Brittany Nevins is in charge of marketing and business development for the captive insurance sector in Vermont in her capacity as director of captive insurance economic development. She collaborates closely with the Department of Financial Regulation and Vermont Captive Insurance Association to enhance the state’s standing as the leading onshore captive insurance domicile.
Brittany provides policy recommendations to the Governor of Vermont and the Secretary of Commerce within the state government to ensure a favorable business climate for state-wide development and relocation. Additionally, she maintains contact with Vermont’s congressional delegation to track legislation governing captive insurance and associated financial services. Brittany travels to various captive insurance conferences and other events around the country and at times internationally throughout the year to promote Vermont as a domicile.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Brittany Nevins:
Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace.
My name is Brittany Nevins and I am the Captive Insurance Economic Development Director for the State of Vermont within the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. I market Vermont as a captive insurance domicile and recruit businesses to license their captive insurance company in Vermont. In my free time I enjoy going on long walks with my dog, working on art projects, and traveling to new places.
Describe your background and what did you do before you started/joined the company?
I graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Vermont, with a minor in Community and International Development. I received an MA in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Policy Advocacy & Analysis from SIT Graduate Institute. I also double minored in Community and International Development and Global Studies.
I’ve worked in a variety of sectors and roles in nonprofits and government entities in both Vermont and Texas. Most recently, I worked for Travis County Economic
Development, managing their tax incentive program for businesses that developed in the Austin region. I worked to align the program with the county’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy goals.
Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?
Captive insurance is an alternative risk management tool for companies and organizations. In 1981, Vermont adopted its captive insurance enabling legislation, one of the first states to do so. Since then, through numerous modifications of its landmark legislation to address ever-changing industry needs, the depth and breadth of its regulators and service providers, and the partnership and support of its governors and legislators, Vermont has become the premier domestic domicile in the U.S. and has also been recognized internationally as a domicile of choice.
What has made you successful? What do you value?
Vermont has become a successful domicile over the last forty years through commitment, foresight, and innovation. The support of our public officials, the strength and stability of our regulatory team, the network of captive insurance service providers, and with the largest captive insurance association in the world based right in Vermont, the Vermont Captive Insurance Association, Vermont provides the vast support captives need to thrive. Vermont’s Captive Insurance Division of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation is made up of about 30 regulatory staff members who are experts in captive insurance and have been known to be easily accessible, fair, and supportive.
What are the company’s primary services, and how does it stay ahead of the competition?
As leaders of the captive industry, the Vermont Captive team is consistently recognized by international trade publications and industry peers as the most experienced and knowledgeable captive insurance regulators in the world. Backed by a unique infrastructure made up of in-house examiners and support personnel, our team works closely together and in partnership with Vermont’s Governor and state legislature to make sure that Vermont’s regulations keep pace with the fast-changing needs of the industry. Our team is known for having a valuable intro meeting prior to a submission for licensure where companies and organizations can ask essential questions about Vermont as a domicile.
What are the most important aspects of a company’s culture? What principles do you believe in and how do you build this culture?
The mission of the Captive Insurance Division is to maintain a regulatory system that attracts quality business to Vermont, promotes our reputation in the industry, and safeguards the solvency of captive insurers while recognizing the special purpose for which they were created. We pride ourselves on our accessibility for companies when they are interested in licensure or have a question. We are always open to new ideas and think creatively about meeting the needs of companies. Almost every year, a captive insurance bill is passed in the legislature with input from the Vermont Captive Insurance Association and Vermont regulators to modernize our statutes to keep pace with the changing needs of captive insurance companies.
What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company?
Captive insurance, in its essence, is a tool of innovation. When an organization or company cannot find traditional insurance to meet their needs or find affordable insurance, they might consider forming a captive. There is a common saying in the industry that “if you’ve seen one captive, you’ve seen one captive.” Every captive insurance company has a unique set of needs, structures, and long-term goals. The state of Vermont has always been open to new ideas and sees the culture of innovation as an essential component of the health of the industry.
Give us your opinion on; do organizations rely heavily on individual heroics or team processes?
I think the success of an organization relies on a combination of inspirational leadership and a commitment to culture throughout the broader organization. Good leaders model the behavior they’d like to see throughout the organization and give the space for others to expand upon their leadership. Not only should work be shared, but so too should success. Team processes, which are very important, of course, don’t achieve intended outcomes without intentional and inspirational leadership. I believe Vermont has both, which has made it so successful.
What are your responsibilities as the Captive Insurance Economic Development Director for the state?
As Captive Insurance Economic Development Director, I am responsible for the marketing and business development of Vermont’s captive insurance industry, working closely with the Department of Financial Regulation and Vermont Captive Insurance Association to strengthen the state’s reputation as the premier onshore captive insurance domicile.
Within state government, I advise Vermont’s Governor and Secretary of Commerce on new captive insurance legislation and policy recommendations to assure a beneficial business environment for expansion and relocation within the state. I also work closely with Vermont’s congressional delegation, monitoring policy pertaining to the regulation of captive insurance and related financial services industries.
My favorite part about what I do is highlighting the stories of professionals in the industry and raising awareness about captive insurance as a career choice. I get to support the messages this industry tells the world, and that feels special. I also love learning about the different ways that captive insurance is utilized to fill needed gaps in coverage that allow companies and organizations to provide essential products and services to our society. For example, fighting climate change, covering specialized medical services, mitigating the effects of the pandemic, safe and quality education, cyber security, and so much more. And once you are in a leadership role spend the majority of your time in the beginning taking it all in, listening and absorbing. No matter how much you think you know about something, good leaders are constant learners.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
In particular, women see a leadership role and discount themselves, thinking they aren’t qualified enough or wondering if they could really do the job when they might be the first female in the role. Just apply, step one. Reach out to other leaders for support and encouragement. You have a unique perspective that could bring about incredible positive change, but you never know unless you try.