Winners announced: US Captive Review Awards 2018

America’s captive insurance industry gathered in Burlington, Vermont to celebrate the annual US Captive Review Awards on 6 August, 2018.

David Provost, Vermont’s deputy commissioner for captive insurance, received a standing ovation as he collected the Outstanding Contribution by an Individual award.

Daniel Kusaila, partner at Crowe LLP, won Captive Professional of the Year, while Karen Hsi, of the University of California, won the Rising Star award.

Awards were handed across more than 30 categories, including for Captive Manager of the Year, (Re)insurance Company and Actuarial firm.

The full list of winners and judges comments are below:


Category: Claims Management Firm

Winner: Gallagher Bassett

Judges comments: The judges were impressed by Gallagher Bassett’s evident customer service and its diverse portfolio of captive clients. Growth in group captive members and standalone captives is strong and its commitment to new technology and innovation was also noted.


Category: ILS Support Services

Winner: Wilmington Trust

Judges comments: Wilmington Trust’s drive into the ILS industry is well noted and its experienced team have a strong and valued market presence. The judges were impressed by its deep understanding of the evolving nature of ILS and the bank’s commitment to providing fast and effective solutions.

Highly commended: Appleby


Category: Captive Tax Specialist

Winner: EY

Judges comments: EY’s integrated global approach to its captive services gives it a sophisticated network able to meet the domestic and international tax needs of captives and their parents. Its specialists are keen to weigh in on the latest industry debates, and, in quickly changing tax environments captives are eager for contemporary and forward-thinking tax advice.


Category: Investment Management

Winner: Madison Scottsdale Investment Advisors

Judges comments: Madison Scottsdale’s commitment to the captive insurance sector was well noted by the judges, as well as its eagerness to work with the full suite of a captive’s advisors and partners. This collaborative approach impressed the judges, demonstrating deep understanding of the captive concept.


Category: (Re)Insurance Company

Winner: AIG

Judges comments: The judges were impressed by AIG’s strong track record and the innovative solutions it presented. The breadth of services available as a reinsurer, fronting partner and captive manager ensure a joined-up approach for its captive clients, some of which are among the most sophisticated captive owners in the market. These were evidenced in a number of strong client testimonials.


Category: Run-off Specialist

Winner: R&Q

Judges comments: R&Q’s commitment to serving the legacy and run-off market for captives continues to be unrivalled, and in the last 12 months has completed another batch of varied captive transactions. The judges were particularly impressed by R&Q’s focus on claims handling, an area of huge importance to captive owners when looking to offload legacy portfolios.


Category: Employee Benefits Fronting Network

Winner: MAXIS Global Benefits Network

Judges comments: MAXIS GBN’s continued investment in, and commitment to, its captive proposition impressed the judges. The network’s specialists spread across the United States and based internationally understand the advantages of a captive playing a role in a global benefits programme and work hard to explain and unlock them for their clients.


Category: Captive Management – Enterprise Risk Captives

Winner: Management Services International

Judges comments: MSI demonstrated strong growth in the judging period during a turbulent environment for smaller captives and those making the 831(b) tax election. The judges also noted several innovative new products provided by MSI in response to evolving client needs.


Category: Captive Healthcare Specialist

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges comments: Willis Towers Watson clearly demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenging US healthcare market, outlining an impressive group of case studies involving captive feasibility and ongoing reviews of complex healthcare captives.

Highly Commended: Aon


Category: Rising Star

Winner: Karen Hsi, Program Manager- Fiat Lux Captive Insurance Company, University of California

Judges comments: Karen Hsi has proved to be an extremely quick learner at the University of California, progressing from beginning as a risk analyst in 2011 to her current role designing sophisticated new programmes for the University’s growing DC-domiciled captive. She has been quick to take the initiative on new lines of insurance and is very highly regarded internally, as well as by service providers and consultants.


Category: Technology Initiative

Winner: Advanced Enterprise Technologies, Inc

Judges comments: AETI has a diverse captive clientele, made up of single parent and group captives, risk retention groups and pools. The firm’s web-based Quadra product impressed the judges for its flexibility and focus on managing insurance assets, while it was clear that AETI is committed to making regular updates to ensure it retains relevance for clients.


Category: Subrogation Specialist

Winner: SubroSmart

Judges comments: SubroSmart remains a leader on subrogation services for captive insurance companies, an area still underutilised by the captive owner community. The firm is committed to working with the broader captive industry to educate professionals and firms on how subrogation can improve a captive’s bottom line. The judges were impressed by this valuable approach.


Category: Law Firm

Winner: Honigman LLP

Judges comments: Very strong client testimonials and Honigman’s clearly demonstrated understanding of the captive market impressed the judges. Its wide ranging captive practice ensures it has a wide appeal to America’s on- and offshore captive owners. The firm has also re-focused on its efforts to work collaboratively with other captive service providers, which has been well received by clients.


Category: Captive Management – Group Captives

Winner: Artex Risk Solutions

Judges comments: Group captives are a central part of the Artex captive practice, managing a large portfolio onshore and offshore. Its number of group captive members grew significantly in 2017, and it continues to design new niche programmes for clients. The judges were particularly impressed by the mutual fund it developed specifically for group captives to utilise as part of their investment strategy.


Category: Industry Advocate

Winner: Captive Insurance Companies Association

Judges comments: CICA has made huge strides in the last 18 months to increase its industry presence and, particularly, engaging with the next generation of captive insurance leaders. The judges were impressed by the Association’s new mentorship program, designed to engage young risk and insurance professionals by helping to provide a strong support network. It has also made moves to improve its relationship with the NAIC, including facilitating the successful visit of its current president, Julie Mix McPeak, to the annual conference in March.


Category: Collateral Service Provider

Winner: Wilmington Trust

Judges comments: An impressive group of client testimonials from insureds and fellow service providers demonstrated Wilmington Trust’s well-respected capabilities in the captive market. Its team remains committed to pushing the trust concept over letters of credit, and the judges were impressed by its efforts to educate captive owners, managers and fronting companies on this approach.

Highly Commended: Franklin Synergy Bank


Category: Cell Company Initiative

Winner: MultiStrat Group

Judges comments: MultiStrat’s utilisation of cell companies in Bermuda and Vermont to solve unique challenges facing insureds impressed the judges. Written premium through MultiStrat’s vehicles increased significantly year-over-year and it was able to outline a sophisticated body of work during the judging period.


Category: Employee Benefits Consultant

Winner: Marsh & McLennan

Judges comments: Leveraging the full suite of MMC businesses, Marsh was able to demonstrate its holistic employee benefits solutions for captive owners. The judges were impressed by the number of new employee benefits captives brought to market by Marsh during the judging period, and the high quality of client testimonials submitted.


Category: CPA Firm

Winner: Johnson Lambert LLP

Judges comments: Johnson Lambert’s long standing commitment to the captive insurance market was well noted by the judges, complimented by its recent investment in new technology and training for staff members. Organic growth in captive clients demonstrated high customer satisfaction and the trusted reputation it has in the industry.

Highly commended: EY


Category: Captive Management – RRGs

Winner: Aon Captive & Insurance Management

Judges comments: Aon’s continued investment in data and analytics to ensure efficient management of its RRGs impressed the judges, while in 2017 its new governance and compliance system was rolled out to manage regulatory requirements for RRGs. Its focus on total cost of risk savings was also noted when a soft market is challenging the relevance of RRGs.


Category: Innovative Use of an ART Structure

Winner: Beecher Carlson

Judges comments: Beecher Carlson’s commitment to providing the most effective and efficient structure to clients, whether a captive or not, impressed the judges. Clients testimonials also highlighted a number of high profile new structures that demonstrated its understanding of complex risks and ability to identify and design the most suitable solutions.


Category: Domicile of the Year – Less Than 200 Captives

Winner: Tennessee

Judges comments: Tennessee continued its impressive growth in 2017 and in the first half of 2018. The judges were particularly impressed with its appeal for cell business, an area state legislators and regulators continue to focus on to improve and nurture. The state is now beginning to attract more large local corporations to bring their captives home, with annual premium growth particularly impressive last year.


Category: Actuarial Firm

Winner: Milliman

Judges comments: Milliman’s direct work with captives and accessibility to regulators impressed the judges, while its focus on large single parent and group captives was also noted. The firm’s independence and excellent client testimonials were highlighted by the judges, as well as its Arius loss analysis solution utilised internally and by third party professionals, including captive insurers.

Highly Commended: Spring Consulting Group


Category: Captive Professional of the Year

Winner: Daniel Kusaila, Crowe LLP

Judges comments: Daniel Kusaila has become a leading light on the captive tax scene, and is now routinely invited to join the established big hitters Tom Jones, Bruce Wright and Charles Lavelle on captive tax panels. Kusaila’s honesty and openness to tell it how it is to clients and audiences is well known and particularly helpful in the current tax environment. He is influential in a growing and ambitious practice at Crowe.


Category: Risk Consulting Initiative

Winner: Willis Towers Watson

Judges comments: The judges were impressed by Willis Towers Watson’s clear explanation of its Risk Optimizer tool and the way it has provided tangible benefits to its clients. The firm’s ability to analyse the insured’s whole insurance strategy allows it to recommend the most optimal captive solution and utilisation.

Highly Commended: Beecher Carlson


Category: Captive Innovation Award

Winner: Marsh Captive Solutions

Judges comments: Strong premium growth of the Green Island Reinsurance Treaty demonstrated the continued relevance and innovation of the pooling programme utilised by some of the most sophisticated captives in the world. The facilitation of bi-annual meetings with GIRT participants provides an opportunity for clients to exchange ideas and improve the operation of the pool, ensuring a constant stream of innovation.


Category: Captive Manager of the Year – Independent

Winner: Granite Management

Judges comments: Granite’s unique operation, heavily focused on Bermuda-domiciled employee benefits captives impressed the judges. New captives for high profile clients were added in the previous 12 months, while the firm is currently engaged in several feasibility studies for creating new captives for international employee benefits. The judges highly valued Granite’s offering and focused expertise at a time when more multinationals than ever are exploring captive solutions employee benefits.


Category: Fronting Partner

Winner: Chubb

Judges comments: The judges were impressed by Chubb’s deep knowledge and commitment to the captive insurance sector, combined with its sophisticated network able to provide substantial fronting services. Its addition of Multinational IQ to its broker management tool, Worldview, was also noted.


Category: Captive Risk Manager of the Year

Winner: Paul Major, Ameriprise

Judges comments: Paul Major has demonstrated a commitment to perform deep analysis of Ameriprise’s insurance strategy to find the most effective insurance programme. As a result, Ameriprise has been able to use its captive, Ameriprise Captive Insurance Company, to put in place a unique structure, working closely with the reinsurance market to achieve his ultimate objective. The two-year project concluded in 2017. In 2017, Major also implemented a number of other projects, including taking the captive through the A.M. Best ratings process and continuing to educate the wider leadership group on how the captive can be used to facilitate business ventures pursued by Ameriprise.


Category: Domicile of the Year – 200 Plus Captives

Winner: Hawaii

Judges comments: Hawaii has grown into one of America’s most diverse captive domiciles. Remaining a home to US-based businesses, and especially popular among the west coast’s technology community, Hawaii is also becoming a go-to destination for Japanese-owned captive insurance companies. The judges were impressed by the maturing captive infrastructure and expertise on island, with recent formation activity demonstrating strong growth in captives of all types.


Category: Captive Manager of the Year

Winner: AIG

Judges comments: Excellent and detailed case studies were able to demonstrate the full breadth of AIG’s captive management operation, as well as its desire to pursue innovative new projects and solutions. The judges were impressed by the creativity on show, particularly in a challenging and competitive marketplace. Described as “hitting all the marks” and “doing a superior job”, the judges felt AIG had had a particularly impressive year as captive manager.

Highly Commended: Marsh Captive Solutions


Category: Outstanding Contribution by an Individual

Winner: David Provost, Deputy Commissioner for Captive Insurance, State of Vermont

Judges comments: Serving 17 years with the Department of Financial Regulaton, David Provost has been an extremely influential and reassuring presence in the latest chapter of Vermont’s captive history. More than a decade of captive management experience prior to joining the state provided Provost with valuable insight into the captive business. Service providers and captive owners appreciate the open approach he brings to the department as its staff work to licence, regulate and examine almost 600 captives. Provost’s passion and enthusiasm for the captive industry is often visible when presenting to the wider industry, and his fellow regulators, across the United States and abroad, know that a genuine and helpful word of advice is only a phone call away.

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