Winners announced: European & UK Captive Awards 2017

Nick Heys, CEO of Artex International, won the award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual at the first European & UK Captive Awards, held in London on Tuesday, 10 October.

Combining the UK and European awards for the first time, Captive Review recognised firms across 28 categories.

Aon picked up three awards, plus Cell Company Initiative for the White Rock Group, while Willis Towers Watson took home Captive Manager, plus awards for Actuarial Firm and Employee Benefits Consultant.

New categories were added for Rising Star and Captive Owner Initiative. The latter was hotly contested with British American Tobacco ultimately taking the price. Joseph Finbow, of FiscalReps, won the Rising Star award.

Phil Clark, director of insurance at Vodafone, won Captive Professional of the Year and the night concluded with Heys collecting the award for Outstanding Contribution.

Judges comments for all winners are listed below. A full write-up and pictures from the evening will feature in the December edition of Captive Review.


Category: Accounting Specialist

Winner: EY

Judges’ comments: EY’s understanding and commitment to the captive industry was recognised by the judges, in particular the firm’s vast investment in this specialist sector. The submission demonstrated EY’s ability to work with captive owners and prospects of varying sizes and degrees of complexity.


Category: Cell Company Initiative

Winner: White Rock Group

Judges’ comments: The versatility of Aon’s White Rock Group, providing cell solutions for fronting, retention, market access, warehousing and ILS facilitation impressed the judges. The initiative’s continued growth and presence across six domiciles gives the company an unrivalled reach, allowing it to service a diverse range of clients and client needs.


Category: Collateral Service Provider

Winner: Wilmington Trust

Judges’ comments: The bank’s commitment to, and passion for, reinsurance trusts is evident in Wilmington’s submission and their body of work over the past 12 months. The offering can be customised to clients’ needs and is suitable for collaterising international reinsurance, insurance-linked securities transactions and supporting captive programmes.


Category: Fronting Partner

Winner: AIG

Judges’ comments: AIG’s submission demonstrated clear multinational capabilities and a strong commitment to providing robust and effective fronting solutions. The judges were particularly impressed by the carrier’s client testimonials, which supported its claims of strong customer satisfaction. AIG’s client engagement and commitment shone through in this submission and their work over the previous 12 months.

Highly Commended: XL Catlin


Category: Actuarial Firm

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges’ comments: The judges noted that the multidisciplinary approach of Willis Towers Watson’s strategic risk consulting team made them stand out from the competition. The submission demonstrated the firm’s wide range of services and highlighted a range of successful actuarial projects over the past 12 months.

Highly Commended: BWCI Limited


Category: BEPS Initiative

Winner: FERMA

Judges’ comments: The judges were impressed by the extensive work completed by FERMA to produce a substantial series of captive guidelines for national tax authorities to consider when implementing the OECD recommendations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (Beps). FERMA has provided strong and vocal leadership on Beps and has seemingly established a constructive relationship with the OECD.


Category: Rising Star

Winner: Joseph Finbow, Client Director, FiscalReps

Judges’ comments: Finbow played a key role in setting up FiscalReps’ dedicated captive practice in 2012 and has remained an integral part of its success and growth over the past five years. His knowledge on insurance premium tax matters is extensive, allowing him to deliver first class compliance advice to captives and some of the largest commercial insurers in Europe. The judges also recognised his appetitive to go above and beyond his designated role and helping prompt “real change in our industry”.


Category: Captive Healthcare Specialist

Winner: Maxis GBN

Judges’ comments: Maxis has recognised the increased importance businesses are putting on the health of their employees and is working hard to provide valuable and efficient solutions in this area. The judges were impressed by the network’s understanding of, and commitment to, standardising data across territories and providing it to captive owners to identify cost drivers in their programme.


Category: Law Firm

Winner: HFW

Judges’ comments: The judges noted the breadth of HFW’s (re)insurance practice, ranging from start-ups and closures to dispute resolution and run-off transactions. The submission provided numerous case studies and examples of captive legal work across a diverse book of business by sector, and geography.

Highly Commended: Hassans


Category: Captive Innovation

Winner: Aon

Judges’ comments: Aon’s Cyber Captive Programme impressed the judges as an innovative, and forward looking, solution to a growing challenge for captive owners. Aon has clearly outlined its product offering in an area where there has been a lot of talk, but previously little action. The judges noted the substantial work and resources Aon has committed to providing a cyber solution that encompasses a captive role.


Category: Run-off and Captive Acquisition Partner

Winner: R&Q

Judges’ comments: R&Q is able to highlight an impressive book of completed transactions across a variety of run-off options – from full acquisition and novations, to loss portfolio transfers and commutations. The judges were impressed by R&Q focus on, and commitment to, the captive sector, as well as their flexibility and strong track record.


Category: Investment Manager

Winner: BNP Paribas

Judges’ comments: BNP Paribas demonstrated a clear understanding of the challenges facing European captives today, concerning investment strategies and the low yield environment. The judges were impressed by the bank’s product, Liberty, addressing this challenge and introducing a new way to manage portfolios.

Highly Commended: AXA Investment Managers


Category: Tax Advisory Firm

Winner: EY

Judges’ comments: The judges noted EY’s global captive platform and the commitment the firm has demonstrated to the captive sector over the past 12 months. Its connected global network is proving valuable to multinational captive-owning clients as the OECD Beps project begins to be implemented and greater attention is made to compliance.

Highly Commended: FiscalReps


Category: Employee Benefits Consultant

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges’ comments: The wide and diverse body of completed and ongoing work by Willis Towers Watson’s employee benefits specialists impressed the judges and demonstrated the strong desire for solutions in this area across Europe. The judges also noted the firm’s expert and leading professionals as well as the growing nature of its team.

Highly Commended: Mercer Marsh Benefits


Category: (Re)Insurance Company

Winner: XL Catlin

Judges’ comments: XL Catlin’s continued investment in the captive sector has delivered impressive results and judges recognised the carrier as a strong player and valued partner to captive owners. The launch of XL Catlin’s Captive Centre of Excellence also caught the judges’ eyes, who were also impressed by the range (re)insurance services the carrier is able to provide captive owners around the world.

Highly Commended: AXA Corporate Solutions


Category: Risk Consulting Initiative

Winner: Aon Global Risk Consulting

Judges’ comments: The development of Liability Risk Assessment & Quantification stood out to the judges in this category. Aon were able to clearly outline an initiative to make use of increased access to data and assess exposure to major risk liabilities. The judges felt Aon’s risk consulting approach was meeting a need for large clients.


Category: Captive Professional of the Year

Winner: Phil Clark, Director of Insurance, Vodafone

Judges’ comments: Phil Clark is a longstanding leader in risk management, as well as an active advocate of captive utilisation. Clark leads a pro-active internal risk and insurance management team that has steadily grown Vodafone’s captive into one of the most sophisticated in Europe over the past 10 years. The judges also recognised Clark’s wider contribution to the captive industry through focus groups, presentations and thought leadership.


Category: Most Innovative Use of an ART Structure

Winner: Allenby Consulting Ltd

Judges’ comments: The judges noted that Allenby demonstrated a clear understanding of the link between ART structures and their clients’ corporate risk profiles and appetites. Their submission showed a clear commitment to structured reinsurance programmes and how it can be best used to support the corporate captive, citing a specific case study from 2017.


Category: Technology Initiative

Winner: FiscalReps

Judges’ comments: FiscalReps’ TAXBOX2 product was recognised by the judges as providing an effective solution to captive insurers supporting compliance and programme management. The firm’s initiative demonstrates a deep understanding of the unique challenges facing captives in this area and the judges were further impressed by the investment made in cutting edge technology.


Category: Employee Benefits Fronting Network

Winner: Allianz Global Benefits

Judges’ comments: The judges recognised the results of Allianz Global Benefits working collaboratively with other parts of the organisation to bring a total solution to clients. The judges were also particularly impressed by the carrier’s global underwriting platform and its appetite to offer captive reinsurance across the whole portfolio, rather than just its own pool.


Category: Global Programme Initiative

Winner: Zurich Insurance Company

Judges’ comments: The judges noted Zurich’s global capabilities and commitment to captive-backed multinational programmes. The carrier is keen to work with captive clients on mono or multi-line programmes, while also offering the ability to blend life and employee benefits programmes with property and casualty risk, producing valuable diversification benefits.


Category: Solvency II Initiative

Winner: Aon

Judges’ comments: The judges commended Aon on the sophistication of its Solvency II tools and deep understanding of the directive and its implications for captives. Its suite of solutions encompass all three pillars of Solvency II and the captive manager has made a conscious effort to continue engaging with captive owners and industry concerning updates and new approaches.


Category: Most Innovative Firm of the Year

Winner: Swiss Federal Railways

Judges’ comments: Swiss Federal Railways demonstrated a unique approach to property deposit insurance, using its Switzerland-domiciled captive. The judges were impressed by their innovative solution to a market need, which also diversifies the captive’s portfolio.


Category: EU Domicile

Winner: Malta

Judges’ comments: The judges recognised Malta’s commitment to the captive sector and the motivation of its local infrastructure to innovate and provide solutions to Europe’s risk management community. With Gibraltar set to the leave the European Union, Malta will be the only jurisdiction offering a cell company solution within the EU, while the judges were also impressed by the regulator’s approach to Solvency II and its willingness to embrace the principle of proportionality for captives.


Category: Non-EU Domicile

Winner: Guernsey

Judges’ comments: The judges recognised Guernsey as Europe’s top domicile, and were impressed by its commitment to innovation in alternative risk financing. This is most clearly demonstrated by the formation of Dom Re IC, an incorporated cell issuing digitised notes on a private blockchain. The domicile remains an attractive option for new captive formations from the UK and Europe and its substantial infrastructure is well respected.


Category: Captive Owner Initiative

Winner: British American Tobacco

Judges’ comments: Over the past 18 months British American Tobacco, led by Angela Ianetta, has transformed its corporate risk management approach and put the captive at the centre of its insurance strategy. The submission demonstrated the key steps taken through a six month project and the results of its overhaul. Not only has Angela Ianetta delivered a highly successful and sophisticated captive strategy, she has created a sea-change in internal attitudes.

Highly Commended: Vodafone Group


Category: Captive Manager

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges’ comments: The judges were impressed by Willis Towers Watson’s strong business growth in the European market, as well as its commitment to customer care and providing tailored solutions to clients. The global captive practice’s increased integration with the group’s wider risk and analytics division, as well as its employee benefits expertise, has further strengthened the manager over the past 12 months.

Highly Commended: Aon


Category: Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Winner: Nick Heys, CEO, Artex International

Judges’ comments: Nick Heys, as managing director, was a key player in the growth of Heritage Insurance Management into Europe’s largest independent captive manager, up until its acquisition by Artex Risk Solutions. When Artex bought Heritage in 2014, the manager had grown from establishment in 1993 to revenue of around $20m, more than 100 employees and with operations in Guernsey, Malta, Gibraltar and London. Since the acquisition, Heys has taken on the role of CEO of Artex International, overseeing growing operations across Europe, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He is well respected and held in high regard by clients, fellow service providers and the wider insurance management industry.

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