July 25, 2011

Conflicting reports this week on Sean Quinn, formerly of Quinn Insurance, and his post-Quinn plans. Reports in the Irish Independent and Insurance Times that Quinn is planning to launch a new insurance venture, Q2, based in Malta, have been cast into doubt by a flat denial from the Maltese regulator that the proposed venture has a licence to operate in that jurisdiction.

The original suggestion had been that Quinn and former Quinn executive Dave Mackey had been secretly working on plans for a new operation based in Belturbet, County Cavan, developed a “highly efficient software programme,” secured reinsurance from Swiss Re, and stood poised to nick back lots of Q1’s business.

The licence to run an insurance company in Malta was said to have been acquired four years ago by a Cavan-based building firm P Elliot & Co who never got round to doing anything with it and had now transferred it to Q2.

Not so says Malta Financial Services Authority (MFIA) chairman Joseph Bannister, who denied the existence of any licence in Q2’s name. P Elliot & Co had applied for a licence in 2007,” he confirmed, “but had withdrew its application in 2009 when the economic downturn hit.

“You cannot buy a licence in Malta,” he told Insurance Age. “Any licence granted would require extensive due diligence and the MFSA is in regular contact with other regulators.”

Other jurisdictions are available. Some of them doubtless less sniffy.


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