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2021 US Insurance Awards: Ernst & Young, Insurance Consulting Team of the Year

Jim Bulkowski

When Ernst & Young LLP decided to bring together experts in a variety of disciplines to provide captive services, there were no concrete plans to grow it into an international team of professionals working on some of the most complex arrangements in the world of alternative risk financing.

Eight years later, that’s what EY’s Americas Captive Insurance Services team has become. The team is a global network with a U.S.-based group of around 20 experts and 250 others around the world who are specialists in insurance, risk management, taxation, actuarial services, transfer pricing, audit and other disciplines.

“It was a conscious decision to form the team, but an evolutionary process to get to where we are today. We started out with a handful of insurance, actuarial and tax experts and built it from there,” said Jim Bulkowski, senior manager in the financial services risk management practice with EY in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The scope of the team’s expertise, geographic reach and work on large and complex captive-related transactions are among the reasons it won the Business Insurance 2021 U.S. Insurance Award for the Insurance Consulting Team of the Year.

Mr. Bulkowski said 2020 was a banner year for the team. “The amount of benefit that we offered to clients in the last year was the best we’ve ever done.” 

Among its successes was a more than doubling of the size of a captive for a large company that involved billions in premium. The transaction was extremely complex, Mr. Bulkowski said, requiring support from experts in insurance, actuarial modeling, state and federal tax, and transfer pricing to structure the captive’s parametric coverage for pandemic and business interruption risks.

“This is arguably the largest-ever single captive premium transaction,” he said.

Also notable for the firm’s Americas Captive Insurance Services team was its work to restructure an insurance and captive arrangement for a Fortune 250 transportation company. The new structure expanded the captive’s scope — generating around $1 billion in new premium — redomesticated the insurer, created capital utilization and tax efficiencies at the state and federal levels, and provided a solid mix of first- and third-party business, according to Mr. Bulkowski.

This work, along with work on other new and expanded captives, resulted in new premiums of more than $8 billion in 2020, he said.


• Aon PLC — Aon Inpoint helps insurers and reinsurers understand the physical, transitional and liability risks and opportunities in moving to a net-zero world.

• Conner, Strong & Buckelew — The brokerage brings industry knowledge and expertise to help clients make critical insurance and risk management decisions.

• Consilio LLC — By establishing a full-service “insurance vertical” made up of 12 consultants and analysts, Consilio provides legal spending management and other tools to insurers, risk managers and claims professionals.

• Trion Group — Trion is a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC unit that offers alternative funding programs for employers that want to reinsure employee benefits in captives.

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