Dan Towle
CICA

As the new president of CICA, Dan Towle aims to continue supporting the association’s efforts to grow its membership, increase advocacy, and ensure the smoothest of transitions

What attracted you to CICA?

The Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) president job is one that I have watched quietly for some time. I always felt it had a lot of similarities to what I enjoyed most about my job at the State of Vermont and that it would be a good fit. When Dennis Harwick announced his retirement, I knew that this job opportunity was one that I could not pass up.

I have been involved with CICA throughout my entire career and have known it as the leading independent voice for the captive insurance industry. I have valued its important work in advocating for captive insurance and viewed it as an excellent resource for unbiased, domicile-neutral information.

CICA has been a strong partner for Vermont and I have admired the job Harwick and the board of directors have done in representing the global industry.

In my role at Vermont, I enjoyed advocating for captives and educating the marketplace about the benefits of captive insurance companies. Working for CICA will provide me an opportunity to do this on a much larger scale on behalf of our global membership.

The advocacy piece was also very attractive to me. Our industry has no shortage of threats, and I have been advocating for Vermont’s broad clientele, but it pales in comparison to CICA’s diverse membership across all domiciles. I will be able to advocate with a more credible, domicile-neutral voice. It will be exciting to undertake a new set of challenges.

What will you miss most about your work in Vermont (apart from David Provost’s jokes)?

I will miss Dave’s jokes, but I don’t think they will stop. Not only have we worked closely together for years, but we have built a solid friendship as well, and I expect we will continue to have opportunities to work together.

I enjoyed my job at the State of Vermont for a quite some time, and I felt very fortunate to have worked for four different governors and alongside legends of the industry like Len Crouse and Dave Provost.

I have had an opportunity to work with many of the best thought leaders of our global industry and I owe a great deal to all who have affected my perspectives and knowledge.

I will certainly miss working closely with the great group of people at the Department of Financial Regulation. They are committed, passionate and dedicated to their work. It is amazing what you can accomplish when you work with so many like-minded people.

I have often said the reason we were successful in Vermont was that we all considered ourselves stakeholders with a personal interest in our success. That is something I look forward to continuing with CICA’s membership, as well as working on increasing the number of stakeholders.

What did you learn during your time in Vermont that will stand you in good stead as CICA president?

First and foremost, this is a relationship industry. I built a good reputation in Vermont as an advocate for our industry. I have many friends in multiple domiciles, and have always understood we are in this industry together. I have been invited to, and have spoken at, other domiciles’ conferences and I think this is an excellent example of the mutual respect between many colleagues in other jurisdictions.

The strong relationships I established during my tenure in Vermont will continue to serve me well as president of CICA. My role will change, but the professional relationships will remain intact.

I should also mention that CICA has acknowledged the mutually beneficial relationship between the Vermont Captive Insurance Association, The State of Vermont and CICA. This strong relationship will continue to serve us well. My goal is to duplicate that strong working relationship with multiple domiciles around the globe. We are only as strong as our membership, and it is important we represent them well.

Now that you are assuming a more domicile-neutral role, what are the issues in captive insurance that you would like to tackle?

One of the things I think we struggle with as an industry is that we are often misunderstood. Captives are often characterised with a negative perspective by mainstream media and by governmental entities. We often find ourselves frustrated by how others outside the captive industry do not understand the valid business reasons and risk management benefits captive insurance can bring to a company. But, we have done very little as an industry to change those perceptions.

Our industry needs to collectively tell the story about why we form captives and how they benefit the parent company by being an important risk management tool.

We need to share the business case for putting together a risk-financing vehicle that can help us better manage our risk.

Captives are often formed to help contain and prevent losses and those dollars can be reinvested in preventing future losses. If we all told this story, there would be less mystery and undoubtedly less negative perception issues. I hope to work with our members to better tell this story.

On a broader level, there certainly isn’t a shortage of threats to the captive insurance industry and with CICA being an international organisation the threats are compounded even more.

I look forward to meeting with the full board of directors to better understand what they consider the primary threats to be, and how we can best prioritise and address them.

I also look forward to outlining my ideas and vision, working with our directors to align our priorities and determine the best use of resources as we move forward, on behalf of our members.

As the new CICA president, what are your initial plans?

In the short term, I don’t expect any major changes. I am fortunate to be a successor of an organisation that is very strong. I expect to be doing more fine tuning than introducing any bold initiatives during this initial time.

I am grateful to take over an organisation that has been well run and led by the strong efforts of Harwick and the board of directors. I look forward to learning as much as I can from Harwick in his time before his well-deserved retirement.

I am eager to hear from many of our members and I plan to launch an outreach campaign to many of them once I begin in my position on 24 April.

I certainly plan to continue to support CICA’s efforts to grow membership and to increase the advocacy of our members, and I plan to make sure this a very smooth transition.

I do have many ideas that I plan to share with the full board of directors. The challenges and threats facing our industry are abundant. However, our industry was born from being innovative and developing solutions to challenging problems.

I am certain our industry will continue to innovate and to develop solutions to handle the changing needs and challenges of the marketplace.

CICA can be a catalyst in cultivating that innovation by bringing people together and fostering new solutions.

I won’t officially be able to meet with the full board of directors until early June. This meeting will be my first chance to interact with them, compare visions and decide how best to utilise our resources. I am excited to commence my new chapter with CICA.

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