Willis Towers Watson takes home Asia captive insurance consulting award

31 August 2018 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read

Risk management advisory Willis Towers Watson has taken home the Captive Consultant trophy at the inaugural Asia Captive Review Awards which celebrate the local captive insurance industry. Further awards were given to Big Four firms EY and Deloitte.

Intended as means of greater risk management, in its most basic form a captive insurance company is typically a wholly-owned subsidiary serving the insurance needs of its parent company, established for a number of potential reasons including the non-availability of commercial insurance options, lowering overheads or tax offsetting, enhancing cash-flow, and as a strategic investment to achieve returns from profitability.

Commonly domiciled offshore in jurisdictions with favourable tax conditions, and subject to a web of regulatory and corporate governance controls, the complex, often multijurisdictional nature of captive insurance measures together with the range of motivations and structural variations requires a high level of expertise likely external to a company’s core functions, creating as such a thriving specialist consulting market – including in Asia, which according to a recent Marsh report is recording particularly strong growth.

Marking this growth, the leading local captive insurance advisories were earlier this month celebrated in the inaugural Asia Captive Review Awards held in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by niche industry publication Captive Review, with risk management advisory and broker Willis Towers Watson named as Captive Consultant of the year for 2018. Willis Towers Watson ultimately beat out fellow nominees Marsh Captive Solutions and Aon Captive & Insurance Management.Willis Towers Watson takes home Asia captive insurance consulting award“We are honoured to be presented with this award, which recognises providers of captive insurance consulting services who have demonstrated the highest levels of excellence,” said George McGhie, managing director of Willis Towers Watson’s Asia-Pacific captive practice. “It reflects our partnership with clients, integrating our captive, risk and analytics and multinational employee benefits capabilities and solutions.”

In awarding the title, the judges noted Willis Towers Watson’s range of expertise and global reach – with the firm boasting more than 40,000 employees active in over 140 countries. “The diverse range of expertise, from traditional risk consulting and feasibility studies to analytics and employee benefits, caught the judges’ eyes,” the panel stated.

“The broker’s global captive team is able to leverage these practices within Willis Towers Watson to provide a comprehensive offering to captive clients. These capabilities were clearly evidenced by strong case studies and multiple examples of sophisticated client work with tangible results.” Capping off a successful night, International SOS, a Willis Towers Watson client, was awarded the winner of the Captive Owner Initiative category.

The judges said: “International SOS’s use of a Singaporean captive to write life and non-life business has undoubtedly made it one of the success stories of Asia’s emerging captive market. Leveraging, and led by, a sophisticated risk management team, the captive is essentially self-managed while working with third party captive consultants. International SOS also structured the first ever captive-backed employee benefits programme in Asia.”

Other awards

Further award-winners on the night included Big Four firms Ernst & Young as Actuarial Firm of the year (ahead of KPMG and Deloitte), and Deloitte, as best Captive Tax Specialist (beating out EY and Crowe Malaysia), while Captive Consultant of the year runner-ups Aon Captive & Insurance Management and Marsh Captive Solutions each scored the top prize in another section; Aon Captive with the Captive Innovation Award, and Marsh Captive in the coveted Captive Manager of the Year category.

Notably, Willis Towers Watson has in recent months embarked on a significant recruitment drive in the Asia Pacific, including the appointment of Ken Brown as the firm’s new division leader in Insurance Consulting and Technology for South Asia and Emerging Markets.