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Bermuda captive industry seeks growth from Latin American, Canadian firms

Posted On: Jun. 14, 2016 12:00 AM CST

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda — The Bermuda captive industry is seeing opportunity in Latin America and Canada as competition from other captive domiciles has increased.

Last year, Bermuda registered one captive for a Canadian company and five for Latin American firms, Craig Swan, managing director-supervision of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, said Monday.

Speaking at the 2016 Bermuda Captive Conference in Southampton, Bermuda, Mr. Swan said the domicile has been working to set up relationships with Canadian and Latin American firms “for a while now.”

“Establishing a relationship takes time,” he said of working with companies considering establishing a captive or changing their domicile.

According to the latest Business Insurance ranking, Bermuda remains the world's largest captive domicile with 797 captives in 2015. However its growth has largely stagnated in recent years as competition from other domiciles has increased. The United States in 2015 surpassed North American offshore domiciles, a group that includes Bermuda, to become the No. 1 region in number of captives, according to the ranking.

Companies have to get comfortable with the concept of using a captive for insurance, said Ross Webber, Hamilton, Bermuda-based CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency.

“We have been going to Canada for quite a while. It takes a lot of coaxing to get to a comfortable feeling with new methods, but we do see the progress,” he said.

In Latin America, Colombia and Mexico are seen as growth prospects for captives domiciled in Bermuda, he said.

“There are many new territories where risk management is just starting to be a part of their business, such as Asia and Africa,” Jill Husbands, Hamilton-based head of office and managing director at Marsh IAS Management Services (Bermuda) Ltd., said of opportunities to increase the number of Bermuda-domiciled captives.

Ms. Husbands said "in the U.S. about 30 states added captives last year" and competition from other domiciles also increased. Still, she said that “larger and more complicated captives will still come to Bermuda because of our experience.”