Palm Global: Mauritius is domicile of choice in captive insurance.
A new Captive Insurance Act was adopted in Mauritius in December 2015, which establishes a new legal framework for the captive insurance business, covering pure captives whereby a corporate entity insures itself, and any affiliates in a group, and mitigates the risk through reinsurance. The Mauritian Government anticipates that the new framework will attract new players into the market, but what do new market entrants think? AfricaMoney asked Mark Roberton, Director of Palm Global, why they decided to set up Palm Mauritius and what prospects they see for development of Mauritius as the captive domicile of choice?
Edited excerpts from an exclusive interview:
Tell us about Palm Global, and why you have decided to set up Palm Mauritius?
Palm Mauritius is part of the Palm Global group. It is a joint venture between Palm Global and Mauritius business concerns. The Palm Global Group has operations in Mauritius, Barbados, London and Canada. Our core businesses are insurance captives and consulting.
Palm Mauritius has been formed for a number of reasons, in response to the passage by the Mauritian Government of captive legislation at the end of 2015, to be a part of building a new business sector. We aim to assist Mauritian, African, Indian and other corporates to build world class captive insurance subsidiaries, and to attract existing captives to re-domicile here. We seek to provide world-class and independent captive management and consulting advice to corporates, and to be a profitable and successful new business resident in Mauritius. In view of the ‘Mauritian Opportunity’, Palm will support and assist Mauritius in every way possible to become a major player and domicile of choice on the international captive insurance stage. Finally, we seek to provide opportunities for Mauritians to be a part of a new and significant business sector building new skills and professional expertise benefiting all of Mauritius.
What will be the main focus of your activities in Mauritius?
Our main focus is to make captives better. All of the captives we will work with as our business grows deserve world class thinking and service.
We will ensure that captives who work with Palm operate in form and substance as real insurance companies, serving their corporate goals and objectives. We will ensure excellent corporate governance, timely and accurate financial reporting, excellent insurance products, underwriting and claims systems. We will assist captives in becoming the risk management hubs for their companies. We will assist them with the development of bespoke insurance products.
How would you describe the experience of establishing and growing your business in Barbados, and what lessons can Mauritius learn from this?
There are several key aspects. First, Palm must deliver best-in-class and world-class experience to our future clients. We must delight them each time they deal with us. Secondly, working with other key experts in Mauritius we will serve all of their needs including accounting, legal, finding superb local directors and tax planning. Thirdly, when they visit Mauritius, we want it to be a delightful experience for them.
What is your view of the new captive insurance legislation adopted in Mauritius, and how does it compare to the framework in Barbados? Is the 10 year tax holiday in Mauritius likely to bring in new market entrants?
Mauritius has done a very good job establishing the framework for attracting captives to Mauritius. The work that has been done will make Mauritius the domicile of choice for companies in many countries. There is an excellent and expanding treaty network and a lot of talented professionals.
Do you consider that there are any particular gaps in the global captive insurance market, and are there any new products or services which could be developed in Mauritius?
There are a lot of opportunities in the captive space. The key really is to ensure that the expertise here in Mauritius is better than anywhere else in the world. Expert, creative, service oriented and responsive. To make this into a great business sector, we must be all of those things. We want to attract existing captives, help companies that have not had captives before and educate the world about Mauritius as the captive domicile of choice. Of course there is a lot of work to do to attract business here. We are all very up for it and excited to be a part of it.
By Samantha Seewoosurrun