Steve Quinn, chief executive, Quest Insurance Management (Gibraltar)
Quinn detailed the strengths of Gibraltar in comparison with other offshore financial centres:
• An established regulatory regime that other domiciles are looking to follow
• Specialist skills in personal lines
• Growing market for captives and protected cell companies
• A developed infrastructure, with experienced accountants and lawyers
• Historically, a virtually tax-free regime
• A strategic geographic location
• The strength and reputation of the regulator, the Financial Services Commission
• The ability to access the regulator easily.
But Gibraltar has some weaknesses:
• Only five insurers account for £700m of the £1bn worth of premium in Gibraltar
• Relative lack of quality recruits locally
• Limits to the regulator's scope
• Small geographical area.
Among the opportunities are:
• Gibraltar's new tax regime, due to be announced early next year, should be "in the single digits"
• The soon-to-be-enacted Reinsurance Directive
• Improved relations with Spain
• Fund opportunities, for example collective investments in transferable securities (UCITS)
• Islamic banking.
But the offshore centre faces some threats, according to Quinn:
• Lack of local management
• Competition from other jurisdictions
• Unresolved corporate tax regime
• Service provision
• Possible company failures.
Quinn remained optimistic, however: "The future looks bright for Gibraltar."