“THE POTENTIAL FOR FURTHER GROWTH, ESPECIALLY IN THE
MIDST OF A STRENGTHENING ECONOMY, IS EXCEPTIONAL.”
Nick Hentges, president of Captive Resources, has been working
with Cayman for 24 years. He too praises the work of CIMA in its
responsiveness, ease of working with and diligence.
“That is why we don’t do business anywhere else,” Hentges says.
“The fact is that the regulator should take a great deal of credit for the
way Cayman has developed over the years.”
Rusu also believes the government has done a good job in the way
it has used laws and means of encouragement to ensure the local
population has benefited from and integrated into the largely global
financial services industry operating there.
Policies implemented in the 1980s which encouraged companies
to hire local people have succeeded to the point that the very senior
people in many professional services companies are Caymanian.
“That has helped establish the sense that everyone benefits from the
international industry that is based there,” he says.
Hentges praises the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman
(IMAC), arguing that the body also deserves credit for the
development of the Cayman Islands and the initiation and running
of the Cayman Captive Forum for the past 25 years. The event has
gone from strength to strength, attracting speakers and delegates
from all over the world and promoting the attributes of Cayman in
“It is now the pre-eminent captive conference in the world and both
IMAC and CIMA deserve praise for that. I think Cayman can only get
stronger. Captive Resources is certainly very optimistic and we see the
rate of growth increasing for us,” he says.
Hentges notes that while it took the captives to which it consults nearly
25 years to reach $1 billion in total premium, it took only another four
years for that same premium to reach $2 billion.
“Our growth, and that of our captive clients, has accelerated and
we are extremely optimistic,” he says. “The appetite is there for group
captives and we predict very positive, continued growth.”
Rusu acknowledges there are some challenges. One of the biggest
is the reputational battle Cayman must face on a regular basis, which
is generally because ill-informed politicians, among others, make
inaccurate statements around the reasons companies locate in the
It is a problem propagated by the mainstream and social media, as
well as the entertainment business. The only way to counter it is through
education, he says.
44 cayman captive 2017
“Cayman is one of the most transparent domiciles in the world—far
more than the US. It is much harder to open a bank account there than it
is in the US. But that doesn’t stop the myth around its being a tax haven.
“It is frustrating, but we don’t see it as a threat to the domicile in any
real sense. Cayman is well ahead of the game in terms of countering
that argument wherever it really matters,” Rusu says.
This is why he remains bullish on the future of the islands. “I see it
continually improving, growing and becoming even more important in
our specific industry of captives,” he says. “Thirty-five years is a long
time to maintain that consistency and build a reputation. I don’t see
anything changing soon.
“We forecast strong growth for the captive sector more generally—
especially group captives—and Cayman will only continue to benefit
from this. The growth in the captives we administer over the last few
years is the strongest we have ever seen,” he says.
“The thing that seems to be driving it is greater knowledge and
acceptance of group captives. Thirty years ago, a much more robust
education process was needed around the concept.
“Back then, people also needed to be reassured about transferring
funds to offshore domiciles such as the Cayman Islands. But in the last
five years or so, it appears as though a tipping point has been reached.
Almost everyone now seems to acknowledge that group captives are
an excellent way of transferring risk.”
Rusu feels that the current level is the tip of the iceberg given the
potential that still exists in the market. Nearly 4,000 middle-market
companies currently are member-owners of Captive Resources’ client
captives—clearly the potential for further growth, especially in the midst
of a strengthening economy, is exceptional.
“We know of no other company, regardless of size, that has the
volume of member-owned group captive business, in terms of premium
volume, the number of captives or number of member companies. Nor
do we know of another firm with the breadth and years of expertise we
have,” Rusu says.
He adds that Cayman is well positioned to benefit. “You have to
remember that things are now scalable—if the captive sector doubles
in size, the infrastructure does not need to change that much.
“We are very optimistic about the future of the islands and of captives
in equal measure.”
George Rusu is the chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of
Captive Resources. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Hentges is president of Captive Resources. He can be contacted at: