Guernsey shares its 'ILS Insight' with Zurich audience

11 July 2016

Global investors are continuing to shift their attention towards alternative asset classes such as insurance linked securities (ILS), according to the third annual Guernsey-hosted ILS Masterclass.

The event, 'ILS Insight', which was held in Zurich, attracted more than 100 delegates from across the insurance, asset management, wealth management and adviser communities and featured major figures discussing the key issues of the day.

Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley said the event had been a tremendous success and offered a terrific insight into the fast developing asset class.

"As our speakers and panellists said, the UK's move to develop its own market offering in the ILS space, is clear evidence of the growing importance of the sector. Investors are clearly attracted to this type of asset class because of its low correlation with the broader financial markets and that shows no signs of slowing down," said Mr Wheatley.

"The attendance at this event also demonstrated the large and growing interest in ILS, particularly at a time when there is so much turbulence in traditional investment markets. For Guernsey to be seen as a thought leader in this regard and to be able to attract more than 100 people to a well-received event in Switzerland was extremely encouraging."

Guernsey has become a leading destination for ILS structures in recent years. Recently released figures for 2015 show that Guernsey licensed 66 new international insurers during the year, with nearly 40% of the licenced structures relating to ILS.

The 2016 event, held at the Park Hyatt Zurich, consisted of two panel sessions featuring ILS experts from Guernsey, the UK and mainland Europe and a keynote speech from Dirk Lohmann, Chairman and Managing Partner of Secquaero Advisers AG. It was the second time that the event had taken place in Zurich, having moved to London last year.

The first panel session focused on the rise of ILS and examined current themes in the market, the appetite for ILS among investors, rated reinsurers and the impact of Solvency II. Moderated by Chris Anderson of Carey Olsen, the session featured Des Potter of Guy Carpenter, Martin Membery of Sidley Austin, Neil Strong of Securis Investment Partners and Simon Vuille of Lombard Odier.

The second panel session looked at the servicing of ILS funds and considered open-ended and closed-ended structures, options for administration of funds, choice of domicile, benefits of stock exchange listings and the use of delegation agreements for pricing of ILS contracts. Moderated by Fiona Le Poidevin of the Channel Islands Securities Exchange (CISE), the session featured Joe Truelove of Carey Group, John Marren of Northern Trust, Stephen Foster of Credit Suisse Asset Management (London) and David Moore of Collas Crill.

Mr Wheatley said: "The success of the ILS Insight event reflects Guernsey's growing prominence as an ILS centre. We now look forward to meeting many of the same people to our Les Rendez-Vous de Septembre reception in Monte Carlo on 13 September and to the Guernsey Insurance Forum on 21 September in London."

The event, which took place on Thursday 7 July, was supported by event sponsors Aon, Artex, Carey Olsen and the CISE.

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