Guernsey's profile as a key captive insurance jurisdiction for Chinese clients continues to build, says Walkers partner Kate Storey after a six-day visit to Shanghai to coincide with We Are Guernsey's Shanghai Masterclass 2019, at which she presented on regulation of Guernsey captives.
Kate was talking to clients in Shanghai alongside Charles Scott, managing director of insurance manager ARM, and says that a combination of factors including international co-operation agreements are facilitating the growth of the Guernsey captive insurance product with Chinese clients.
"What sets us apart is that we are the no.1 captive domicile in Europe and for Chinese businesses looking to expand into Europe, we are the best location to set up their captive," said Kate.
"Proximity to London is a selling point, as is Guernsey's international reputation as a highly regarded legal and regulatory environment, and the high quality of professional services available within the jurisdiction.
"Another distinguishing factor is the existing co-operation agreements between Guernsey and China - since March 2017 there have been agreements in place between the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, and between Guernsey Finance and key business hub, the Beijing Airport Economic Core Zone."
Statistics released recently by We Are Guernsey showed that Guernsey remains Europe's leading centre for captive insurance, responsible for more than a third of the European captives market.
The Island has also been nominated for Domicile of the Year in the 2019 UK & European Captive Review Awards, at which Kate is also the only lawyer in the shortlist for Captive Service Professional of the Year.
"The key questions from the people I was meeting and speaking to in Shanghai were about Brexit and the benefits of the Guernsey model," said Kate.
"The message that we're not directly affected by Brexit because we are not part of the UK was positively received – as was the message about the cost effectiveness, speed of set up and proportionate risk-based regulation of the Guernsey captive.
"The fact that entrepreneurs can set up captives to be owned by a trust arrangement for the benefit of their family members – that was of interest to the audience, who were a mix of business owners and private wealth professionals.
"Their evident interest and familiarity with Guernsey's offering is in no small part due to the commitment of ARM who have been going out to China for several years building visibility and relationships, as well as the massive efforts and professionalism of Wendy Weng, who heads We Are Guernsey's representative office in China."
Walkers, which has a thriving Hong Kong office, is proud to have been awarded Offshore Law Firm of the Year at the China Law & Practice Awards 2019 held in Beijing last month.
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