Inaugural [Re]Connect conference highlights Cayman’s buoyant reinsurance sector

Reinsurance in the Cayman Islands is booming. The Cayman Islands has eight Class D reinsurers with a physical presence on island and at least 80 Class B (iii)-licensed captive reinsurers. Last year Cayman’s regulator issued 41 international insurance licences, the largest number in a decade, driven in no small part by a surging reinsurance sector.

To satisfy the growing international demand for Cayman-specific reinsurance information, the Cayman International Reinsurance Companies Association (CIRCA) is putting on its first conference.

Ahead of the event on 18-19 April at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Finance spoke with David Self, Chair of CIRCA, about what prompted the organisation to host a dedicated reinsurance event.

Formed only three years ago, CIRCA’s expanding membership has enabled a stronger focus on marketing, Self says. The strengthened collaboration with the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC) and financial services association Cayman Finance, in turn, has allowed CIRCA to home in specifically on Cayman’s value proposition.

“The key objectives of the event are to highlight not only Cayman’s impressive array of service professionals, including insurance managers, law firms, actuaries and accounting firms,” he says.

David Self, chair, CIRCA

“It will also showcase the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority as an engaged regulator and highlight Cayman’s infrastructure, in terms of real estate, office space, schools, hospitals and other factors important for an overseas audience to evaluate Cayman as a jurisdiction for reinsurance companies.

“The conference will allow people to see it for themselves rather than just hear about it,” the CIRCA Chair says. “Attendees will be able to talk to the regulator and the government and hear from service providers and businesses that have already established a presence on island.”

The response to the inaugural event has been “tremendous”, Self says, with more than 400 registered delegates, of which about 40% are visitors from overseas. 

“It has been more supportive than we ever imagined,” he adds, noting also CIRCA’s strong local collaboration with the Cayman Islands Government, CIMA, Cayman Finance and IMAC in showcasing the jurisdiction.

The conference topics have been selected to demonstrate the diversity of the industry with speakers providing both a local and an international perspective.

A regulatory panel, for instance, will delve into the macro-regulatory topics and the implications for reinsurance both onshore and internationally. One aspect to be discussed will be CIMA’s plan to pursue US NAIC Qualified Jurisdiction Status for class D-licensed reinsurers. This NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) equivalency will increasingly align reinsurance regulation on island with the US reinsurance framework and eliminate collateral requirements for qualifying reinsurers.

Self points out that as a mainly-US-facing jurisdiction, reinsurers in Cayman can already align accounting and capital frameworks to those of the US.

“It’s another tool in the tool belt to find an optimised fit for a complex transaction,” he says.

Industry experts from property and casualty (P&C) and life & annuity reinsurers will outline in detail the emerging strategic topics relevant to their businesses and their experience operating on island.

Delegates will hear from Deputy Premier and Minister for Financial Services André Ebanks about how government supports the growth of the industry and why “Cayman is a fit for reinsurance and reinsurance is a fit for Cayman”, Self says.

An asset manager fireside chat between Raj Krishnan, CIO of Ares Insurance Solutions and Paul Forestell, managing partner of Brookfield Insurance Solutions will explore why there has been a growing presence of asset managers in the reinsurance space and the key characteristics that make reinsurance attractive in Cayman.

Self says the conference will help international delegates recognise CIMA as a diligent and robust regulator that has a proportional, risk-based approach aligned to international standards.

Visitors will also experience first-hand the reinsurance expertise that exists locally and the support given to a growing industry by both the regulator and the government, he adds.

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