Introducing HighDome

At MDS Group we’ve always endeavoured to be innovative, always being "on the alert” for new solutions in the market as well as listening to the good ideas of our team. And HighDome is a good example of this culture.

Introducing HighDome
Two years ago, we were at a Seminar in London about "Captives” and were introduced to the concept of PCCs – Protected cell companies. As professionals we were of course familiar with the captive concept – having worked with Sonae reinsurance captive for some years, SonaeRe – but this idea of a company with several cells, financially independent from each other but, all the same, managed by the same "core”, was very interesting, as it meant we could put it to the use of several clients, as each one’s "mini” own captive company.

When we came forward with the idea, to create a PCC for MDS’Group as well as BrokersLink Clients, we were encouraged to pursue it and go forward with a totally innovative project coming from a Portuguese-originated Group. 

The concept 
PCCs are an evolved form of the rent a captive concept, being a single legal entity with two classes of shares: core shares and cell shares. Each cell is completely independent from the core and other cells, and each cell’s assets and liabilities are legally protected from other cells. The minimum capital requirement of the core is provided by the promoter of the PCC (MDS Group), while the solvency capital requirement has to be provided by the owner of the cell for its own insurance activity (representing a percentage of premiums, according to regulations).

With a PCC all the benefits of a pure captive can be achieved, with a lesser cost to the cell owner, which allows small and medium sized companies to have this type of solution, while, at the same time, there is an easy exit possibility by just liquidating the cell, after a run-off period (depending on the cell writing short or long term risks). A feasibility study is mandatory previously to the cell creation process, which is expected to take 3 to 4 months.

Why Malta 

From the first moment, Malta was "the place” to create a PCC, as it is the only EU domicile with specific legislation on PCCs. The only other European legislations about PCCs are Guernsey and Gibraltar.

But there are other reasons, besides this one, that make Malta a most interesting place to start up a company: it’s a highly developed (and stable!) financial center, with a reputable and well regulated jurisdiction; with high professional skills and a multilingual educated workforce, as well as having a favourable tax regime compliant with the EU regulations. 

Why HighDome

When you get to Malta it impresses you with its history and culture. Malta is an island with more than 5,000 years of history and with some impressive episodes like the Maltese siege by the Turks in 1565 or the violent bombing by Italian (neighbour) planes during the 2nd world war. A look at Maltese history shows us a resilient people with an indomitable spirit.

While naming our company we wanted to do homage to this spirit and this innate strength, and thought they would be well represented by the "high domes” of Maltese cathedrals, whose silhouette you can easily see against the Maltese sky. So HighDome it was, and we are proud of our name and its strong meaning. 

Who we are

HighDome is a registered insurance and reinsurance company domiciled in Malta, regulated by the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) under the "Companies Act Regulations (2004)”. After a somewhat long application process, HighDome was incorporated on the 23rdof November 2011 and is authorized to conduct business from the 1st of December 2011.

HighDome is now fully authorized to conduct business, both in insurance and reinsurance, in short tail risks, such as accident, land vehicles (all damages), goods in transit, fire and natural forces, other damage to property and miscellaneous financial loss. An application for Credit and Surety insurance has already followed. HighDome’s management team are professionals with long standing experience in the insurance sector, both in underwriting and sales, at national and international level.

Also, the Risk and Compliance Committee and the Investment Committee will assist the board of Directors concerning decisions in their respective areas. Our offer and advantages HighDome’s targets are medium sized operators or large operators (in case of just one strategic risk). A few examples of risks may be auto fleet, affinity insurance, mobile phone insurance, accident (travel, baggage), extended guarantees... The services provided range from the feasibility studies to assistance in all process of cell license application, and arrangements for fronting and reinsurance placements and arrangements for Engineering programs (loss prevention survey).

By Paula Rios, Executive Director MDS

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