As you would expect we have developed our plans around the assumption of a “Hard Brexit” where the UK will lose passporting rights. In September last year we announced our intention to locate Chubb’s European Union headquarters in France if the United Kingdom leaves the EU as expected on 29 March 2019, and a loss of passporting rights makes it necessary to do so.
Although we are monitoring political developments closely, we are continuing to proceed on this basis.
Our plans aim to ensure minimal disruption for you, our clients and our business partners.
Following the Brexit referendum in 2016, we undertook an extensive analysis of potential options for a new EU headquarters. We sought a location where we could leverage our existing presence and minimise potential disruption for clients, distribution partners and staff. Our other priority was to work towards an effective post-Brexit operating model that would comply with all necessary regulatory requirements.
Applying these criteria, our preferred location of France was clear and straightforward.
Chubb has a long-established, vital presence in the French market, with more than $500million in gross premium and several hundred employees serving businesses of all sizes, as well as a vibrant consumer market in which we offer a wide range of products.
Paris is also the principal office for our Continental European operation, allowing us to capitalise on the management and staff already present in the city as we build our EU headquarters. Our indication of France as our preferred location reflected our existing strong commitment both to the French market and the larger European market.
In considering France as the future home of our legal entity, we worked closely with the ACPR, the French regulator, and we have established a good working relationship with them. In addition, the French government has and continues to be actively supportive at the most senior levels.
We are sure, therefore, that if Chubb moves its EU headquarters to France as a result of Brexit, there will be minimal potential disruption to you, your business and your clients.
So what could Chubb look like post-Brexit?
Our Brexit planning will develop further in 2018 and we anticipate that it could be marked by a series of changes to the Chubb business in the UK and Europe. I want to use this opportunity to explain, where possible, what this will entail.
As indicated, Chubb currently contemplates locating its EU headquarters in Paris and its UK and regional European headquarters in London. Chubb further plans to convert Chubb European Group Limited (CEGL) to a Societas Europaea and then if necessary redomicile the company to France. We are currently working on an operating model where Chubb would continue to have an authorised operation in the UK to write UK risks.
We anticipate that these changes will allow us to continue to benefit from the S&P “AA” rating assigned to core operating companies within the Chubb Group.
While we continue to monitor political developments closely, our current plans are predicated on having our new structure in place in sufficient time for renewals incepting on 1 January 2019.
Further information will also be posted on our Brexit website.
We will ensure at all times that you are fully informed wherever possible with simple, clear messaging.
With talks between the UK and EU still ongoing, no one can predict precisely what the outcome will be at this stage. Nonetheless we must plan ahead for whatever happens, as you and your other partners will no doubt also be doing. We are extremely confident in our ability to seamlessly serve all of our clients well in any eventuality post-Brexit.
Given the scale and significance of what is happening, I am sure you may have questions regarding our Brexit plans and how they might impact on your business specifically.
If you would like to discuss these further, please get in touch with your main contact at Chubb.
Regional President, Europe