Aon sets up a second protected cell company

Gibraltar wants to increase the number of captive insurance companies on The Rock after Aon set up a second protected cell company (PCC) on the island.

Chris Collins, head of Gibraltar's Financial Services Commission insurance supervision, said: "The PCC structure is an area we want to grow and we are in discussions with another company to take this forward."

Aon's group managing director of European captive operations Clive James said it had set up a second PCC "to provide different services to our clients."

Gibraltar is also hoping to benefit from the EU's Reinsurance Directive, which will see the minimum guarantee fund limit of a captive reduced to €1m later this year from the current €2 to €3m.

"We would like to see the number of captives grow and they should, as it will be easier with the limit at a lower level," added Collins.

James Tipping, Gibraltar's finance centre director, added: "With a lower cost base than other jurisdictions we have an enticing offering to insurance firms. We want the number of insurance companies to grow further."

Gibraltar introduced PCC legislation in 2001.

In simple terms, a PCC is a number of captive insurance companies, or "cells", set up within a single corporate structure. The cells are separate from each other and from the "core" of the entity.

The segregation helps to avoid amalgamation of funds and assets of the different participants, ensuring that no claim against one participant of the captive-insurance entity will be covered by funds or assets furnished by another.

The Rock to floa

Insurance companies could benefit from a listing in Gibraltar with The Rock set to announce it will set up its own stock exchange.

Gibraltar says it will be the only tax preferential regime to have a stock exchange within the European Union.

The exchange will initially begin with special purpose vehicles, debt and hedge funds, with the likelihood of an expansion into other areas once the exchange is up and running.

Marcus Killick, head of Gibraltar's Financial Services Commission, said: "This is a very early stage.

"The model is the Channel Islands Stock Exchange, but we have the advantage over the Channel Islands of being within the European Union."