Captive industry still awaits CIMA figurehead

| 07/12/2015 | 4 Comments
CNs Business

CIMA, George Town

(CNS Business): As CIMA updated delegates at the Cayman Captive Forum on its licensing activity and regulatory developments, it was unable to provide the update that many international clients have been waiting for, which is a new head of insurance supervision. Morag Nicol has been acting head of insurance since April 2014 in what was originally intended to be a brief, three-month return to CIMA while a replacement for former division head Gordon Rowell was sought.

Twenty months on, however, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority is no closer to announcing a permanent head of insurance, as Deputy Managing Director Patrick Bodden explained to delegates at the conference that Nicol will remain acting head until February 2016 while the search continues.

“I don’t see why it is taking this long to replace the head,” said one watching US captive owner. “It really doesn’t look good.”

The delay in attracting an experienced figurehead for the Insurance Division at CIMA has compounded the authority’s woes in finding a full complement of directors, notably with Brian Murphy and Patricia Estwick prevented from serving as directors by the institutions they work for in the summer. As a former director at reinsurance firm Greenlight Re, Brian Murphy would have added significant expertise in this area and Minister Wayne Panton has stated that CIMA needs people with a strong understanding of the insurance sector, with reinsurance being a particular skill set they were looking to add to the board’s collective expertise.

“Let me assure you the division is being competently administered by the management team, which includes the acting head and two deputy heads,” Bodden said.

“The authority’s management is continuing efforts to recruit a suitable candidate for this position and we have conducted a number of interviews, sought the assistance of external resources in the region and also engaged with recruitment agencies with international reach. We will continue to pursue the recruitment process to ensure placement of the individual best suited to effectively carry out our regulatory remit and contribute to the success of this important industry and our domicile,” Bodden said. “In 2016 we will be in a stronger budget position to enhance the attractiveness of this post.”

Having originally left CIMA in 2007 to spend more time with her young family, Nicol replaced Mary Lou Gallegos as head of insurance in 2006, having joined CIMA in 1998. She came back in April 2014 to hold the fort when Rowell’s employment with CIMA ended, reportedly having been on sick leave for six months.

In his regulatory update, Bodden told delegates that 62 new insurance licences had been issued so far in 2015, which was up 2.5%. As a key market development, he pointed to an increase in interest by hedge funds seeking opportunities to participate in insurance profitability, commonly referred to as hedge fund re vehicles.

“With Cayman’s expertise in hedge funds we are well placed to be the domicile of choice for the emerging hedge fund-backed reinsurers, which is an area we think has growth potential in the near future and we will watch it closely,” Bodden said.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wait...there's a captive industry in Cayman?!?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    a loss best remaining lost !!!!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Gordon Rowell was a great ambassador for the insurance sector and CIMA as a whole - he's a great loss

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