Current market volatility caused by the restriction in global credit only serves to underscore the need for proper protection of assets, according to David Vick, Chief Executive of the Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority.

Regardless of the point in the underwriting cycle, he stresses, all causes of loss need to be managed at the lowest possible cost to the companies involved. But what is clear is that the Island's business imperative of maintaining quality above all is brought into starker focus during such a climate of uncertainty. Therefore the Isle of Man will be emphasising the calibre of its professional services, operational cost-effectiveness and 'userfriendly' regulation - and general focus on quality, when it welcomes delegates to the Isle of Man Captives Conference 2008 being held at Canary Wharf, London, on October 9.

Barclays host venue The event is being hosted by the Manx Insurance Managers Association in association with Isle of Man Finance, the Government Department tasked with promoting Isle of Man business in the global arena. Barclays Wealth is supporting the event, which is being held at the group's prestigious Churchill Place headquarters.

Mr Vick says the Island's burgeoning captives sector forms part of the Isle of Man's core economic strategy of attracting high-value, blue chip operations that enhance the Island's overall reputation for business quality.

He stresses the necessity to continuously upgrade the Isle of Man's legislative framework to accommodate fast-moving global business. To this end, the Island's Protected Cell Company legislation is being extended to provide for Incorporated Cell Companies. The move is designed to give large groups and multi-nationals even greater flexibility and legal certainty over the separation of assets and interests being held within individual cells.

ICCs 'next generation'

'You could say it represents the next generation of this type of insurance entity and is the logical progression in the protected cell company framework,' said Mr Vick. 'At the same time, it serves as a further demonstration of the Isle of Man's ability constantly to modernise our regulatory infrastructure to meet the changing needs of the global marketplace.

'The introduction of ICCs may also be of interest to existing captives and will offer a slight variation of the corporate model by increasing the range of options available - which should also appeal to the owners of small to medium sized businesses. It also shows that the Isle of Man as a captives domicile can offer as much, if not more choice and flexibility, than our competitor jurisdictions. The IPA is very conscious of its need to be actively supportive in the development of new initiatives in this highly competitive sector of the insurance market.'

Strategic role

Mr Vick added that it was crucial that the Manx industry remained proactive and took its products and services to the international marketplace: 'In the current world economic climate there is a need for managing the risk even more closely - and that is where the involvement of captives can play a vital role in a company's overall risk management strategy.'

The London conference has been designed to be of interest to the whole panoply of financial interest, including captive owners and managers, insurance brokers, risk managers, finance directors, lawyers, accountants, bankers and other service providers involved with the captive insurance industry.

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