What’s going on at DIMA right now, and what’s new?
I started in the CEO role on 1 August, so it is still early days, however, I have been in the reinsurance industry for many years as CEO of a European captive manager and as managing director of a reinsurance subsidiary owned by a North American bank. I have also had a direct involvement with the Dublin Insurance & Management Association (DIMA) over the years. I was one of the founders of the association, a board member and vice chairman, and therefore I’m very familiar with DIMA as a representative body and its activities.
My first task as interim CEO is to get up to date as quickly as possible and also to ensure continuity from where Sarah Goddard departed. Further down the line, we have quite a lot of things planned for our members in terms of training and education, and we also are looking ahead to our 2017 European Insurance Forum, which will take place on 25 May next year.
As interim CEO at DIMA, what are you currently working on?
Una Coleman, our education manager, is organising a number of projects that will come to fruition in the autumn. These include technical briefings and briefings in terms of new developments and the insurance market. Also, Solvency II will remain a big topic. Although it has been embedded in the regulatory environment, there are still new and technical aspects coming up as a result of its implementation. There are also emerging risks including cyber and Brexit.
At DIMA, we are expecting that there will be more clarity in the next few months on what happens with Brexit and what it means for not just the UK but also for Ireland and the rest of Europe.
In Ireland, have you seen any concerns from insurance companies around Brexit?
It is still early days and UK-based companies are trying to establish what they need to do and DIMA will obviously help them where we can in terms of finding information that they require.
If they want to they can meet with myself or member companies that have an operation here and they can share experiences.
In the meantime, I understand that UK-based companies are looking at contingency planning for a worst-case scenario because the loss of freedom of services in the EU, would become a reality.
DIMA will also contribute to the implementation of what is called IFS2020, which is the Irish government’s strategy for further developing the international financial services sector in Ireland. International reinsurance and insurance is one of the pillars.
A strategic group was set up, which has been put together by the government and works across all internationally focused financial sectors to develop the financial services sector and create jobs in Ireland. DIMA will focus on the international insurance and reinsurance side.
Since the implementation of Solvency II, have you seen much of an impact on captives? Have members informed you of any challenges they are facing?
The challenge for captives is the complexity, the workload and the resulting operational cost of implementing the Solvency II requirements. Solvency II does not allow enough room for the application of proportionality for captives and smaller companies. Hopefully, the upcoming review of Solvency II in 2017 and 2018 will address this issue, as well as others.
Many countries will be expected to subscribe to the BEPS framework put together by the OECD. Are there any implications for captives following the framework?
DIMA is monitoring the development of the BEPS framework and its impact on the industry. The impact will depend very much on the group structure under which the captive is operating as well as the domicile of its shareholders. So far, the impact on captives based in Ireland has been very limited, if any.
And finally, are there any future plans in place to appoint a permanent candidate for the CEO position at DIMA?
I will be in this role for now and there is no timeline currently in place to appoint a permanent CEO.
One of my main tasks as interim CEO is to look strategically at what DIMA is doing and how it can improve its offering to members, which is one of the main reasons why I was hired.
Hopefully by doing this it will help to increase our membership and its revenues.