INTERVIEW: FARAH JAAFAR-CROSSBY www.captiveinternational.com
are starting to
as a viable risk
All the new captives set up in 2017 and 2016
are pure captives.
Figures provided by Labuan IBFC show that
there were a total of 14 new captives in 2017:
Labuan contributing six, Micronesia adding five,
China adding two and Mauritius forming one.
Jaafar-Crossby believes these figures show
not only a continued interest in the growth of
the captive insurance business in the region,
but also that Labuan is ahead of the other
established domiciles of Hong Kong and
Singapore in terms of formations.
“While some of the corporates look towards
Hong Kong and Singapore, the reality is that
Labuan is the only jurisdiction out of these three
in the Asian region to incorporate captives last
year—not one but six—bearing in mind that
both Singapore and Hong Kong did not.
“We believe Labuan IBFC’s being a cost-efficient,
substance-enabling midshore centre
certainly has an edge in this aspect,” says
Going forward, Labuan IBFC is encouraging
greater uptake in group or association captives.
“It is a suitable solution for medium-sized
business, or even groupings with shared
interest, for example a group of professionals
such as lawyers, medical practitioners and
others where there are advantages and cost-efficiencies
to be had in the pooling of risk,”
“For instance, tech startups often have
unique business models and risk profiles—with
very much of their competitive edge stemming
from concepts and technologies that are new
to the market—and their unique risks can be
tailored underwritten by setting up a group
or association captive and this could be used
alongside the traditional insurance approach.”
As well as the different type of captives
available, Jaafar-Crossby adds, there is a
wealth of readily available talent and expertise,
and insurance capacity due to the presence
of reinsurance company, managers and
In total there are more than 240 risk
management-related licence holders in Labuan
IBFC alone. This excludes the onshore Malaysian
market which, Jaafar-Crossby says, creates a
rich eco-system for the benefit of captives.
Spreading the word
Labuan IBFC Inc regularly hosts events in
various countries within Asia-Pacific, including
in Singapore and Hong Kong. It actively
participates in conferences and events to
promote the jurisdiction.
Along with organising masterclasses with
Brighton Management in Osaka and Tokyo,
Japan, Labuan IBFC also produces research
on attitudes towards captive insurance in Asia,
and will be involved in Asian conferences.
This year will be Jaafar-Crossby’s first Asian
Captive Conference (ACC) since taking on her
position as CEO on January 1, 2018.
The ACC this year is jointly organised by
Labuan IBFC and the Labuan International
Insurance Association (LIIA), and is dedicated to
the development of self-insurance in the region.
It aims to highlight the challenges and disruptors
risk managers are facing from technology
while required to meet growing demands of tax
transparency and substance brought about by
multilateral organisations and regulators.
“The concept of captive insurance is
still relatively new to the region and Asia’s
understanding of the full capabilities of
captives is still in its infancy. The level of
awareness among the Asian corporates is still
relatively low. However, more and more Asian
corporations and associations are starting to
view captives as a viable risk management tool,”
She continues: “We acknowledge that many
companies will continue to depend on traditional
insurance, but those with greater know-how will
start to explore greater business opportunities
and risk management via captives.
“With the Asia’s robust economic expansion
and increase in cross-border trade activities
over the years, this is certainly a positive
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