Premier David Burt officially launched the 13th annual Bermuda Captive Conference on Monday, to address the largest group of delegates to book 1,000 hotel room nights, for the largest international event held here to date.
Accompanied by Economic Development Minister Jamahl Simmons, who also participated in a high-level panel discussion, the three-day conference also saw the presentation of the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award.
Speaking on the “the benefits Bermuda brings to the market”, the Premier also noted the catastrophic realities the captive market is facing as a result of “the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma”, which will result in multi-billion dollar payments.
“It is already projected that Bermuda’s reinsurers will be making cash claims payments of at least $15 billion to their US clients in Texas and Florida from just these two hurricanes by year end,” said Premier Burt.
“On top of that conservative estimate, there is a wide range of possible additional reinsurance payments. Looking over the period from 2000 to 2017, insiders estimate Bermuda’s reinsurers will have paid more than $50 billion to US clients relating to claims over catastrophe losses.”
In the weeks and months ahead, he said: “Bermuda will, once again, demonstrate its enormous value in making US consumer insurance markets more competitive, keeping prices low, shielding tax payers from assessments and speeding economic recovery.
“Being based in Bermuda does not just financially benefit companies; it creates a structure to quickly restore the lives of those who have been tragically affected.”
In his opening remarks the Premier welcomed delegates, both local and the visiting professional who travelled from overseas to attend the international event in a $55 billion industry.
“Bermuda is home to nearly 800 captive insurance companies supporting primarily Fortune 500 corporations in the US and generating over $55 billion in annual gross written premiums,” said Premier Burt.
As “a symbol of global excellence to corporations around the world” for “half a century”, he commended the delegates representing captive owners and service providers, as some of “the world’s leading professionals in the captive insurance movement”.
Over the next three days, participants will attend 25 sessions engaged in a wide variety of discussions including cyber-risk and investment strategies.
As Premier and Minister of Finance, Mr Burt said he was “well aware of the significant contribution to the island from the captive insurance community”.
“It employs hundreds of people, generates fee income, revenue to the government and the regulator, and supports local businesses,” he said.
He also noted that “there is no doubt that the captive market is of compelling importance to Bermuda” as “a sterling part of the island” over “the past five decades”.
As “the number-one captive domicile”, he said Bermuda’s position “means we have traditionally played a leading role in determining the industry’s future”.
“Therefore, the Government intends to continue to collaborate with regulators and the captive community to retain this important industry’s global stature so that it may continue to bring significant benefits to Bermuda,” said Premier Burt.
He also attributed a “large part” of “Bermuda’s excellence” in global risk management to the “strong regulation” of the Bermuda Monetary Authority as “the integrated regulator”.
“Strong and useful regulation is critical to today’s financial markets,” said the Premier. “By working together with industry stakeholders, the Government believes the Bermuda market can go even further to serve the needs of the corporate world, all to our mutual benefit.”
This year’s recipient of the second Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award went to Michael Burns, a leading Bermudian corporate lawyer.
The new inductees to the Bermuda Captive Hall of Fame, an honour awarded to companies thaPhilippe Rouja,t have committed at least 25 years to the island’s market were also announced.
The conference resumes today with a keynote address by Bermudian anthropologist and marine heritage expert Dr Philippe Rouja, recently featured in a CNN travel video about the island, who will highlight Bermuda’s shipwreck history at today’s luncheon in the hotel’s Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre.
- Conference Photos Courtesy of Keimon Lawrence
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