Guernsey: Year Of The Captive: Guernsey's Deals In China

Last Updated: 1 August 2017
Article by Becky Butcher

Most Read Contributor in Guernsey, July 2017

Becky Butcher of Captive Insurance Times reports on how Guernsey's hard work is paying off as China looks to stretch the boundaries of its captive strategies.

The relationship between Guernsey and China, going strong since 2007, took a giant leap forward last June when the Guernsey International Insurance Association and both the China Captive Alliance and Kashgar Government came together in a bid to further develop China's captive insurance market. 

Since then, a further two memoranda of understanding (MoU) have been signed with China, vindicating the island's continuous representation in the country over the last ten years.

The first MoU was an agreement to facilitate business through an arrangement between the Guernsey and China insurance industry regulators.

This firstly set out the guidelines for cooperation, which include the requirement for both supervisory bodies to have a specific point of contact for communication between the organisations; the types and timing of requests for information; and the respect for a public-interest test.

The second agreement, with the Beijing Airport Economic Core Zone, encourages cooperation in the areas of captive insurance market development, financial innovation, and international information exchange, in order to promote the viability of the Chinese captive market and wider communication between China and the global captive industry.

According to Dominic Wheatley, CEO of Guernsey Finance, China opening up its insurance market has been a "slow burn but ultimately an exciting outcome".  

Wheatley explains that Guernsey Finance has always maintained the value of being in the region, and will continue to do so.

He says: "We've put in the hard yards, quietly maintaining a footprint in China for the last decade, so these signs of the imminent maturing of that relationship through the internationalisation of Chinese corporates is very positive."

Although captives are well-established tools used by companies all over the world, their use has historically been limited among major Chinese corporations. The reasons behind this are not difficult to see, notes Wheatley. 

He explains: "As most assets and corporations have been publicly owned in China, the government has simply assumed risk and losses have been met out of current revenues. 

"Not surprisingly, insurance was not recognised as necessary by managers or their public sector shareholders. However, the move toward a more mixed economy and a greater international outlook has seen two significant trends: the emergence of private sector corporations; and the increasing privatisation of government-owned companies."

China has technology on its side. The rate of its progression and adoption of sophisticated techniques is faster than outsiders expected and, according to Wheatley, is set to accelerate even more over the coming years.

Wheatley suggests that this innovation is being encouraged and facilitated by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) and China's other financial regulatory bodies, and is enthusiastically endorsed by the People's Bank of China. 

Discussions are already underway around a potential agreement between the CIRC and the Guernsey regulator, which should enable further operational and financial efficiencies and provide enhanced transparency and joined up regulatory oversight.

"These developing arrangements are a major step forward toward China's goal of developing its own domestic international insurance expertise and a mature insurance industry, as well as increasing its international insurance relationships," Wheatley says.

Guernsey started broadening its presence in Asia with Guernsey Finance's 2007 appointment of Wendy Weng as its first Chinese representative in Shanghai.

Wheatley notes that Weng has been 'highly instrumental' in encouraging the development of captive technology in China.

Most recently she has overseen the delivery of a series of educational seminars introducing local practitioners to the pending Common Reporting Standard requirements.

On the back of her success, Guernsey Finance has extended its presence in the region further, appointing Christopher Chan as its first Hong Kong representative earlier this year.

Chan is leading Guernsey's promotional efforts across the wider Southeast Asia region, particularly introducing family offices and fund managers to the vehicles and structures most commonly developed in Guernsey.

But it's the island's captive insurance expertise – it is the home of the protected cell company – from which Guernsey Finance believes China will benefit most.

Chinese companies will able to develop global programmes based around Guernsey captives, and Chinese captive owners will able to make use of their access to expertise in other classes, taking advantage of soft-market multi-line capacity in the London wholesale markets, employee benefits, casualty, and emerging risks such as cyber.

According to Wheatley, Guernsey can offer China and Chinese corporations advice on non-conventional programme designs, risk transfer pricing, and detailed terms and conditions.

Guernsey Finance maintains that the island's robust governance, its regulation and the substance of its insurance community 'will ensure captive arrangements are respected by international regulatory and tax authorities, and work in harmony with the non-captive elements of insurance programmes'.

Guernsey will benefit not only in terms of new captive business, but also in terms of developing its understanding of Chinese business and corporations, and their risk environment and attitudes to risk and risk financing.

Wheatley says: "Of course, multi-domicile captive strategies are not new but they did take decades to develop elsewhere. It is a measure of China's ability to adopt technology quickly that just a few years after establishing its first captives it is already looking to stretch the boundaries of captive strategies."

He adds: "The future for captives in China is secure and is coming quicker than you may think."

An original version of this article was first published in Captive Insurance Times' Guernsey Insight, July 2017.

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
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.