The tremendous interest in the captive insurance industry in Cayman and the growth in its popularity can been seen from the fact that there are at least 200 more delegates this year than last year at the Cayman Captive Forum.
This was pointed out by Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts at the opening of the forum at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman Wednesday morning.
This year there are over 750 delegates, he said, while last year there were 540, a previous record.
He thanked the Insurance Managers Association of the Cayman Islands for putting their heart and soul into making this their biggest and best conference ever.
The conference would keep delegates busy, he said, with nearly 60 speakers making 20 presentations and an extensive opportunity for networking offered.
Cayman’s growth in the captive insurance industry started in the 1970s.
Whether it be from direct or indirect contribution, the industry is responsible for contributing in the region of $60 million to the Cayman economy annually and for some 300 employment opportunities.
Captive insurance has become popular and a means for organisations to navigate many unforeseen business challenges, he said.
‘Captive insurance is now playing a pivotal role in many organisations’ risk management programmes and Cayman’s captive industry is increasingly finding itself at the centre of this critical business.’
Effective and efficient regulations, collaboration and openness along with its professionals make Cayman a popular choice in the industry, he said.
As of 30 September of this year 737 captive insurance companies were under licence by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority. The assets are $26.7 billion dollars with annual premiums of $6.7 billion.
The successful growth of the industry, he said, owes much to the partnership between the government, the financial services industry and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.
Cayman holds the number one position worldwide for healthcare captives. The majority of those, 38 per cent, are in this sector, he said.
The Cayman Islands also has a significant number of captive insurance companies in the workers compensation and property insurance fields.
The vast majority of Cayman’s captive insurance business originates from the United States, with Latin American, the Caribbean and Europe representing most of the remainder.
Mr. Tibbetts paid tribute to two prominent members of Cayman’s captive industry who are retiring this year: Mary Lou Gallegos, Head of Insurance Supervision with CIMA; and Mr. Ian Kilpatrick who has over 32 years experience in international insurance and the financial operations business.
Mr. Tibbetts noted that Mr. Kilpatrick had donated $175,000 towards the IMAC Education Scholarship Fund ($100,000 of which was in honour of Ms Gallegos’ retirement).
Both Ms Gallegos and Mr. Kilpatrick each received an official letter from Mr. Tibbetts thanking them. Having received this, Mr. Kilpatrick announced that he was upping his donation to $250,000, to which he received rapturous applause.
Commenting on how the captive insurance business contributes to tourism, through members of the industry being required to visit here regularly for meetings, and brining family members, Mr. Tibbetts outlined some of the newest tourist developments on the island including Boatswain’s Beach, the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, the Owen Roberts Airport expansion and the forthcoming Mandarin Oriental Resort.