2016 US Captive Services Awards: Winners and judges comments

The 2016 US Captive Services Awards were hosted at the Hilton Burlington in Vermont on the evening of Monday, 8 August.

Thirty-two awards were handed out plus nine Highly Commendeds to recognise those categories that were a particularly close call between two entries. More than 100 guests, including a number of the judges and captive owners, attended the awards dinner which was hosted by comedian Paul D’Angelo.

Arthur Koritzinsky, of Marsh Captive Solutions, picked up the highly coveted Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award to wrap up the night while there were also individual awards for the University of California’s Courtney Claflin, who was recognised as Captive Professional of the Year, and Delaware’s Steve Kinion, who won the newly introducted Industry Advocate of the Year award.

Winners, Highly Commendeds and Judges Comments

Category: Captive Management – Group Captives

Winner: USA Risk Group

Judges Comments:  USA Risk provided a strong and demonstrative example of their innovative and efficient approach to a new formation.  The judges were impressed by the management firm’s ability to quickly provide an effective solution to a client that had been left in the lurch by their reinsurance partners in London. The submission demonstrated USA Risk’s experience in educating all parties involved in the formation and the benefits of a constructive relationship with local regulators.

 

Category: Fronting Partner – Customer Care

Winner: CHUBB

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by CHUBB’s commitment to customer care and in particular its web-based client portal Worldview, which gives clients transparent access to their global programme.  The insurance company also demonstrated its strong understanding of the captive market and the unique needs of owners putting the captive at the centre of their global programme.

 

Category: Actuarial Firm

Winner: Spring Consulting Group

Judges Comments: Spring provided strong and specific examples of their work with captive clients during the judging period, which demonstrated their actuarial excellence. The examples showed the diversity of their client base including actuarial solutions for retiree medical funding, life insurance and mortgage life insurance. It was clear to the judges that Spring remains a committed partner of the captive insurance industry.

Highly Commended: Aon Risk Solutions

Judges Comments: Aon demonstrated a strong understanding of captives and their dedicated approach to actuarial services through utilization of its Actuarial and Analytics (A&A) practice.  The practice explained its use of technology to deliver risk financing and line-specific products, which are well used by their captive clients. A strong example of its statistical modelling was also outlined concerning a Hawaii-domiciled captive.

 

Category: Investment Management – Customer Care

Winner: Runnymede Capital Management

Judges Comments: The judges felt Runnymede communicated an in-depth understanding of the unique needs of captive owners and provided strong examples of its customer care focus over the past 12 months. The majority of the firm’s institutional clients are captives, introducing tailored software to serve this segment of the market.  Its customer care approach was best demonstrated by examples of its work for two very different clients on investment portfolio and loan-back decisions.

Highly Commended: London & Capital

Judges Comments: London & Capital demonstrated its bespoke approach to captive owners and the care and attention it gives to each individual client. The practice is committed to providing face-to-face service. This commitment to the American market is most clearly demonstrated by the opening of an office in Barbados to support its growing portfolio of Caribbean-domiciled captive clients.

 

Category: CPA Firm

Winner: EY

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by EY’s significant uptick in its captive focus during the past 12 months and the investment it has made in its captive services team. The firm has strong global capabilities to serve some of the largest captive clients in the United States and was able to communicate the range and quality of services it can provide. EY also provided an example of its work with a large client in restructuring its global reinsurance arrangements to save $9m a year.

 

Category: Innovative Use of an ART Structure

Winner: Beecher Carlson

Judges Comments:  The judges were impressed by Beecher Carlson’s innovative and forward thinking approach to alternative risk transfer structures, including the strategic design of collateral arrangements to reduce costs associated with fronting arrangements.  Beecher demonstrated a quality and diverse outlook on risk transfer and is clearly continuing to develop new structures to serve an ever-evolving market.

 

Category: Employee Benefits Consultant

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges Comments: Willis Towers Watson clearly demonstrated how the merged teams and expertise of  Willis and Towers Watson has created an even stronger specialism in captives and employee benefits. The judges were particularly impressed by the specific knowledge and specialist areas outlined in the submission and their knowledge of US medical and healthcare challenges facing corporations.

Highly Commended: Roundstone Insurance

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the unique solutions, including the formation of two new agency captives, designed to serve US companies looking to reduce the impact of medical cost inflation. Roundtsone’s commitment to the US middle market is clear and it is dedicated to exploring new alternative risk transfer techniques to reduce costs associated with employee benefits.

 

Category: Captive Professional of the Year

Winner: Courtney W. Claflin, Executive Director – Captive Programs, University of California

Judges Comments: Since taking on his role at the University of California in April 2015, Courtney Claflin has grown its DC captive portfolio significantly and helped restructure the institution’s insurance arrangements. This has assured large savings for the university. Claflin has also clearly demonstrated his unique passion for the captive approach and is a familiar face on the conference circuit, keen to share his experience as well as soaking up the expertise of others to apply to his day job.

 

Category: Offshore Captive Domicile

Winner: Bermuda

Judges Comments: The diverse nature and strong infrastructure of Bermuda impressed the judges. In particular, the jurisdiction’s ability to obtain Solvency II equivalence for its commercial sector while carving captives out a bifurcated approach means it will benefit from the increased expertise and substance that new commercial (re)insurers will bring.  The judges were also impressed by the range of captive formation options open to prospective captive owners.

Highly Commended: Barbados

Judges Comments: Barbados has risen well to the challenge facing many offshore captive domiciles, increasing its licence numbers and premium volume. The judges were impressed by its ongoing commitment to the captive industry, most clearly shown with the introduction of incorporated cell company (ICC) legislation to the jurisdiction in February 2016.

 

Category: Captive Healthcare Specialist

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges Comments: The judges were particularly impressed by the high calibre of case studies Willis Towers Watson submitted in support of its entry. In doing so, WTW clearly demonstrated a deep understanding of the complex challenges facing healthcare clients and the range of options it can facilitate to provide effective solutions. The firm’s captive practice has a strong commitment to the healthcare sector.

Highly Commended: Maxis Global Benefits Network

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the data driven approach outlined by Maxis GBN and in particular the recent introduction of its Paid Claim Dashboard Reports for captive clients. Maxis demonstrated a keen interest in supporting the use of captives and improving their efficiency.

 

Category: Subrogation Specialist

Winner: North American Subrogation

Judges Comments: The judges recognised the clear commitment shown by NAS to the captive market and the enthusiasm in which it seeks to spread the subrogation opportunities on offer for captive owners. They were particularly impressed by NAS’ appreciation of the need to treat captives differently and its ability to provide ‘cradle to grave’ solutions for new and mature captives.

 

Category: Onshore Law Firm

Winner: McDermott Will & Emery

Judges Comments: McDermott Will & Emery’s deep captive knowledge shone through for the judges who were aided by specific examples of recent cases and examples outlined in the submission. Their specialist experience across a range of captive types, structured both onshore and offshore, and for varying sectors was in strong evidence. The judges were also impressed by the depth of talent at the law firm as well as its commitment to being a vocal and educational authority for the US captive insurance industry.

 

Category: Insurance Company

Winner: QBE North America

Judges Comments: QBE clearly communicated its versatility in serving the captive insurance industry, particularly in its specialist area of medical stop-loss. The judges were particularly impressed by its dedicated captive underwriting team and customer care commitments focusing on risk management, claims adjudication and reimbursement explanations.

 

Category: Captive Management – Enterprise Risk Captives

Winner: Oxford Risk Management Group

Judges Comments:  The judges were impressed by Oxford’s commitment to serving the middle market and, in particular, its strong focus on document reporting to ensure transparency and smooth transitions when a change in service provider is undertaken. The firm has consistently grown in client numbers, premium volume and staff head count. It also played an active part in advocating on behalf of the enterprise risk captive industry as Congress considered, and passed, changes to the 831(b) tax election in December 2015.

 

Category: Reinsurance Company

Winner: United Insurance Company

Judges Comments: The judges recognised the unique position of United as a reinsurance company solely dedicated to the captive insurance industry. Originally owned by a range of captive insurers, the carrier has constantly evolved and expanded its offering to reach its impressive capabilities today that includes a range of subsidiaries such as an SPC in Cayman, the Nexus Re risk pool and both European and US operations.

 

Category: Collateral Service Provider – Trust

Winner: Wilmington Trust

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Wilmington Trust’s commitment to innovative collateral solutions and the captive insurance industry more broadly. The institution’s insurance practice is demonstrably passionate about alternative risk solutions and the way its trust product can enhance and improve the financial performance for the captive owner’s benefit. Wilmington also clearly showed its desire to interact with the captive sector through conference speaking and educational sessions.

 

Category: Tax Advisory Firm

Winner: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan

Judges Comments: Sutherland clearly demonstrated, through a number of high caliber case studies, its ability to provide expert tax guidance to captive owners and risk transfer vehicles of all different types in a variety of different situations. The judges were impressed by Sutherland’s ability to serve US clients owning captives around the world and their deep understanding and passion for the industry.

 

Category: Run-off Specialist

Winner: Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by R&Q’s increased activity in the American captive market, including transactions involving risk vehicles in Vermont, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. R&Q is well placed to provide specialist legacy management and acquisition solutions and is quickly building a strong track record in this growing sector.

Highly Commended: RunOff Re.Solve LLC

Judges Comments: RunOff Re.Solve demonstrated its vast experience in run-off solutions with examples of its work with both onshore and offshore captives. The judges were also impressed by its commitment to spreading the word on onshore run-off solutions in the United States, especially regarding the application of the Rhode Island Commutation Plan Statute.

 

Category: Fronting Partner – Innovation

Winner: Zurich North America

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Zurich’s innovative approach to providing support to corporations wanting to arrange insurance to cover growing cyber exposures in their company. The carrier’s ability to integrate its own cyber product into a captive arrangement allows it to tailor solutions to clients’ requirements through excess, aggregate and quote share reinsurance options. Zurich clearly outlined its process and the options open to insureds.

 

Category: Industry Advocate of the Year

Winner: Steve Kinion, Director of the Bureau of Captive & Financial Insurance Products, Delaware Department of Insurance

Judges Comments: Steve Kinion is a passionate and outspoken advocate of the captive insurance industry, often bringing important issues relating to the sector to the attention of its broad, diverse and growing base. For particular praise, the judges picked out his November 2015 campaign against the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Option 3 proposal to amend the Credit for Reinsurance Model Act, in which he rallied industry both in Delaware and more broadly across the States to highlight the threat it presented to captives and the fronting business model. The captive insurance industry, particularly in the United States, is under constant scrutiny and is often misunderstood by various lawmakers and regulatory bodies. Steve Kinion is a key player in making sure the captive case is heard.

 

Category: Risk Consulting Initiative

Winner: Beecher Carlson

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Beecher Carlson’s strong body of work, but in particular its risk consulting approach and attention to detail regarding captive sales and novations. The firm demonstrated a strong track record and appreciation of the value in delivering the most capital efficient risk transfer solutions to its clients.

 

Category: Offshore Law Firm

Winner: Appleby

Judges Comments: Appleby is clearly committed to the offshore captive sector and demonstrates an ability to provide experienced legal advice to US-based owners of offshore risk financing structures.  The judges felt Appleby was at the forefront of facilitating innovative new structures in numerous domiciles.

 

Category: Technology Firm

Winner: Insubiz

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the strong case study Insubiz outlined regarding the implementation of its software to serve a large risk retention group (RRG).  The submission clearly outlined the evolution of the product to suit the customer’s needs from proposal to delivery and demonstrated a truly tailored and effective product.

 

Category: Investment Management – Innovation

Winner: London & Capital

Judges Comments: London & Capital clearly outlined their innovative investment solution for the US auto-dealer market, by utilising cell portfolios. The judges were impressed by the fast growth and track record of this solution over the 12 month judging period and viewed it as a genuinely innovative and game-changing solution to a specific challenge.

 

Category: Employee Benefits Fronting Network

Winner: MAXIS Global Benefits Network

Judges Comments: MAXIS GBN demonstrated a clear, and long-standing passion, for captive-backed global employee benefits programmes.  The network provided a strong example of its successful work with a large corporate client with particular emphasis on the quality of data gathering to help identify country-specific trends and cost drivers. The judges were particularly impressed by MAXIS’ commitment to providing wellness programmes that compliment the ultimate risk and insurance objectives.

 

Category: Cell Company Initiative

Winner: Aon Captive & Insurance Management

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Aon’s provision of cell company access to US clients with risk located in the European Union.  It’s EU-domiciled White Rock PCCs can be used by insureds for both fronting and passporing purposes and can then be reinsured by the client’s wholly-owned captive subsidiary. Aon outlined a clear business case for this approach, which has become increasingly relevant now Solvency II is in place.

Highly Commended: AIG

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the collaboration of AIG’s cell companies in Vermont and Bermuda with its Benefit Solutions business to facilitate the growing demand for reinsuring medical stop-loss coverage. The carrier clearly demonstrated its unique ability to bring together a range of expertise to deliver effective solutions in a key growth market with tough risk management challenges.

 

Category: Captive Manager of the Year – Independent

Winner: Arsenal Insurance Management

Judges Comments: Arsenal impressed the judges with its pro-active and innovative approach, not just to day-to-day captive management but its interaction and involvement with the broader captive industry. The growing firm demonstrated its ability to think outside the box with its ‘reclamation bonds’ and ‘pre-need funeral coverage’ products. Arsenal showed an openness to work with multiple regulatory bodies to introduce these lines and has been heavily involved in new captive legislation in a number of US states, most notably Alabama.

Highly Commended: Atlas Insurance Management

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Atlas’ wide geographic reach and the plethora of domicile and structural options it is able to offer its clients. It has fully embraced the captive cell concept in North Carolina and contributed to that domicile’s strong growth, both by formation numbers and by activity engaging in the local captive association.

 

Category: Collateral Service Provider – Letter of Credit

Winner: Butterfield Bank

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the range of Letter of Credit (Loc) options made available to captive clients and its clear commitment to customer care. The latter is delivered through dedicated individual points of contact and strong experience in serving the captive sector in the largest offshore domiciles.

 

Category: Captive Management – Customer Care

Winner: Beecher Carlson

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Beecher Carlson’s holistic approach to captive management and its drive to continually evaluate and improve their customers’ captive arrangements. Their commitment to SOC 1 audits ensures continued transparency and is delivering significant savings to clients. An innovative and attentive approach to existing accounts appears to pay dividends for Beecher clients.

 

Category: US Captive Domicile

Winner: State of Vermont

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by Vermont’s inability to stand still and its continued desire to lead the captive industry. Despite being one of the most mature domiciles in the world, its net captive formation numbers remain positive while premium and asset under managerment figures are the largest in the world.  Judges picked out investment in its captive and RRG examination team for particular praise as well as the solid commitment demonstrated by state government in the annual update of captive legislation.

Highly Commended: Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the growth in Tennessee’s captive section as well as the improvement in the surrounding insurance infrastructure. The captive concept has quickly been embraced by the business community in the State and the domicile appears committed to providing solutions to the full spectrum of the market. Judges noted the growth in a range of different captive types, from those owned by large multinationals to cell companies and the middle market.

 

Category: Captive Manager of the Year

Winner: Artex

Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the diverse and growing nature of the Artex practice, demonstrating a clear commitment to be one of the leading players in the industry. Already a leader in the enterprise risk and group captive space, it showed strong growth and success in its rent-a-captive solutions during the judging period and significantly improved its large captive capabilities with the acquisition of Kane in early 2016.

 

Category: Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Winner: Arthur Koritzinsky, Captive Advisory Leader – Americas, Marsh Captive Solutions

Judges Comments: At Marsh for more than 35 years, Arthur Koritzinsky has become one of the most respected and valued contributors to the global captive insurance industry and particularly in the United States. With a strong track record in delivering complex captive solutions to the largest companies in the world, in recent years Koritzinsky has embraced the evolving nature of the American market and helped to ensure Marsh remains at the forefront of the industry. He has proved himself, time and again, to be an innovative and forward-thinking contributor to the captive marketplace.

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