St. James, Barbados — As captive insurance domiciles fight to emerge from the global recession, some are increasing captive insurance company fees, capital requirements and taxes as a way to increase revenues and reduce deficits. Barbados, for one, will increase annual captive license fees from $2,500 to $10,000, retroactive to January 1.
The government’s Office of the Supervisor of Insurance and Pensions is also expected to raise the capital requirement of protected cells to match that of stand-alone companies.
The Barbados International Business Association (BIBA), of which The Towner Management Group has long been a member, made a case against the increased license fee. “The retroactive aspect of the license fee increase was a bit of a surprise,” says Christopher J.N. Towner, founding principal of TMG.
“However, this increase should not greatly affect mid-size and large corporate captive parent companies, which domicile in Barbados because of its maturity, experience and widespread infrastructure,” Towner continues. “As far as potential changes for protected cells, we do not anticipate that it will affect current or prospective formation.”
The largest manager in Barbados and a long-time resource for captives with parents primarily from Canada and the United States, The Towner Management Group is one of the most respected independent resources in the industry. We realize that some of our new U.S. clients may not be as familiar with TMG, so the following is a brief summary.
TMG was created in 1991 when Christopher Towner bought the Barbados captive management subsidiary of Minet, which he had run the previous five years. Aon subsequently purchased the rest of Minet.
Along with Ricardo Knight, president of TMG, past president of BIBA and currently Chairman of Barbados’ Joint Policy Group on International Business, Towner has grown his group organically over the years to where it is Barbados’ largest manager. Knight just recently celebrated his 15th year with the company, which has 30 staff in Barbados and a half-dozen more in the U.S. — the latter in a little more than a half-year in business.
“Our entry into the U.S. was a direct response to Guy Ragosta and Len Crouse becoming available,” says Towner. Ragosta, Towner’s U.S. CEO, is a former Willis Regional Executive Director of captive operations. Crouse, a long-time Vermont top regulator, is one of the most recognizable names in the industry. “The same can be said when Tom Stokes became available a few months ago.” Stokes, formerly of Willis and Aon, is another long-time industry veteran and runs TMG’s New York captive management operations.
More than Captive Insurance
While a recognized name in captive insurance, The Towner Management Group is much more: An independent, full-service international insurance company, international business entity management company and a wealth planning firm.
In Barbados, the Group includes Towner Risk Management Limited and Towner International Services. TRML, established in 1986, has almost two dozen companies licensed under either the Exempt Insurance Act or Qualifying Insurance Act. As of mid-2009, TRML managed US $1.5 billion in assets, supported annual net premium of US $500 million and had a total shareholder value of US $650 million.
TRML’s diversified portfolio is also spread geographically: The U.S. and Canada represent 35% of assets under management and South America has 30%. The remainder is spread globally. Property/casualty insurance accounts are almost half of total annual net premium, while variable life insurance, group benefits and annuities account for 10% each.
Christopher Towner created The St. James Group, a wealth planning company, in 2001. St. James Assurance is a separate account insurance company licensed in all classes of business and specializing currently in annuities. St. James and the rest of the TMG companies are owned by Second Street Holdings.
For more information, please email us at businessBB@townermanagement.com for information about management services in Barbados or at businessUS@townermanagement.com to learn more about how we can help you with your U.S.-domiciled captive insurance efforts. Or visit us on the web at www.townermanagement.com.