Heading into 2020, the Isle of Man life assurance industry now spans six decades. However, despite this longevity, there remains a strong desire to stay well out in front as a centre of excellence for international life and wealth management solutions.
As a jurisdiction, the Isle of Man sets these standards through first-rate regulation, financial supervision and consumer protection and, in return, it maintains the hard-earned trust and respect of distributers and consumers around the globe. As an industry, the Island’s leading providers will continue to innovate and develop the products that are needed with competitive pricing, best-of -breed servicing standards and consumer choice.
It will maintain this position because that what it’s always done – being responsive to customer trends whilst compliant with the ever-developing demands of international regulation and taxation. There is little doubt that much has changed for the industry in the last 40 years or so, and even less doubt that change will remain a constant over the next 40 too. But the Isle of Man life industry is well-equipped to meet these challenges head-on, in whatever form they take.
The Island’s leading position owes much to its collaborative nature. The individual providers are, of course, competitors but they are also bound together by a collective desire to ensure that they represent the jurisdiction in the most positive way. That is the core objective of the Manx Insurance Association which itself has been around since 1985. It promotes education, technical support and governmental liaison across its membership, thus ensuring that all commercial and regulatory pressures are dealt with for the good of the industry.
However, it’s not just the technical and regulatory excellence that is behind the Isle of Man’s past and future successes in international life assurance. The business, social and political environment has an important role to play as well. The life industry works closely with the Island’s government to ensure it has all the support needed for continued growth, be it through financial assistance schemes, dedicated business development support or fiscal packages. The Island has focused for a long time on developing the highest standards of living for professionals and their families and the financial services industry has certainly reaped the benefits. Unlike some other international financial centres, though, this has not resulted in spiralling living costs a by-product of which, for the life industry, is that its products can be delivered at competitive prices.
Perhaps the most significant change ahead for the life and wealth management space in this coming decade will be around digital applications for product distribution and support. In this arena, the companies themselves are investing heavily and are supported by the Island’s cutting- edge communications infrastructure. Alongside this, consumer demand for high standards of social, ethical and environmental practices is here and is only going to grow – the Isle of Man and its life assurance practitioners strive to set the bar in this respect too.
So, as we enter a new decade, the Isle of Man’s life industry can look back on its achievements with pride, while looking forward with vigour to the challenges and opportunities to come, safe in the knowledge that it will embrace them – because it always has.