The first European Captive Services Awards were held in Luxembourg on Monday, 7 November celebrating expertise in the continent’s industry across 20 categories.
More than 150 captive and risk management professionals attended a black tie dinner at the Sofitel Luxembourg Europe on the eve of the European Captive Forum.
Awards were received across a range of disciplines relevant to the continent’s captive insurance industry, from Captive Manager and Risk Consulting Initiative to Fronting Partner and Collateral Service Provider.
The evening finished with John Morrey, of Builders Re, the deserved recipient of the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award, presented by long-time friend and fellow Luxembourg resident Fred Gabriel.
Aon was another big winner on the night taking home three awards – Captive Manager, Solvency II Initiative and BEPS Initiative – as well as a Highly Commended in the Risk Consulting Initiative category.
Willis Towers Watson was the other multiple award winner on the night, receiving recognition as the lead service provider in the Actuarial Firm and Employee Benefits Consultant categories.
The results, including the judges’ comments, are listed below. A full roundup, including pictures from the night, will be featured in the January edition of Captive Review.
Category: Actuarial Firm
Winner: Willis Towers Watson
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed with the dedication to, and expertise in, actuarial work tailored towards captives’ specific needs. The Willis Towers Watson submission outlined its focus on, among others, risk modelling, loss reserving, regulatory and early warning systems. The judges also noted its experience across a range of captive types including cell companies and some of the largest captives in the world.
High Commended: Alesco Risk Management Services
Judges Comments: Alesco demonstrated a clear commitment to captive insurance companies and, in particular, its focus on utilising data to its maximum potential. The submissions showed a deep understanding of Solvency II and how thorough modelling can mitigate its impact and reassure regulators over capital adequacy.
Category: Reinsurance Company
Winner: Generali Employee Benefits
Judges Comments: GEB presented a simplified and streamlined process to facilitating the funding of employee benefits through a captive, demonstrating its extensive experience in international insurance programmes and reinsurance. The submission communicated its flexibility in designing and implementing reinsurance programmes, working to the unique needs of captives and their parents.
Category: Cell Captive Initiative
Winner: Atlas Insurance PCC
Judges Comments: The Maltese cell company specialists clearly showed a commitment to the protected cell company (PCC) structure and its innovative use for a range of clients. The judges were impressed by the Atlas understanding and flexibility of PCCs, which is becoming particularly apt and more in-demand in a Solvency II world.
Category: Non – EU Domicile
Winner: State of Vermont
Judges Comments: The State of Vermont clearly demonstrated a high standard of regulatory regime that was utilised by a significant number of European multinationals to write American and international risk. The judges were impressed by Vermont’s versatility and knowledge of the broader captive insurance landscape, as well as its commitment to the global industry. The ability of captives to adopt different international accounting standards also stood out as appealing for international captive owners.
Highly Commended: Guernsey
Judges Comments: While most of the region struggles to report captive growth, Guernsey has proved particularly nimble in benefiting from a boom in insurance-linked securities (ILS) business and taking a leading position in the emerging pension longevity swaps market through the use of incorporated cell companies (ICC). The judges were also impressed by its commitment to traditional captive business, in which it remains one of the global leaders.
Category: BEPS Initiative
Winner: Aon Global Risk Consulting
Judges Comments: Aon showed a deep understanding of the multi-faceted challenges presented by BEPS. The judges were impressed with Aon’s public lobbying and education on the topic of BEPS, as well as the work it is doing on an individual client-by-client basis. It’s pro-active approach has enabled Aon to work quickly with a broad range of captive owners around the world to ensure their captive structures are well prepared for scrutiny now, and in the future.
Category: Run-off & Captive Acquisition Partner
Judges Comments: R&Q were able to demonstrate a strong track record and impressive client list when working with captives on run-off solutions. The judges were impressed with the expertise and range of solutions on offer to captives in run-off, with R&Q showcasing experience in acquisitions, novations and loss portfolio transfers. The firm’s efficient use of its Maltese consolidator vehicle was also noted by the judges.
Category: Employee Benefits Fronting Network
Winner: Allianz Global Benefits
Judges Comments: Allianz GB demonstrated a strong commitment to service and product quality in its submission. Its extensive global network shone through to the judges, who also noted its client-centric approach to fronting. The benefits specialists showed close and effective collaboration with its in-house reinsurer, Allianz Re, while the judges were impressed with its captive programme growth during the judging period.
Category: Collateral Service Provider
Winner: Zurich Insurance
Judges Comments: Zurich demonstrated a unique perspective and understanding of captive collateral requirements and credit, extending its insurance expertise outside of its traditional knowledge base. The judges were impressed with Zurich’s recent investment in collateral provision, resulting in an innovative alternative to the traditional collateral options of letters of credit and parental guarantee agreements.
Category: Tax Advisor
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed with the investment committed to the EY captive services tax group over the past 12 months, transforming it into a truly global and independent team with diverse capabilities. It outlined a number of complex formation and re-structuring activities with captives around the continent, demonstrating its broad reach and deep understanding of Europe’s captive insurance market. The firm’s detailed work and focus on BEPS was also noted by the judges.
Highly Commended: FiscalReps
Judges Comments: FiscalReps continues to achieve impressive results and good outcomes for its growing number of captive insurance clients around Europe and in a range of domiciles. The judges were impressed by their commitment to the industry and deep knowledge of the distinct challenges captives face when writing business across multiple territories. FiscalReps’ full offering from implementation to regular review of premium tax compliance was also noted.
Category: Technology Initiative
Winner: Delonia Software s.l.
Judeges Comments: The judges were impressed with the detailed case studies and client references made in the Delonia submission. A commitment to customised solutions provided on a client-by-client basis was clearly evident, while its collaboration with a large global captive manager was also noted. A deep knowledge of captive requirements and appreciation of the growing reliance on technology was evident.
Highly Commended: AIG
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the investment and innovation put into a new technology tool to aid clients in the management of their insurance programmes. The heatmap element of the Automated Program Design Tool (APD) was picked out for particular praise and the client need for such a solution from its insurance partners was recognised by the judges.
Category: Solvency II Initiative
Winner: Aon Global Risk Consulting
Judges Comments: Aon has demonstrated a strong commitment and deep understanding of Solvency II and what is required of them by clients when complying with the new directive. The broker’s comprehensive suite of solutions was praised by the judges and recognised their impact in protecting the captive business model.
Category: Employee Benefits Consultant
Winner: Willis Towers Watson
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed with the depth and breadth of Willis Towers Watson’s experience in executing and managing captive employee benefits programmes. The firm was able to outline a steady stream of prospects, demonstrating the huge growth potential in the European market, while also signalling its appetite for innovation in employee benefits and pension plan structuring.
Category: Insurance Company
Judges Comments: Chubb demonstrated its strong global capabilities and experience working with large captive clients. The judges were impressed with its range of services relevant to captive fronting and reinsurance services, as well as the seemingly smooth transition since the merger of ACE and Chubb at the start of 2016. Chubb also demonstrated a continued investment in, and improvement of, its global accounts division across the continent and showed a commitment to education and training its own staff.
Category: Investment Manager
Winner: BNP Paribas
Judges Comments: BNP Paribas demonstrated a deep understanding of captive investment considerations and requirements, resulting in unique innovation of product. Focusing on the challenges of Solvency II matched with a desire for liquidity, while seeking good investment returns, the firm outlined its Investment Linked Facility. The judges were impressed by the detail in BNP Paribas’ submission and the specific need the product addressed.
Category: Law Firm
Winner: Hassans International Law Firm
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the commitment of Hassans, and partner Nigel Feetham in particular, for their commitment to the captive insurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) markets in Gibraltar. Feetham was recognised as a leading mind in cell captive and ILS business within the unique Gibraltar market, as well as his thought leadership concerning cell company legal issues around the world.
Category: Risk Consulting Initiative
Winner: Allenby Consulting
Judges Comments: Allenby Consulting outlined a detailed case study of close contact working with a new risk manager, which resulted in the significant re-design of the client’s captive and reinsurance structures, saving millions of pounds. The judges were impressed by the expertise deployed by Allenby in the case study and its wider practice.
Highly Commended: Aon Global Risk Consulting
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the speed with which Aon moved in reacting to challenges and uncertainty posed by the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (EU). The detailed and thought-out Brexit Navigator steers clients through assessment, readiness and re-structuring steps to ensure all bases are covered.
Category: Fronting Partner
Winner: XL Catlin
Judges Comments: XL Catlin clearly outlined an impressive case study in working with a Swiss-based company on a complex insurance programme. The judges were also impressed by the fronting partner’s broad product suite and commitment to innovation. The work and increasing importance of the structured risk solutions team was also noted by the judges.
Highly Commended: Chubb
Judges Comments: Chubb impressed the judges with its strong global capabilities and vast experience in working with captive insurance clients. The carrier demonstrated the diverse and complex programmes it fronts for captives, as well as its strong commitment to the industry and captive concept.
Category: EU Domicile
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed with the Central Bank of Ireland’s (CBI) engagement with the captive owning community and its deep involvement in the Solvency II design and implementation process. The Probability Risk and Impact System (PRISM) was recognised as responding to the proportionality principle and the assessment of most captives as ‘low’ or ‘medium low’. The judges also praised Ireland’s ongoing commitment to the captive insurance industry.
Category: Captive Manager
Winner: Aon Captive & Insurance Management
Judges Comments: Aon demonstrated its comprehensive management capabilities and skilled workforce operating across the continent and beyond. The judges were impressed with the captive management team’s close collaboration with Aon’s experts across the actuarial, risk consulting and claims control areas to help clients manage efficient programmes and reduce the total cost of risk (TCR).
Category: Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
Winner: John Morrey, Managing Director, Builders Insurance Holdings S.A.
Judges Comments: John Morrey is among the most dedicated disciples of the captive insurance concept in the world. His endless enthusiasm and vision for utilising alternative risk transfer techniques has proved an invaluable asset to Builders Re and its ultimate parent, HOCHTIEF AG. His skills and knowledge has evolved the Builders Re operation from a humble reinsurance captive into a second third-party writing reinsurance company and recently a boutique independent captive management operation. John’s passion for captive insurance is clear to everyone who meets him and he is a true asset to the industry.