Captive Forum: Cayman’s largest conference returns

The Cayman Captive Forum, which boasts more than 1,200 confirmed delegates and is the largest conference in the Cayman Islands, is being held this week through Thursday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

During three days, the event features educational sessions covering prevalent and emerging issues in the insurance and financial industry and their effect on captive insurers. Sessions also highlight changes to the local regulatory environment as well as to auditing and accounting issues relating to insurance companies.

The Cayman captives industry manages privately held insurance assets, which allow companies to self-insure at lower rates than those available in the retail market.

Seamus Tivnan, chairman of IMAC’s Cayman Captive Forum committee, said the forum is about what is new in the industry and what has been changing during the past 12 months.

The agenda of the conference reflects the make-up of captives in Cayman. About 35 per cent of the captives in Cayman are healthcare captives, followed by workers’ compensation schemes 
(22 per cent).

Last year, nearly one third of the delegates were current or prospective captive owners and 27 per cent were first-time visitors to the Cayman Captive Forum. The remainder is made up of service providers to the captive industry.

While a number of captive owners take the opportunity to have their annual meetings during the time of the conference, most people take advantage of the educational side of the conference, 
Mr. Tivnan said.

“It is an opportunity to meet your peers in the industry, the service providers that you have to meet, auditors, reinsurance brokers, investment managers, in a very nice location over a two day period,” he said.

The event, which is largely organised by volunteers from the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman, tends to provide a boost to the local economy with many of the delegates coming from overseas and the majority of hotels and condominiums fully booked.

IMAC estimated in 2011 that Cayman’s captive industry as a whole employs 300 staff and contributes in excess of US$83 million to Cayman’s annual GDP.

Due to the success of the conference and the annual meetings held by each captive in Cayman, the captive insurance industry attracts about 6,000 client visitors per year to Cayman, resulting in an estimated 18,300 room nights, according to the economic impact analysis by IMAC.

Last year, the Captive Forum was noted as the largest captive conference in the world, slightly ahead of a comparable event in Vermont. However, Mr. Tivnan said, size is not the objective.

“We don’t really necessarily want it to be the largest [conference], we want it to be the best,” he said.

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