Barbados can make the bold claim to be the captive insurance jurisdiction of choice for the discerning risk manager that wants the best that the captive insurance world has to offer. The Caribbean island has been punching above its weight in the captive insurance sector for over 35 years, beginning in the early 1980s when the country passed the Exempt Insurance Act. In the time since, Barbados has continually proven its worth and continues to attract captive insurance companies from around the world.

Strong International Interest

Barbados is in the Top 10 list of the world’s captive domiciles. In addition, the island recorded 20 new captive registrations in 2017, a solid 8% increase, bringing the total number of captives operating on the island to 266. Canada and the USA have traditionally been the mainstays of the Barbados captive industry due to the historic relationships that were formed over decades of close business relations. However, the increasing attraction of Latin American clients to our shores continues to gain momentum, as Kenneth Campbell, Director of Investment Promotion at Invest Barbados noted, “Barbados continues to attract a growing number of captive insurance companies from Latin America.

Barbados has been developing the Latin American market and building important relationships for the future. The Latin American market provides an encouraging growth opportunity as more risk managers and professional advisors become aware of the great benefits that a captive insurance company can offer to the company’s shareholders. In addition, our experience has indicated that international clients are drawn to Barbados due to the attractive regulatory environment, low costs and the high quality of professional service provided by Barbadian captive managers and other service providers involved in the sector.

In April 2018, Invest Barbados led the Barbadian delegation that recently participated in the 2018 USA RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition. This year’s theme was “Go Big” and the leading risk management and insurance event attracted over 9,000 delegates.

The Barbados delegation was well represented by captive managers, investment managers, auditors and regulators, as well as the business promotion team from Invest Barbados.

President of DGM Financial Group, Wayne Fields gave positive feedback regarding his experience at the conference.

“The USA RIMS 2018 Conference was definitely a success for Barbados. We found that there was a noticeable increase in interest in Barbados this year. There was interest from Latin American companies that are seeking out a captive jurisdiction as well as from existing captive insurance companies that want to relocate from competing jurisdictions to Barbados. This trend supports the need for Barbados to be present at RIMS in order to be front of mind when potential clients are considering a captive domicile. DGM expects to gain new business as a result of the Conference.”

Wayne Fields, President DGM Financial Group

The Barbadian Advantage – Our People

Barbados has a larger population than many of our Caribbean competitors in the captive insurance sector. Most of the captive managers, auditors, attorneys and other service providers that potential clients come into contact with will be Barbadians, enabling clients to build long-term relationships with service providers. These ongoing relationships with clients produce significant benefits when contrasted with high turnover that may be experienced elsewhere.

It is important to note that the FSC licences Barbados management companies that are qualified to provide captive insurance management services to licenced insurance companies. Therefore, international clients that are new to Barbados can be assured that the management companies on the island are qualified to handle their business and as such, they will receive high quality services.

In addition, the “Big 4” accounting firms all have offices here in Barbados staffed with local Barbadians. The presence of these well-known firms can deepen the level of trust that the captive insurance shareholders can place in an audit opinion.

Barbados also has a large number of attorneys and corporate service providers on the island to choose from. In addition, there are a number of investment managers who have access to international markets in order to meet the investment mandate of the captive.

With international business, and captive insurance in particular, the relationship between the small island state of Barbados and its much larger neighbours is still strong and growing. New relationships are being forged and the intention on all sides is that these relationships will stand the test of time.

About the Author

Justin Cole
Justin Cole - Vice President, DGM Captive Management Inc.

Justin Cole is Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in Barbados with extensive experience in the international financial services sector. He is Vice President of DGM Captive Management Inc.