The move will allow St Julians to continue to write insurance for the British market in the event that Britain leaves the single market during Brexit.
Insurers domiciled in both Malta and Gibraltar can currently write insurance in Britain, however in the event that Britain leaves the single market those operating from Malta will no longer be able to sell insurance into Britain.
However, as a British overseas territory, Gibraltar-based insurers will still be able to write insurance for the British market.
In contrast, insurers operating in Gibraltar with a large focus on the European market may look to move in the opposite direction.
Nigel Feetham, partner at Hassans, refers to this potential movement of insurers as his “two way Brexit strategy”.
According to Feetham: “The UK Government has publicly confirmed the continuation of the common market between the UK and Gibraltar post-Brexit. This should preserve passporting rights for Gibraltar companies writing business into the UK and therefore provides a Brexit solution that say a Maltese (or indeed other EU company) would not have.”
He continued: “At the same time there are Gibraltar-based insurers that write into the EU (non-UK business) that need an EU-based post-Brexit solution and Malta can be an attractive domicile for them.”
St Julians is one of four Gibraltar-based insurance companies that Qatar Reinsurance Company (Qatar Re) signed a sales agreement to purchase from Markerstudy Group on 3 January.
Qatar Re, the reinsurer of Qatar Insurance Company Group (QIC Group), will also acquire Markerstudy Insurance Company, Zenith Insurance, and Ultimate Insurance.
Gunter Saacke, CEO of Qatar Re, stated: “Through this acquisition, Qatar Re reaffirms its commitment to supporting innovative entrepreneurship in insurance marketing, distribution, and servicing. In addition, the transaction will enable us to write UK business under any post-Brexit scenario.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018.