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OUR ANSWER TO THE QUESTION: WHY THE ISLE OF MAN?

Andy Caddick, a British citizen who runs the Gibraltar-headquartered, expat-focused IFA International advisory firm, says he includes the fact of RL360 being based in the Isle of Man in all of his sales pitches to clients, adding that “our meeting room in Gibraltar is full of books about the Isle of Man”.

“I tell them, ‘here’s a basket of reasons for using the Isle of Man’,” Caddick, whose company recently became a part of the Opes Fidelio advisory network, explains.


“As an adviser, I’ve been using the Isle of Man for more than a decade. Today I’d say 97% of our business is done through island [product providers].”


Here at RL360 – which is headquartered in the IoM – we, not-surprisingly, share Caddick’s enthusiasm for this place.


And we’re also not surprised to hear about all those books about our island on the shelves of his company’s meeting room. That’s because those of us whose companies are based here sometimes seem to have to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining the reasons we choose to be based (and thus regulated) here – rather than, say, the Cayman Islands, Malta, Guernsey, Jersey or London.


But in fact we can cite quite a few reasons why we believe both we and advisers who recommend our products actually enjoy a number of competitive advantages in the mere fact of us being based here.



Stable and secure

Among the reasons we, Caddick and others normally give for favouring the Isle of Man as a base, include the fact that its legal system is robust, and based on the principles of English common law – like the legal systems of most UK Commonwealth countries. This means that the rights of companies, their employees and their clients are well secured by the rule of law here.


It is also an English language jurisdiction, an advantage which only seems to grow, as globalisation is making English the default choice of international business.


The stability of the Isle of Man in a fast changing world is also seen as an attractive quality. The Island is self-governing and enacts its own laws through its own parliament, called Tynwald, which is widely recognised as the oldest continuous parliament in the world.


The Island enjoys a robust economy with a GDP of £4.88 billion in 2017, backed by healthy reserves.



Experience and protection

The Island has been an international financial services centre since the 1980s, which means there is an experienced and well-trained workforce to draw from for the Island’s product providers. The financial services industry remains the Island’s largest employer, and more than 2,000 people work for life companies in the Isle of Man.


Strong policyholder protection regulations also make the Isle of Man a popular choice for investors who want to know their hard earned money is safe. The Isle of Man protection scheme has a Policyholder Compensation Fund which, in the event of an Isle of Man provider being unable to meet its liabilities, will pay policyholders 90% of their policy value – regardless of where they reside.



Steady rise in regulatory standards

The island has a well-respected regulatory regime for businesses like ours, and has been steadily and actively looking to raise its standards over the last few decades.


Government officials accept that financial services is one of the island’s most important industries, and therefore, make a point of being responsive to the needs of such businesses.


A series of consultations preceded the major overhaul of the Isle of Man’s insurance regulations that’s set to come into force, in 2 stages, during 2019. The new “Conduct of Business Code” is designed to ensure that the jurisdiction maintains its standing on the international insurance industry stage.


For more on the Conduct of Business, click here.



International outlook

In addition to being responsive to its local businesses, the Isle of Man is an active member of the OECD and other global organisations, alongside G20 countries including the UK and US.


It is a participant in the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and as part of that, is currently a member of the Global Forum’s Steering Group. It was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to the OECD’s Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (in force since 1 March 2014) and to its Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (CRS).


It has 29 double tax agreements in force, with a 30th, with Belgium, awaiting ratification.


So to answer the question of why RL360 continues to be based on the Isle of Man, the simple answer is “why not?” With a well-established and successful life and pensions sector, supportive government, sophisticated and mature regulation, a well-trained and experienced workforce to draw on and long-standing political and economic stability, the question should really be “why would RL360 choose anywhere else”?


So if you’d like to know more about why we believe the Isle of Man should be your default jurisdiction, please get in touch with your RL360 representative. Alternatively, you can find out more at a new website created by the Isle of Man Department for Enterprise www.isleofmanforlife.com.



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