Paul Sykes, Managing Director of Aon Risk Solutions in Guernsey, and the Chairman of Guernsey International Insurance Association (GIIA) was joined by The Chief Minister of Guernsey, Peter Harwood to pay tribute to GIIA at its 30th birthday celebration and recognise its contribution to the development of Guernsey as an international insurance centre. Many of GIIA's former Chairmen, and regulators past and present, including Steve Butterworth and Alan Fleming attended the event.
Mr Sykes, spoke about GIIA's purpose to ensure that Guernsey remains as Europe's leading offshore centre of insurance. Sykes highlighted the contributions of GIIA’s previous chairmen and officers and thanked them for putting Guernsey's insurance industry in the position that it enjoys today. Sykes noted the island's success in introducing innovative structures to the global insurance sector such as Protected Cell Companies in 1997 and Incorporated Cell Companies in 2006.
The Chief Minister congratulated GIIA on the success of Guernsey’s insurance industry and captive insurance in particular which he described as “the beautiful sector”.
Sykes highlighted that Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) activity had commenced in Guernsey in 2006 adding to the diversification of the island's insurance industry from being a centre for captive insurance into an international centre for both general and life insurance and reinsurance. Sykes identified that a fundamental shift was taking place in the insurance market with the emergence of ILS and signalled Guernsey's intent to position itself as an alternative to Bermuda. He explained that Guernsey is uniquely well positioned with political and economic stability, no government borrowing and a regulatory regime that is at the forefront of international best practice with the implementation process of the IAIS Insurance Core Principles reaching an advanced stage.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: “The insurance sector is showing continued growth in the net number of entities domiciled in the Island. We have also seen increased activity in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) asset class, which is driving business in the insurance space, as well as the funds sector.”
The GFSC’s monthly statistical update for the insurance sector shows that there has been net growth of 37 international insurance entities domiciled in Guernsey to date. The number of entities domiciled in Guernsey now totals 774 as at 31 July 2013.
Sykes thanked the government and the regulator for their support and partnership with industry to create the optimum environment in Guernsey for business and investors.