertisement of Guernsey as a location for insurance and reinsurance, I don’t apologise! Guernsey remains the ideal captive domicile and the benchmark against which others are judged. Having made my career in Guernsey for the past 20 years, I have confidence in the next 20 years too and am sure Guernsey will continue to lead the pack. When choosing where to establish our new insurance management venture, Robus, we were obviously focused on the future and where we saw captive insurance thriving; Guernsey was the only logical choice. And having just completed our first year of operations, I’m proud to say the Robus Group has been shortlisted for Independent Captive Manager of the Year and Innovation in Captive Management at the UK Captive Services Awards 2013


“The Evolution Group has three entities in Guernsey so we are clearly a fan of the domicile. Our PCC has continually brought new business opportunities for us, and Guernsey is the obvious leader in this fi eld. Guernsey is quick and easy to get to from the UK, has no time difference, plenty of professional assistance on hand and fantastic restaurants!”


“Having first established a reinsurance company in Guernsey in 2004, the benefits for businesses operating in Guernsey were clear from the outset. It was, therefore, an obvious choice to locate our Group headquarters when we set up 1st Central as a new insurance group in 2008 to focus, initially, on selling motor insurance in the UK. In addition to the Group’s holding company, we also established a reinsurance company and a premium finance company as fully owned subsidiaries primarily because we see Guernsey as a stable environment, with great access to the UK market and pragmatic regulation. Over the past year we have located the 1st Central Group’s web-design and development team here and we see Guernsey as a skilled hub for our business, whether it be capital management, operational or intelligent input to our overall strategy.”

Originally published by Captive Review, February 2013

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions