+44 7393 450837
Follow on

A profile of Custodian Life: Everything you need to know

A profile of Custodian Life: Everything you need to know

If you have any questions or want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use these contact options.

This includes if you have a Custodian Life policy which you aren’t happy with, or are thinking about investing in it.

This has became more important given the recent announcements about the company restructuring which I spoke about on YouTube (see the video here).


Bermuda-based insurance company Custodian Life was established in 2011 in response to a market demand for a “flexible mindset and a challenging approach to the current system.”

The company decided to establish its headquarters in Bermuda because it thought the local legal system at the time was flexible, dynamic, and offered greater customer security than other possibilities.

We have already discussed the company’s products and services in another article. That article discussed the positives and negatives associated with the company, and what you can do if you aren’t happy with the service your current advisor is giving you.

This time, we’ll talk about the company’s history and background, its core principles, its current financial performance, and its executive team.

custodian life this is what we do 1
Custodian Life was founded in 2011 because its founders saw a market demand for a new kind of insurance and investment firm. | Photo: Custodian Life

Custodian Life: What Is It?

Custodian Life’s founding idea is to create high-quality insurance and investment products with the needs of the global investor of today in mind.

In its mission statement, Custodian Life declares that it seeks to meet the complex investment demands of today’s investors with a wide choice of products and exceptional long-term investment performance.

The company claims to do this by providing policyholders, shareholders, employees, and officers with the finest possible care, guardianship, keeper, and protection.

The goal, Custodian Life says, is to lead honestly and from innate basic principles and a conscious decision to put service before self-interest. The company refers to this mindset as “custodial leadership,” and that path guides everything it does as a business.

In practice, the company benefits from legally segregated accounts that are created to protect each policyholder’s assets from the liabilities associated with all other policyholders’ assets.

These accounts also provide protection against the company’s insolvency as well as the insolvency of any other Policyholder’s segregated account.

The core of Custodian Life’s business is long-term insurance which is investment-linked; it offers whole-life insurance policies with unit-linked features that will give a return and are linked to an underlying portfolio that allows policyholders to divide their premium payments among several investment funds.

The assets will be kept in different accounts, and the death benefit or encashment value of the whole life policy may increase or decrease depending on the overall return on the investment portfolio.

What is the business strategy behind Custodian Life?

Especially when compared to the majority of other life insurance companies, Custodian Life is a young business. Founded in 2011, it has only been operating for a little over a decade.

However, Custodian Life Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Joakim Samuelsson had said in interviews that it uses its youth as a recently founded business as a competitive advantage over its established competitors.

According to Samuelsson, the company will profit from being organized in accordance with how the unit-linked market will function going forward. The business is set up to respond quickly to market changes and to take into account the state of the market.

This is because, in his view, their primary rivals in the insurance and investment business are generally mired in archaic hierarchies that cause stagnation and slow response times.

According to Custodian Life, as the financial sector has grown over the past few years, the balance of power is moving in favor of the consumer, and distribution methods are developing quickly.

It holds that an insurer must adapt in order to deliver better products more quickly and affordably.

Custodian Life cites the example of entering new markets. When entering new markets, insurers should think about using more adaptable sales strategies that make use of the web, mobile platforms, and other developing technology.

In fact, this strategy has been baked into the core of the company even down to the choice of settling in Bermuda. Custodian Life decided to establish its operations in Bermuda because it thinks that nation is the best place to conduct business in the insurance, reinsurance, and investment fund sectors.

A policyholder’s funds can be invested with more flexibility thanks to the pragmatic, risk-based regulatory approach used by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), which is well-known on a global scale.

Additionally, the legislation governing segregated accounts gives the company more freedom to give clients safe and cutting-edge investment choices and, in our opinion, offers the finest policyholder protection in the sector.

“This really was a simple decision for us since it is a well-known fact that Bermuda is the pre-eminent jurisdiction for the insurance, reinsurance and investment fund industries,” Samuelsson had said.

“It has become a major player in the insurance sector globally, third only to New York and London. With 75% of the world’s Fortune 100 companies working in the country, Bermuda has become an industry powerhouse.”

Samuelsson explained that the nation has a legal system that is based on English law and has created a world-class physical and technological infrastructure that is safe and secure, a perfect fit for their company.

Top multinational service providers have also developed a staff of specialists with international training and experience.

How does Custodian Life seek to differentiate itself from its competition?

With its innovation, Custodian Life seeks to set itself apart from its rivals. Investors now demand greater openness on the price, quality, and level of service provided by insurance providers.

Custodian Life is sure that the financial industry can make those improvements, and they can begin the procedure to bring about that transformation. The company aims to make active efforts to satisfy the market’s demands.

Samuelsson believes that it will be challenging for other insurance companies to compete with Custodian Life in terms of flexibility in terms of permissible investments, how policyholders or investment advisers could invest through our investment bond, and by applying different policy settings to satisfy different requests.

‘Custodian Trader’, the company’s trading platform, seeks to become an illustration of that.

The company is able to give its customers access to Saxo Bank’s multi-award winning trading platform thanks to a mutually beneficial partnership, and has since used other providers, after the relationship with Saxo ended.

With the platform, Custodian Life customers can use one margin account to trade on 30 exchanges and more than 30,000 different assets, such as commodities, futures, CFDs, and foreign exchange.

Client feedback to the platform has been quite positive. According to the company, this product succeeds when customers realize they can invest in the whole investment universe with a single click and in real time from a single account.

Custodian Life conducted roadshows in southeast Asia in conjunction with Saxo Bank to showcase the advantages of using this platform as a tool for whole portfolio management for advisors and their clients.

The way the company make its decisions also sets Custodian Life apart from other insurers in another way.

According to Samuelsson, the time it takes the company to decide on a matter after receiving a question is quite short. Future advancements in the insurance industry are expected to be more rapid, thus the insurer must be able to respond swiftly.

The business is managed according to a Scandinavian management style, which is characterized by a flat hierarchy and a strong culture of cooperation. As a result, workers become more innovative and engaged.

What are the company values of Custodian Life?

The company has a mindset that says its employees are its most valuable resource.

Samuelsson and the management team holds that Custodian Life can lead the way in improving the insurance industry and meeting the more demanding needs of international investors by having motivated staff who participate more.

This is in addition to providing quality products and services that are transparent, fair, flexible, and innovative.

The investment bond from Custodian Life is a fully open architecture life assurance insurance that enables the policyholder to construct a portfolio of investments in a tax-efficient setting.

Since the company only offers one product to a client, yet with complete control and flexibility, guiding a client through its product range is straightforward.

Investors in today’s market are getting increasingly sophisticated. Custodian Life responds to this by providing a product based on mathematics, where the business establishes the fundamental terms and the adviser works with the client to determine the final, specifically tailored terms.

Custodian Trader is more than just an informational investment tool for policyholders, provided by Custodian Life.

We discuss Custodian Life’s offerings to see if the company lives up to these promises in 2023 in another article.

Where is the target market of Custodian Life?

In the beginning, Southeast Asia was Custodian Life’s primary target market, but as it since has grown, and expanded into markets like the Middle East.

Development has so far been driven by the market, as several of the bigger IFAs have increased distribution to their advisory footprint after learning about the company’s goods in Asia.

Custodian Life is dedicated to giving various marketplaces and their respective customers the support and goods they deserve.

In order to grow its network throughout the globe, the organization is currently looking at prospects in the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

Samuelsson believes that there is no typical client for Custodian Life.

The business may reach a far wider market with an industry-leading minimum investment of $30,000 or the equivalent in other currencies.

It also enables the company to accept a more broad client base, including both expatriates and local clientele in more developed regions, thanks to Bermuda’s flexible and innovative rules.

Because of this, In a larger sense, Custodian Life’s goal is to modernize the traditionally conservative insurance business in a variety of ways.

Being among the first insurance businesses to actively work toward cost, quality, and service delivery transparency is seen as the company’s objective.

Custodian Life uses cutting-edge online platforms with both educational and trading capabilities to connect the conventional perception of the insurance sector.

Who makes up the Custodian Life management team?

custodian life joakim samuelsson
Joakim Samuelsson is the chief executive and executive director of Custodian Life. | Photo: Custodian Life

Joakim Samuelsson, CEO and executive director

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Joakim Samuelsson has worked in the insurance sector for the past 15 years. As the company’s founder, ultimate majority shareholder, Joakim also serves in the roles of director and operations manager.

Joakim has 100% of the shares in Bermuda-based holding firm Pinnacle Holding Ltd, where he is also a director and the ultimate majority beneficial shareholder.

Earlier in his career, he served as the CEO of JOOL Insurance and the Head of Insurance at JOOL Capital Partner AB, developing their partnership with an insurance firm with headquarters in Europe.

Joakim is a financial economist with a master’s degree. International Adviser named Joakim as one of the most prominent people in the sector in 2018.

Robert Pain, director

Director Robert Pain has over 35 years of experience in the financial services sector and has held a variety of positions at Target Group, Axa, Friends Life, and Investors Trust Assurance in sales, marketing, customer service, and business process outsourcing.

He previously served for a number of years as its chairman and CEO of Cadel Consulting, which provides management consulting services to the financial services industry. He is the CEO of the Association of International Life Offices, the trade organization that represents the international cross-border life insurance industry.

Robert was recognized by International Adviser in 2018 as one of the most prominent people in the sector.

Philip Anderson, director and chairman

Director and Chairman Philip Anderson has 20 years of expertise as an accountant in the offshore trust, insurance, and investment industries.

Philip served as a director of the Ocorian Group before joining Zobec. He served as Client Director for a variety of organizations, including exempt and licensed funds, private trust firms, and various kinds of partnerships.

Shipping, investment holding, insurance/reinsurance, insurance linked securities (ILS), commercial real estate, mutual funds, pharmaceutical, aircraft, technology, energy & mining, telecommunications, and manufacturing were among the activities of the organizations.

In addition to focusing on helping businesses, people, and families with corporate, investment, and trust issues, Philip’s practice also encompasses management, administration, and accounting of financial structures spanning the jurisdictions of Bermuda, the BVI, Cayman, and the Marshall Islands.

Philip is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Professionals and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA) (TEP).

George N.H. Jones, director

With over 30 years of expertise in the legal and financial services sectors, Director George N.H. Jones, PMSC, ED, BA, MBA, LLB, LPC has held positions with prestigious companies in Bermuda, Mauritius, Chile, and the United States.

One of Bermuda’s oldest and largest local insurance groups, which consists of many regulated insurance and investment management companies, currently employs him as general counsel and company secretary.

Prior to moving in-house, he was a practicing attorney at a top global offshore law firm within their Corporate & Commercial Practice Group with a focus on the insurance, investment management, and investment fund industries.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons), is a qualified solicitor, and has been a practicing member of the Bermuda Bar since 2006.

He also currently serves on a number of charities and other boards and is both the Honorary Secretary and an Executive Member of the Bermuda Bar Council, which is the elected body in charge of overseeing both the Bermuda Bar Association and the legal industry there.

Lastly, he formerly served on the Barristers & Accountants AML/ATF Board and helped with the island’s preparations for the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s peer examination of the nation in 2018.

Ian Mutch, compliance officer and MLRO

Compliance Officer and MLRO Ian Mutch is the Principal Adviser for Governance, Risk, and Compliance Services in the Mazars Bermuda office.

In the fields of (re)insurance, banking, fiduciary services, and global and Bermuda financial services, he has more than 15 years of expertise.

He has supervised worldwide teams that provided financial crime, compliance, and risk advice services to customers operating in Europe, the United States, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

He has substantial compliance, anti-money laundering, and risk expertise. Ian is a certified anti-money laundering specialist and a member of the Chartered Institute of Auditors and the Chartered Banker Institute. He has BA (Honors) and a postgraduate diploma from Edinburgh Napier University.


Custodian Life positions itself as an innovator in the field of insurance and investment finance, and it has throughout its short history become one of the fastest growing companies in the space.

As mentioned in my previous article, however, there are also significant downsides to the company.

However, if you would like a more thorough breakdown of the company’s products and services, and if they are good for you and your financial goals, you can click here to read our thoughts.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

smile beige jacket 4 1024x604 1

Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

This website is not designed for American resident readers, or for people from any country where buying investments or distributing such information is illegal. This website is not a solicitation to invest, nor tax, legal, financial or investment advice. We only deal with investors who are expats or high-net-worth/self-certified  individuals, on a non-solicitation basis. Not for the retail market.



Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Gain free access to Adam’s two expat books.

Get more strategies every week on how to be more productive with your finances.