Tamatoa Jonassen
The Cook Islands Financial Services Development Authority

The Cook Islands has the ingredients to a be success, says Tamatoa Jonassen of the Financial Services Development Authority

What is the state of the Cook Islands captive industry?

The Cook Islands recently created a captive insurance industry, beginning with legislation enacted in 2013. In 2015, the Cook Islands licensed its first captive insurer, and the 2016 outlook expects to see an increase in licences.

What makes the Cook Islands an attractive domicile?

The Cook Islands is a well-established financial centre in the heart of the South Pacific. It is well known for implementing its innovative trust legislation in the early 1980s, which led to the modern asset protection trust, and which other jurisdictions have pulled from in an attempt to enhance their own financial service offerings.

The jurisdiction is able to combine the confidence of trusted service providers located in the Cook Islands with renowned insurance management services offered by multinational insurance companies to tailor a captive insurance structure to a client’s circumstances. As the Cook Islands are situated between Asia and the US, they gain the benefit of time zones, but they’re also distinctively close to New Zealand and Australia.

The jurisdiction is well regulated with positive compliance ratings with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Asia Pacific Group (APG). It is an independent country that is English-speaking, and was founded on common law, with a judiciary overseen by highly qualified New Zealand judges.

What is new for the Cook Islands in terms of regulations, and is there anything on the horizon?

The Cook Islands recently had a successful phase-two peer review from the Global Forum. We are also expecting an APG review in 2017, which is anticipated to be just as positive as the last review, and the Cook Islands has committed to implement the Common Reporting Standards by 2018.

What are your predictions for 2016? Do you think the captive insurance industry will grow in the Cook Islands?

Most definitely. As a new product for the Cook Islands, it has no place to go but up.

There has definitely been a lot of interest shown towards this ‘new’ industry, with some prospective clients already expressing that they are keen.

What is your strategy to increase interest in the Cook Islands captive insurance industry?

The Cook Islands financial services industry has, over the last several decades, traditionally focused on the US market, with the Cook Islands international trusts having become the golden standard in offshore asset protection.

The Cook Islands has also tapped into the Asian market over the last decade and will continue to do so, especially with the increasing number of high net worth clients.

For captive insurance the Cook Islands’ initial focus is on the New Zealand and Australian markets, given the close relationship and proximity. But this product will also be suitable for clients from our Asian and American markets.

Interviews
The latest interviews from Captive Insurance Times
Features
The latest features from Captive Insurance Times
Jeremy Colombik of MSI and NCCIA chair explains to Becky Butcher that Notice 2016-66 could be detrimental to not just North Carolina, but other domiciles that are home to smaller captives
Dan Towle, president of CICA and Zach Finn, professor at Butler University, discuss their new professional development partnership, which will see students learn about the variety of career opportunities in captive insurance
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Alan Cabello of AGCS discusses blockchain technology, captives and the future
Alan Fine of Brown Smith Wallace explains how the industry should proceed after the Avrahami court case ruling
Dana Hentges Sheridan, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Active Captive Management, provides insight into the differences between business risks and insurance risks
Predicting when interest rates will change is difficult, which is even more reason to maintain a disciplined approach to your investments, according to Stephen Nedwicki of Comerica Bank
Looking ahead to 2018, Phillip Giles of QBE North America predicts continued uncertainty for the healthcare reform
Michael Schroeder of Roundstone explains why transparency, control and cost savings are the secret sauce offered by a medical captive
Domicile profiles
The latest domicile profiles from Captive Insurance Times
Tennessee’s governor, commissioner, general assembly and business community have all worked together to create ‘explosive growth’ in the state’s captive insurance industry. Julie Mix McPeak explains more
Newly-appointed chairman of CCIA Michael Maglaras suggests that the future is bright for state’s captive industry
Asset Servicing Times

Visit our sister site
for all the latest asset servicing news and analysis

assetservicingtimes.com
Although the Isle of Man is currently focusing on updating its regulatory framework, Solvency II, Brexit and the Asian market all hold big opportunities for the island
Debbie Walker of the North Carolina Department of Insurance tells Becky Butcher why the state is among 2017’s standout performers
Experts convene to talk to Becky Butcher about the stability that Guernsey represents in a challenging financial and political environment
In an era of increasing uncertainty, Tamatoa Jonassen suggests that the Cook Islands can be a bridge to financial security in a captive
With a dedicated captive plan in place, the Lone Star State is on the rise, says Josh Magden of the Texas Captive Insurance Association
After 36 years of captive business, Vermont boasts a culture of legislative change, and still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Dan Towle and David Provost explain