New reinsurance firm celebrates opening

Aureum Re CEO David Towriss makes remarks during his company’s office launch party. – PHOTO: KEN SILVA

Monday was a red-letter day for Cayman’s newest reinsurance company, Aureum Re, which held its office launch party that night at Camana Bay after opening nearly a year ago.

About 40 financial services industry practitioners, regulators and other government officials showed up to the event to hear about how Aureum Re has grown since opening last December.

According to the company’s CEO, David Towriss, Aureum Re reinsures roughly $2.75 billion of annuity business from U.S. life insurance companies. Mr. Towriss said that number should grow to about $3 billion by Jan. 1, and double that by the end of 2018.

The company’s offices on the third floor of the Mourant Ozannes building at Camana Bay have the capacity for about 40 employees. Mr. Towriss has seven employees now, and said he hopes to fill the entire floor in the years to come.

Aureum Re executive Kristian Leese said the company chose to open in Cayman because the jurisdiction has regulations more conducive for doing business with U.S. customers – as opposed to the popular reinsurance destination Bermuda, whose reinsurance regulations are more similar those of the European Union.

Other features that made Cayman an attractive jurisdiction included its close proximity to the U.S., its quality infrastructure, and its physical beauty, he said.

Ruwan Jayasekera, the head of insurance at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, commended his staff for getting Aureum Re licensed within about three months last year. Mr. Jayasekera said that CIMA is in the process of licensing another reinsurer, which would be Cayman’s fourth.

The territory’s responsive and efficient regulators help “ensures that jurisdictionally, Cayman remains relevant and competitive globally in the captive and reinsurance markets,” said Finance and Economic Development Minister Roy McTaggart.

Mr. Towriss agreed with the minister that Cayman’s regulatory regime has the territory’s insurance industry poised for growth.

“We think this is going to be a big reinsurance hub in the near future,” he said.