Our experience in the field of employee benefit services means that we are fully focused on delivering effective solutions for pension plans. Our actuarial consultancy clients include both the corporate sponsors of pension plans and the trustees responsible for the ongoing governance and management of such plans. We also provide a full administration service for pension plan and employee share plan clients who wish to outsource this role.

Our flagship pension product, the Blue Riband Plan, complements our range of individualised services and provides positive retirement solutions. To find out more about the Blue Riband plan visit the Blue Riband website here.

Services
Communications
Employee Share Trusts
Governance
Opinions
Pensions Consultancy
Pensions Management
Trust and Corporate

Lead Contact

Michelle Galpin
+44 (0)1481 728432
mgalpin@bwcigroup.com

Other Contacts
Steven Jones
Ian Morris
Debra Smith

Factsheets
Services for Advocates

Lead Contact

John Martin
+44 (0)1481 728432
jmartin@bwcigroup.com

Other Contacts
Michelle Galpin
Paul Jinks
Jane Tuffs

BWCI provides a broad range of life and non life insurance services to financial institutions. Our clients include international life assurance companies, friendly societies and captive insurance companies. We focus on the strategic issues that affect financial performance and competitive positions. These include the core actuarial functions of reserving advice and certification, as well as broader consultancy issues such as product design and pricing.

As an independent firm, BWCI gives practical and high quality investment advice that is unbiased and free from conflicts of interest. We provide a full range of investment advisory services to trustees and sponsors of pension plans, as well as to insurance companies and other financial institutions and charities. These services range from setting appropriate strategic benchmarks to appointing and monitoring investment managers.

BWCI is the Channel Islands member firm of Abelica Global, the international organisation of independent firms which provide actuarial and consulting services from locations in principal cities around the world and in many leading international finance centres. As a leading international finance centre consultancy, we provide services in the Channel Islands and in other finance centres where there is no domestic Abelica Global presence.

Our Abelica Global links enable us to provide a truly global service to our clients while enabling us to retain our independence as BWCI.

Island Global Research is a market research and consultancy company. We support clients in developing policies and initiatives, in making strategic decisions, in monitoring implementation, and in evaluating performance.

Market Research: Surveys and focus groups for public and private sector clients. Measuring economic impact, demographic trends, attitudes and opinions, brand or product awareness, customer satisfaction, and service quality.

Consultancy: Benchmarking to learn from experience in other islands. Strategic planning to support clients in scenario analysis and project appraisal. Monitoring and evaluation to adapt implementation and measure performance.

Island Monitor: Thematic publications benchmarking, offering in-depth analysis and case studies on key issues for small islands.

To find out more visit the Island Global Research website here.

Opinions

In certain areas of their advice to clients, Advocates need to draw on actuarial advice and some specific examples are described below.

Apportionment of Trust Funds
Trust Funds, often set up under Wills, are a very effective way of sharing the benefit of assets between those who have a life interest and those who have a reversionary interest in the assets. However, circumstances do change, and the continuance of the trust may cease to be viable or appropriate. In such cases the assets need to be split between the holders of the various interests in an equitable manner. We are able to undertake the required actuarial review and report on an equitable division.

Claims for Damages
There are numerous circumstances where an individual may lose the enjoyment of a future income and wish to seek redress through the courts. In these cases it may be necessary to capitalise the lost income for the purpose of the claim or discussions between the parties to achieve a settlement. We are able to prepare a determination of the capital amounts or to review claims made or sums offered. Examples would be the loss of pension rights or loss of employment income following an accident.

Divorce Cases
In these cases there might, typically, be a dispute about the capital sum required to compensate for the loss of the benefit of the other partner’s income or pension benefits. There could also be a dispute about the capital value of an existing income entitlement of one of the parties. In such cases we are able to advise on the impact of the factors affecting the determination of a capital sum or to review figures produced by other advisers.

Expert Witness
In many of these cases our involvement would be confined to a written actuarial report. However, in some cases, we may be required to appear in court in person and we have experience of providing services as an expert witness.

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Communications

Easily understood and accessible communication of pension plan information to plan members is vital and our experienced Communications team will work with you and alongside our pension consultants to ensure that your message is delivered to members in a well planned and cost effective manner. We can provide a range of communications services, depending upon your needs and can provide as much or as little support as you need to get your message across.

Member presentations are important whenever changes in pension arrangements are being communicated or whenever a reminder of pension options is needed. No matter how well the background material may have been prepared, there may be no better way to generate interest and greater understanding in pensions than to have an informative member presentation. Our pension consultants can provide a range of presentations, depending upon client requirements, and can provide an impartial external view of pension changes, investment options and retirement planning. Where required, this can be supplemented with one to one "surgeries" to deal with individual queries.

Where employee input is sought before changes are introduced we can assist by facilitating Focus Groups in order to identify key employee issues which will need to be taken into account and can organise Online Surveys in order to establish employee views.

A core element of most communications material is the Member Booklet. We can design member booklets in a range of styles (incorporating the client's corporate look and feel as needed), setting out the key issues in straightforward language for members to understand. This should help members to understand and value the benefits being provided to them.

Regular communications are also important in order to maintain member engagement and we can provide Benefit Statements for both defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans in order to give a helpful guide to a member's potential benefits. Members can also be encouraged to take an interest in the finances and ongoing management of the plan by publishing a Summary Report which gives an abridged version of the annual financial statements and other relevent information such as the investment performance of the funds in an easy to read presentation style.

Increasingly members expect all their communications to be available on-line whenever they want it and we can offer a full range of Web-Based Communications for pension plan sponsors and trustees. We can provide these through our own platform, Pension-Net or we can provide material to include on the client's own intranet.

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Employee Share Trust Services

We can provide a full range of trusteeship and administration services for employee share trusts through BWCI Trust Company Limited, our specialist trustee company which is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

Our services are designed to complement whatever other resources our clients may wish to use in any particular case. Thus, we can provide as many or as few of the following services as may be required:

Trusteeship Services


  • Purchase of (or subscription for) shares or other securities on the advice of the client and custodianship thereof
  • Receipt of and accounting for dividends
  • Exercise of voting rights on shares held in trust
  • Funding of participants’ liabilities to income tax (or foreign equivalents)
  • Maintenance of accounting records
  • Production of full annual accounts in an agreed format, audited if required by the client

Administration Services

  • Preparation and execution of award agreements on the recommendations of the client
  • Holding award agreements
  • Electronic import and export of data
  • Ability to handle any number of participants across any number of jurisdictions
  • Automated documentation (award agreements, vesting statements, covering letters)
  • Selection of reports available to the client and to individual participants

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Governance

Good governance is central to the effective management of employee benefit plans. It defines the roles and powers of those responsible for plan management activities – from identifying and managing the risks affecting the plan, through compliance with local laws and regulations, to plan administration with the assistance of professional advisors. An effective governing board should lead to effective governance and an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement.

We are well placed to advise on all aspects of governance. We can add value by helping you to manage your plans proactively. Our flexible range of governance services can be tailored to fit your needs.

Employee benefit plans are subject to a range of risks, some of which can be mitigated while others need to be recognised and managed. We can help to establish and maintain risk registers to assist with all aspects of risk management. Once risks have been identified and measured, we can advise on risk mitigation.

We provide periodic bulletins on topical issues, as well as client specific advice to make sure your plans are in compliance with local laws and regulations. We can review all aspects of a plan’s operations and advise on any improvements needed to meet emerging best practice.

Our consultants can support the trustee boards of plans and contribute to their effective governance as part of the management team. As needed, we can prepare and review the terms of reference of board committees to ensure that appropriate and effective governance structures are in place. We can also prepare business plans and budgets, and help to implement effective decision making.

Proactive plan secretarial services are a key element in good governance. We believe that secretarial services go well beyond keeping minutes of meetings. The plan secretary can be the central team member to ensure that the plan is managed effectively on behalf of the members and the employer.

Engaging the right advisors is key to an effective employee benefits management operation. We are able to provide a full range of timely and proactive advice on all aspects of employee benefits plan provision. We can also assist in selecting other professional advisors or administrators and in monitoring their services.

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Pensions Management Services

We can provide a full range of pensions management services through BWCI Pension Trustees Limited, our specialist pensions management company which is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. These include:


  • acting as trustee of Guernsey pension trusts
  • acting as pensions administrator of local pension schemes
  • acting as pensions administrator of international and Pan-European pension schemes
  • acting as trustee and administrator of retirement annuity trust schemes
  • acting in a non executive capacity on the trustee board of Guernsey pension trusts in order to contribute pensions experience to the trustee board
  • providing directors, together with corporate secretarial and pensions administration services, where a client has established its own Guernsey registered trustee company to act as trustee of its pension scheme
  • providing Pension-Net, our Web-Based member communications platform

We can arrange (in consultation with the client) for the development of an appropriate investment strategy and fund range, the appointment of an investment manager and the monitoring of the investment performance.

We would maintain accounting books and records and can prepare quarterly management information and reports as required. We would prepare full annual accounts and would arrange for their audit as needed.

We can maintain membership records, prepare benefit statements and calculate benefits in accordance with the provisions of the scheme. We would invoice employing companies for the contributions due under the scheme and arrange for their collection. Once benefits have come into payment, we would pay benefits as they fall due and would operate a pensioner payroll, deducting tax as required and accounting for such tax to the appropriate tax authorities.

We also provide the Blue Riband product range of positive retirement solutions

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Trust and Corporate Services

We can provide a full range of trust and corporate services in Guernsey through our specialist trust companies which are licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Examples include:


  • acting as the trustee of an international pension scheme for expatriate and “third country national” executives
  • acting as the trustee of an employee share trust
  • acting as the corporate administrator of a client owned trust company
  • acting as the trustee of a private discretionary trust
  • acting as an employment services company for the non-UK service of executives with dual contracts

Our services are designed to complement whatever other resource our clients may wish to use in any particular case. We can also provide local directors and company secretarial services, including provision of a registered office and nominee shareholders

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Insurance Broking Services

We provide employee benefit risk broking services through BWCI Insurance Broking Limited, our specialist insurance broking company which is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

Where your company or pension scheme provides any form of insured benefit to employees or scheme members we can assist with a full range of support. This includes a comparison of insurance providers premium rates and policy terms, the negotiation and arrangement of insurance contracts, renegotiation and renewal of insurance contracts, maintenance of employee data and assistance with discrepancies, service issues and claims disputes.

We have a working relationship with a broad range of leading insurance providers covering a wide range of benefits including life insurance (lump sum or dependants’ pensions), long term disability / permanent health insurance, retirement annuities and critical illness.

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Insurance Consultancy Services

BWCI provides a broad range of life and non life insurance services to financial institutions.

Our clients include international life assurance companies, friendly societies and captive insurance companies. We focus on the strategic issues that affect financial performance and competitive positions. These include the core actuarial functions of reserving advice and certification, as well as broader consultancy issues such as product design and pricing.

We also carry out the statutory actuarial duties for life assurance companies and friendly societies. These include advice on the long-term business provisions for inclusion in the audited accounts, advice on bonus rates and the distribution of surplus. We can also assist in the development of the full range of products and advise on the capital needs to support such products. This may include projections of the client's future financial position on a range of assumptions, including the effects of changes in new business levels or in expenses, and may extend to general strategic planning.

Our in depth knowledge of international life assurance enables us to provide advice and research on the nature and scope of the markets, both from our own experience and through our Abelica Global network colleagues in other international financial centres.

With our investment consultants, we can advise on investment strategy, including the use of asset liability studies.

Increasingly, we are being asked to determine, or to verify, the technical reserves of captive insurance companies. This may be for regulatory or taxation reasons, or in order to satisfy accounting needs. Whatever the reason, we are able to apply a range of statistical, graphical and economic techniques using advanced analytical tools and software to determine the technical reserves in a rigorous manner, backed by our professional actuarial judgement. We then present our results in clear and non-technical language, often using graphical presentations to help in the understanding of the results. Similarly, we can determine, or verify, premium rates for a captive insurance company. We can also advise on related liability and risk management issues, such as reinsurance strategy.

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Insurance Management Services

We provide a full range of insurance management services for Guernsey life assurance companies and branch operations through BWCI Insurance Management Limited, our specialist insurance management company which is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

We provide representative office facilities, including meeting rooms and dedicated telephone lines and email boxes to deal with enquiries from prospective investors and intermediaries. If required, we can arrange for automatic switching of telephone and/or email enquiries to a central processing team within the client's Group. We can respond to enquiries and issue illustrations and literature.

We provide underwriting facilities and issue acceptances and policy documents. Thereafter, we maintain policy files, invoice and collect premiums and process surrenders and claims. We can also arrange for the payment of commissions and handle reassurance matters. We can maintain unit records and calculate unit prices of internal unit funds. We can also process fund switches and provide unit statements annually, or as required. We maintain accounting books and records and can prepare management information and reports and accounts as required.

We can provide local directors and company secretarial services, including the provision of a registered office and nominee shareholders, and can arrange Board Meetings and Annual General Meetings. We would prepare and file the returns required under Guernsey company law and insurance law. We can also act as General Representative of an insurance company for regulatory purposes.

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Investment Consultancy Services

Our broad investment knowledge base and our innovative use of analytical tools and software, coupled with a clear communication of our findings, enables us to help our clients to make the right decisions within their chosen balance between investment risk and reward.

We provide a full range of investment advisory services to trustees and sponsors of pension plans, as well as to insurance companies and other financial institutions and charities. These services range from setting appropriate strategic benchmarks to appointing and monitoring investment managers. Our services are tailored to each client's needs, typically starting with an analysis of the client's investment requirements, the development or review of an investment strategy and the preparation of a statement of investment principles.

This leads to the review of potential investment managers, the analysis of their investment philosophy and process, and the construction of a proposed shortlist for interview. We then coordinate the final selection and review the investment management agreement on behalf of the client. On an ongoing basis we monitor investment performance relative to the client's chosen benchmarks.

For defined contribution pension schemes we can also develop lifestyle fund strategies and assist in trustee training and member communication generally.


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Pensions Consultancy Services

Our experience in the field of employee benefit services means that we are fully focused on delivering effective solutions for pension plans.

Our actuarial consultancy clients include both corporate sponsors of pension plans and the trustees responsible for the ongoing governance and management of such plans. We also provide a full administration service for pension plan and clients who wish to outsource this role.

At BWCI we advise corporate sponsors on the best options for cost containment and mitigation of the risks associated with defined benefit pension plans. This includes advice on the harmonisation and rationalisation of existing pension plans and the benefit design of new pension plans.

Our wide experience means that we can compare existing or proposed benefit structures with those of similar organisations. We can advise on plan design and the most cost effective methods of providing such benefits. On an ongoing basis we can also provide the pension accounting disclosures for inclusion in corporate financial statements, including advice on the selection and impact of assumptions.

Trustees of pension plans require a different array of advisory services and, here too, we are able to offer focused solutions.

We advise trustees about the funding status of their plans and future funding requirements in order to ensure that the plan continues to meet its ongoing obligations. This includes regular actuarial valuations and interim updates as needed, and can include benefit reviews as required. We engage with trustees in selecting the actuarial assumptions needed and in quantifying the financial impact of varying them. Additionally, we can supply advice on the funding impact of alternative investment strategies and, with our investment consultants, can provide asset liability studies.

We can help with the establishment and design of defined contribution pension plans, including the selection of member fund options, and assist with the ongoing monitoring of fund performance.

Practical and accessible communication of all the information and options available to pension plan members is vital. Here, we can provide personal presentations, member booklets and internet access using our Pension-Net web-based interface. We can also help with trustee training, project management, compliance and governance.

We have an in depth knowledge of international pension plans for expatriate and third country national employees. We can advise clients on the design, establishment and management of such plans.

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International Pensions

International Pension Plans (IPPs) can be an ideal vehicle for the internationally mobile staff of multinational companies. IPPs can provide defined benefit, defined contribution or cash balance benefits. We have established, administer and provide trusteeship for IPPs from Guernsey and can provide investment manager and fund selection services and ongoing monitoring of investment performance.

For defined benefit IPPs we provide actuarial valuation services, enabling funding levels and contribution rates to be determined. We can also advise on an appropriate investment strategy, which can include sophisticated asset liability modelling techniques.

Download our International Retirement Solutions Brochure here

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International Insurance

We provide an extensive range of consultancy and actuarial services to captives, protected cell companies, general insurers and life insurers. We have clients in Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, Malta, Isle of Man and South Africa, and provide international services to UK-based clients. Particular areas of specialist expertise include:


  • Solvency II, and capital and risk management advice
  • Reserving and pricing for captive insurance companies
  • Statutory actuarial roles for life companies in a range of jurisdictions including Guernsey and Malta
  • Advice to auditors of life companies
  • Insurance management for life companies and branches
  • Insurance broking for employee benefits

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