Restructuring insurance groups
First published in the Jersey Evening Post, Law & Accountancy Review in February 2017
Changes in the geopolitical and regulatory landscape amid a buoyant insurance mergers and acquisitions market have led to us observing an uptick in insurance groups seeking to restructure, sell a part of the business, or incorporate an acquisition more effectively into the group. There are two principal types of insurance business restructuring: a sale of shares in an insurance company and a transfer of insurance business from one insurance company to another by way of a court-approved scheme. Insurers need to consider the steps required to complete either type of restructuring where part of the business is carried on in the Crown Dependencies.
Changes in ownership of insurance companies
Where the circumstances favour a transfer of shares in an insurance company, the relative complexity of the court approval process discussed below can be foregone. However, it will be necessary to seek the consent of or give notice to the relevant insurance regulator (i.e. the Jersey Financial Services Commission, Guernsey Financial Services Commission, or the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority) in respect of the transfer of ownership or control and changes of management. The exact requirements, and the thresholds at which they are triggered, vary between Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. If in doubt, insurers should seek local advice on the requirements.