15 Mar 2024

The Airmic Captives Forum 2024: Key takeaways with William Lewis 

Having recently attended the Guernsey Finance and GIIA Captive Roadshow and Airmic’s well-attended Captives Forum, it is interesting to note how much has changed in the captives and PCC space since I became Guernsey Finance’s UK Insurance Representative some 16 months ago.  In that time, Guernsey again became Europe's predominant captive domicile. 

Several European countries are seeking to develop their own captive regimes, including France, Italy and the UK, with the formation of a number of domestic captives in 2023 and 2024. Even though they are in their infancy in terms of development compared with Guernsey, the fact we are seeing captives becoming more mainstream globally, a message supported at the Airmic event, must be a benefit to the captives industry as a whole and particularly Guernsey, which is at the forefront of captive and PCC development and innovation. 

We are also seeing companies developing more sophisticated strategies for their captives, and, as captives become more mainstream, greater interest from small and medium companies. This interest has been partly driven by hardening or hard markets in a number of sectors of the last three or so years, with many companies facing dramatically increasing insurance costs and often finding themselves unable to secure the limits or the coverages they require.  This has led to many companies looking to be proactive, rather than reactive, on the captives front, particularly after the way we have seen the insurance and reinsurance markets react in the last 24 months.   

While there has been a clear message that companies are forming captives specifically to solve insurance difficulties and making full use of the versatilities of captives and PCCs, there is still a need to demystify them and to educate brokers and companies of their benefits. 

Guernsey remains in a prominent position with its experienced managers, the regulator’s pragmatic and user-friendly approach and the breadth and depth of on-island support from lawyers, accountants and the like.  

The Vesttoo investigation has also highlighted the differences between the PCC and SEC legislation in Guernsey and Bermuda respectively. This in turn has generated further interest in what Guernsey has to offer. There is also no doubt that the Guernsey pre-authorisation process for PCCs is very much welcomed by clients and advisors alike. This ‘fast-track’ process allows PCCs to be set up within 72 hours, giving managers a route to act quickly and assist clients with urgent issues. 

Guernsey continues to offer innovative solutions to companies wishing to set up captives or PCCs.