Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, confirmed today that it has re-domiciled its European insurance company Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE (LMIE) to Luxembourg and has opened its new headquarters in the city. Liberty Specialty Markets will maintain its branch network in the UK, Continental Europe and the Middle East.
The Luxembourg-based company will be led by Dirk Billemon, LMIE’s General Manager.
LMIE is licensed by the Commissariat Aux Assurances (CAA). With its new licence, Liberty will be able to continue conducting insurance and reinsurance business in Europe, irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
Dirk Billemon, General Manager LMIE said: “With the new licence and opening of our Luxembourg office, we are delivering on our promise to our brokers, clients and employees to provide continuity and certainty. We remain focused on providing flexible, innovative and tailored re/insurance solutions to our clients across the region.”
About 80 insurers, banks and finance companies have chosen to make Luxembourg their tax base HQ over the last two years or so, as the judgement day over Brexit approaches. Hiscox, Tokyo Marine, AIG and RSA are amongst some of the names who are effectively hedging their bets over the tricky business of Brexit – which may never happen of course.
Allianz, Swiss Re, Genarali and AXA are already active in Luxembourg, in fact AXA established an office there back in 1995. So it isn’t necessarily a case of insurers rushing for the exit door from London, but rather a streamlining of a global office network that arguably better matches the political landscape over the last three years.
Insurance Edge believes that once it becomes clear that Brexit will never happen, many insurers will quietly wind down their Luxembourg operations to a skeleton staff over the next five years. Time will tell.