Malta – the Bermuda of the Mediterranean?


Could Malta become the ‘Bermuda of the Mediterranean’? This was a question posed by Raymond Hainey of the Royal Gazzette. Malta could become the “Bermuda of the Mediterranean” for insurance companies, the head of the subsidiary of a Bermuda-based firm said.

Mark Peeters, CEO of ArgoGlobal SE, which opened an office in Malta two years ago, said: “We were the first property/casualty insurance company to obtain an Societas Europaea licence from the Malta Financial Services Authority but we hope that we will act as a trailblazer encouraging others.

Speaking in the Times of Malta, he said that “it would be great to look back in four of five years’ time and see several other property casualty insurance companies here.”

ArgoGlobal SE is the European arm of Argo Group, which moved to Bermuda in 2008 from its original base in the US. The firm last year had gross written premiums of around $1.7 billion and a total of 1,300 employees. The Times of Malta said that Argo Group looked at several jurisdictions when it decided to expand its operations into Europe.

Argo selected Malta because it has an English-speaking population and the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has a good reputation internationally. The Maltese branch operates in Europe, mostly Germany, Austria, France, the UK and the non-EU Switzerland, which required an insurance licence from Swiss regulators.