Guernsey's position as the go-to jurisdiction for longevity
risk transactions was outlined at a thought leadership event in
Hosted by Guernsey Finance, Longevity – is there life
in captives? attracted more than 120 delegates who heard from
John Coles, Head of Operations for the BT Pension Scheme, on how BT
structured its record-breaking £16 billion longevity risk
transfer and why a Guernsey-based structure was used.
"It was important for the trustees that they felt
comfortable with the jurisdiction and Guernsey certainly meets
that. It has a good legal framework and a good regulatory
environment," said Mr Coles.
He added that Guernsey's utilisation of the incorporated
cell company structure was also the most appropriate and practical
way of meeting the needs of the transaction.
"The regulator and all of the companies in Guernsey
recognise the business activity. They understand the risks and that
is very helpful. Guernsey is open for quality business," said
"From our particular experience we have met and now use a
number of very experienced and talented people with both insurance
and captive knowledge and they have been very adaptable and
flexible in helping us to land what was quite an innovative
transaction for the scheme – to actually create its own
captive, certainly in a transaction of this size."
In addition to Mr Coles' keynote presentation, a panel
discussion examined captive insurance solutions, longevity trends,
needs and future opportunities and how Guernsey has been able to
position itself so effectively in this area through the use of cell
company structures, regulation and reinsurance capacity. Moderated
by captive insurance veteran Malcolm Cutts-Watson, the panel
consisted of Ian Aley of Towers Watson; John Dunford of the Guernsey Financial
Services Commission (GFSC); Philip Jarvis of Allen & Overy
LLP; Paul Kitson of PwC and Andy McAleese of Pacific Life
Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley said it was
fascinating to listen to Mr Coles' insight into BT's
record-breaking deal with the Prudential Insurance Company of
"BT's pension scheme is one of the largest in the UK so
John's endorsement of Guernsey is very powerful. He emphasised
the expertise and experience present within Guernsey's
insurance community and how our risk-based regulatory approach
meant that the challenges involved in such a large transaction were
reduced," said Mr Wheatley.
"The panel debate was also very informative. The way
Malcolm structured and moderated the discussion around a specific
narrative meant it was easy for the audience to engage in the
debate and to understand the concept."
Hugh Rosenbaum, Retired Principal of Towers Watson, was one of
those in attendance at the British Museum. He said he appreciated
the insight provided by the speakers.
"I appreciated their willingness to include details of the
BT transaction, which emphasises the advantages without overlaying
the Guernsey message too heavily – that was very important
for this audience who were very technically-minded," said Mr
David Turner, Senior Director at Fitch Ratings, and Daniel
Kilty, Longevity Manager for Munich Re were similarly impressed
with the event.
"I thought the quality of the speakers was very good. It
was an interesting topic, well presented and a great venue. I will
be talking to Guernsey very soon," said Mr Turner.
Mr Kilty added: "It's a really interesting area.
It's got so much potential for the future and it was a great
event to get a good introduction to what has been the biggest deal
for Guernsey and the potential for Guernsey. It was quite high
level and a really interesting event."
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