A.M. Best: “Bermuda Is Here To Stay”

January 20, 2011

webinarhandoutIn a webinar on the Bermuda insurance sector which attracted more than 900 participants from around the world, specialists from ratings agency A.M. Best concluded the island’s global off-shore (re)insurance industry  is “here to stay.”

On January 11, analysts with A.M. Best’s property/casualty rating division reviewed highlights of a recent Best special report on the Bermuda market, “Favorable Results Conceal Looming Concerns for Bermuda’s Reinsurers.”

The one-hour event drew more than 900 registrants, many of whom submitted questions and comments in advance and during the online broadcast.

“Obviously (Bermuda is) facing considerable challenges as a result of the underwriting cycle but the companies are generally very well capitalised,” said one Best analyst. “The management teams that are based in Bermuda are very competent.

“They’ve lived through this before and I’m sure they will live through it again. Obviously regulation is a key issue (such as Europe’s pending Solvency II requirements for which Bermuda is seeking equivalence recognition from the European Union). It’s not only a key issue for Bermuda, it’s a key issue no matter where you operate in the world.

“Given Bermuda’s track record of success, I would anticipate that there’s a very long, successful road ahead for the Bermuda players.”

An edited transcript of the webinar appears below.

LEE McDONALD: Welcome to our webinar on the state of the Bermuda market. This is an A.M. Best event and the first webinar of the year. We’re going to focus on 18 publicly traded, interactively rated insurance organisations that comprise much of the Bermuda reinsurance and insurance markets. Let’s get right to our panel: Gale Guerra, welcome. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at A.M. Best?

GALE GUERRA: I’m a senior financial analyst at A.M. Best. I recently joined the reinsurance team and I follow U.S. and Bermuda reinsurers.

ROBERT DeROSE: I’m a vice president here at A.M. Best and I’ve been responsible for market surveillance for the U.S. and Bermuda reinsurance market for about 10 years now with a very talented group of analysts who help me with that process.

GREG REISNER: I’ve been with A.M. Best for about four years. That whole time I’ve been on the reinsurance team and I predominantly follow Bermuda market companies.

McDONALD: Bob, why a report on the Bermuda market and what are we talking about when we say the Bermuda market?

DeROSE: Over the past 15 to 20 years Bermuda has developed into a leading insurance and reinsurance market. It started in the mid-’80s with the liability crisis. XL and Ace were certainly frontrunners in developing the Bermuda market. Since then it’s responded to many global catastrophes and tragedies. Following each event, capital has generally migrated to the island. It has seen the development of many well-regarded global insurance and reinsurance organizations. Collectively it is a leading market for insurance and reinsurance. This is the third year that we’ve written a special report focused on the financial and operations aspects of that market.

McDONALD: Where does Bermuda fit into the global insurance market?

DeROSE: Bermuda is one of three major markets: London, obviously, Switzerland, Bermuda, and I guess Ireland also. Right now there’s about $90 billion of capital on the island, writing both insurance and reinsurance. Most major industrial companies in some way, shape or form find themselves placing their risks either directly with Bermuda or through a U.S. affiliate to the Bermuda market.

REISNER: I was going to add to Bob’s comment. The $90 billion of shareholders’ equity at the end of third quarter is roughly 25 to 30% or a quarter to a third of the capital in the global reinsurance and insurance space, so in that regard it’s a significant contributor.

GUERRA: I would add that Bermuda is a very well-established reinsurance domicile.

McDONALD: It doesn’t have a long history and we know it’s a changing environment, so how did we get to where we are today?

DeROSE: Obviously there are many issues that contribute to the development of a market. Probably one of the major benefits that Bermuda has is its proximity to the US. The US is the largest insurance market. It’s also a very efficient place to operate. From a regulatory perspective, it’s relatively easy to set up a company and get it up and running. It also has a very favorable tax structure as it exists today. For those reasons it’s provided a very efficient way to deploy capital to the US and, in fact, the global insurance and reinsurance market.

McDONALD: We publish our annual report on the global reinsurance market just before the annual Rendez-Vous. Bermuda insurers have a good presence there. Where do they show up?

DeROSE: Most, if not all, of the Bermuda players are in the top 50; several are in the top 15. Everest, PartnerRe, XL, they definitely rank amongst the leading reinsurers in the global landscape.

McDONALD: In fact that’s now a top-50 report.

REISNER: We expanded this past year. In terms of size. We do have a range of players. There are companies with roughly $1 billion in shareholders’ equity all the way up to a company like Ace that has $23 billion, and everything in between. It’s a broad spectrum of players with different capital sizes.

McDONALD: A.M. Best recently updated its rating outlooks for some sectors. What did we say?

DeROSE: For the fifth year in a row we’re assigning a stable outlook to the global reinsurance market. Obviously, there are some challenges. Fundamentals have been eroding over the past several years. Despite that, global reinsurers and those companies that operate out of Bermuda have posted primarily good results, considering all factors. The level of capitalization relative to the risk is still very strong. Based on that strong capitalisation, we feel these companies can withstand the negative momentum that’s currently out there in the market. We believe that, as a result, most ratings will be affirmed over the next 12 month period.

McDONALD: What does a sector outlook mean to an actual company?

DeROSE: The outlook on the ratings of companies is stable. In other words we feel that most of the ratings are going to be affirmed, even despite the fact that the fundamentals aren’t as good as we’d obviously like them to be. Our outlook really is trying to give the market an indication of where we anticipate the ratings on companies going over the next 12 months.

McDONALD: We have received some attendee questions. Alan, perhaps you could introduce one of the questions.

ALAN KANDEL: This relates to tax implications. The question regards writing directly on Bermuda paper or assuming business for reinsurance purposes.

DeROSE: There’s a lot of talk about the ramifications of tax legislation in the US and how it would impact Bermuda. Basically, if you write directly with Bermuda there really is no US tax. You’re writing it with a Bermuda legal entity and it would be taxed according to the Bermuda regulator, which is really a zero tax rate. The short answer is that there’s really no tax on business transacted directly with Bermuda.

KANDEL: There is a second part to the question. How would this compare to any competitive Caribbean countries, European countries or even South America?

DeROSE: I would say that it would be the same. Again if it’s written directly in a domicile the transaction is subject to that domicile’s tax regulation.

McDONALD: What does the Bermuda market mean to the United States’ insurance market?

REISNER: You have roughly $1 billion of capacity in that regard. It’s offering a lot of relief to the US insurance market. Granted, not all those dollars go to the US market but a substantial portion do. It’s a significant amount of capital in the market.

DeROSE: In the past several years, Bermuda has obviously played a very key role, especially relative to property catastrophe exposure. In Florida. I can’t give you exact numbers or percentages, but obviously there’s a lot of Bermuda capacity that is provided to Florida catastrophe-exposed businesses.

McDONALD: Let’s get into the report a little bit. The title is “Favourable Results Conceal Looming Concerns for Bermuda’s Reinsurers.” What does that mean?

REISNER: You have results that still look decent at this point in time. But as to the fundamentals: you have softening prices, very low investment yields and you have loss reserve releases, which are drying up. When you take those three factors and put them together, you really don’t have a robust set of business conditions. There’s really no signal that trend is going to change in the intermediate term. Those are some big challenges for companies to navigate.

McDONALD: Obviously there’s a lot of capital here. I don’t think that would be a looming concern.

REISNER: Capital is a double-edge sword. Plenty of capital, on one hand, is a good thing because it allows them to weather adverse conditions, which is part of our stable outlook. On the other hand, all this capital needs to be put to work so they can get a return for their investors. There are just not a lot of opportunities for that, for sufficient yield to be made, for a return for their investors. That’s why you are seeing a lot of capital-matching plans by companies, a lot of share repurchases through three quarters of 2010. We expect or anticipate a fair amount of repurchases in 2011, barring any major event that may remove capital.

DeROSE: He characterised it correctly. It is a double-edged sword. While capital is a good thing to have, it also keeps the market fundamentals competitive. When there are opportunities, capital tends to chase those opportunities and those opportunities quickly dissipate. It is creating a very difficult market environment, a very competitive environment for all participants.

McDONALD: Another of the “looming concerns” that we’ve talked about in our report is the issue of reserves. What are you seeing?

REISNER: Right now and for the past several years we’ve seen loss reserve releases. In the Bermuda market now it’s just around 7%, about 6.8%. For 2010, for the three quarters, we’re seeing a trend, maybe right around 7% or maybe slightly above. That actually was about my expectations and perhaps all of ours, but I don’t want to speak for everybody. Going forward, for 2011 we have a forecast where we’ve cut that in half. We just don’t see losses or releases being as big as they have been. They are masking the symptoms. They’re helping to boost ROE currently by three percentage points. The deterioration is maybe not as evident on the surface, but nonetheless at the end of the day the bottom line is we know their loss reserve releases aren’t something that’s sustainable. They will dry up at some point.

GUERRA: In the third quarter we saw some adverse development, which we hadn’t seen until the third quarter. If you look at the full year it’s still developing favourably. That’s something that we need to keep an eye on, too.

DeROSE: While it seems insignificant at this point in time, many times trends start as a trickle. Obviously the whole market realizes that ’09 and ’10 from a pricing perspective weren’t as robust as the hard market years. It’s conceivable that we’re going to see some adverse development come out of those accident years. It may start to emerge relatively soon.

McDONALD: Is there anything that makes Bermuda’s market any different than what you’re seeing in the broader market?

DeROSE: Obviously underwriting discipline can factor into how much adverse development a company experiences. We’ve obviously seen some shifts in business strategies. We focus on the Bermuda market so we’re better able to speak to that market. But we have seen shifts towards shorter-tail business classes and a shrinking of casualty risk portfolios. The reason for that is obvious. The pricing in casualty has been much more difficult. Property still presents some opportunities. Companies have been focusing on the bottom line: exercising underwriting discipline and trying to target those businesses that can still give them a reasonable underwriting margin. Investment yields being where they are, you really do have to write a below-100 combined ratio in order to have any hope of generating a reasonable ROE at this point.

McDONALD: One of your “looming concerns” is investment returns and the low-interest-rate environment.

REISNER: It puts more pressure on underwriting. You would expect, or logic might lead you to believe, that pricing should be improving or hardening. That’s not the case. Eventually those underwriting results are going to show, certainly as loss reserve releases dwindle. Without investment yields, ROEs are going to be a challenge to keep in the double-digit range. Right now we’re seeing ROEs in the low double digits. It’s going to be hard to stay in that zone. Investors perhaps will have to get comfortable with something a little lower.

DeROSE: If you were to strip out the favourable development in 2010, the ROE would go from roughly 11 percent down to around 6 percent. What companies need to ask themselves is: are they going to be satisfied with that 6 percent or 7 percent going forward? Ultimately the calendar year will become the accident year as the favourable reserve releases dry up.

McDONALD: A number of companies have changed strategies. What are we seeing?

DeROSE: Companies have been shifting their focus away from longer-tail-oriented classes of business where there’s more uncertainty, given where inflation could possibly go and what that line is going to look like three to five years from now, and focusing more on short-tail classes of business where they can be more comfortable or more reasonably certain as to what the pricing outcome will be. Also, we’ve seen companies going to more of excess-of-loss versus pro-rata. The emphasis is to have better control of their pricing and underwriting discipline, not necessarily following any weakness that may exist on the part of the cedents.

REISNER: These trends aren’t anything new. They have been in place for quite some time. The shift started as something gradual and companies are where they want to be or have made a pretty substantial shift at this point. It’s not like this shift started a few quarters ago.

McDONALD: Are most of the companies true to their original business positions or have most of them adapted and changed?

REISNER: They’ve adapted and changed and they’ve grown. They’ve had different opportunities presented to them. If you compare the class of ’01 to ’05, the ’01s had perhaps a wider and a longer stretch of opportunities, partially based upon the events of 9/11. Then they had KRW [hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma] in ’05 that gave them some property events after that. They had a substantial period of time and a fairly robust economic environment. The class of ’05 had a very focused niche, which is property/cat. Then the economy went into sort of a tailspin in ’08, so they’ve had those economic conditions to deal with. Broadly speaking, most of those companies have performed very well and there have been some success stories.

DeROSE: The ’05s adapted quite well. We saw a migration to Lloyd’s to some extent. Two of the class of ’05 actually acquired very reputable, fine Lloyds’ syndicate operations. That helped them diversify and broaden their scope. Also, Deepwater Horizon provided an energy opportunity, which some were able to take advantage of. While possibly we could say that the ’05s didn’t realise the top-line business plan that they had originally intended, from a bottom-line perspective they performed very well.

KANDEL: I have several attendee questions about the redomestication of insurance companies away from Bermuda and the impact it has, yet they’ll still write from Bermuda. They’re moving some of their operations. Does that affect the financial backing of a Bermudan branch?

DeROSE: I would say absolutely not. First of all, a franchise is a global franchise. If you want to be in business for the long term you’d better make sure that, no matter where the risk is, the policyholder is protected. Otherwise you probably do irreparable damage to your franchise. Even though there have been a number of redomestications for various reasons, most of those redomestications have left substantial operations on the island. That speaks to the strength of the island. Its proximity to the US, the fact that brokers can call on many, many reinsurers at one time, they are all strengths. There may be a continuing trend of redomestication and it may be for gaining greater global reach, but Bermuda will still be a very important part of a global operations business strategy.

McDONALD: Gale, premiums have tended to be a little flatter. What are you seeing in terms of the Bermuda market and what does it mean?

GUERRA: We’re seeing premiums flat to down, actually, in the market. Part of the reason is the primary companies are retaining more of the risk and ceding less to reinsurers. Another component is that companies are maintaining discipline. They are not going out there and taking business that they don’t want to have on their books. When prices are low and the market is very competitive, other companies may do that but we’re not seeing that in the Bermuda market. The economy basically affects everything. Manufacturing is down, the work force is down, that impacts premiums. There’s less risk that companies are taking on to their books.

REISNER: One of the charts that I find interesting in the report is Exhibit II. You have two lines: one is premiums from 2006 through three quarters of 2010 and then you have shareholders’ equity on top. Premiums are basically flat. Shareholders’ equity had that spike down in 2008 with the financial crisis but then it’s gone back up. What you’ll notice from 2008 through the last quarter in 2010 is that there is a pretty substantial gap, wider than it’s been in the last few years, where companies are consciously holding more capital. They have the capacity to write the premiums but they’re not doing it. This is a function of discipline and capital preservation for the long term.

DeROSE: Growth is not necessarily a good thing. It’s certainly good when the market opportunities are appropriate for growth. Given where the market is today, the flat-to-down top line might not necessarily translate into a bad thing. In reality it can continue to contribute to capital growth provided that earnings, the bottom line, remains profitable. If you grow your top line and that results in a bottom-line loss, then you’re going to start to erode your capital position. That’s not something that we would hope to see, especially for more highly rated companies.

McDONALD: Greg, let’s talk for a second about the European presence in Bermuda and Bermuda’s focus on Europe. Can you tie in what Solvency II means to Bermuda?

REISNER: Solvency II is big. It’s very important. Bermuda regulators are aware of this. They are actively working toward gaining equivalency. You’ve seen a lot of resources on Bermuda regulators’ part to get them up to speed in that regard. Many Bermuda market companies have a presence in Europe. They have operating companies over there in Europe. You have some migrating their holding companies over there. Europe will certainly continue to be a source of opportunities for them. It’s part of a global franchise. Europe is a major place to do business.

McDONALD: How important is equivalency?

REISNER: Extremely important. It would potentially put them at a competitive disadvantage if they didn’t have equivalency on the island.

DeROSE: I agree with that. If a European cedent is looking to do business they’re going to want to make sure that they get the maximum credit for the capital that they are exposing to that reinsurer. Getting equivalency is extremely important for Bermuda if the island players are to remain competitive.

McDONALD: Is this market well prepared for catastrophes?

REISNER: Without a doubt. Not only is the capital robust but operationally Bermuda has responded to catastrophes extremely well. They’ve always met all of their obligations. From a risk-adjusted capital perspective, we employ a stress test. Most of the players on the island have capital well in excess of that stress test requirement at this point in time.

McDONALD: Could you talk for a second about how we conduct those tests?

DeROSE: We survey companies for their peak, probable maximum loss. We take those PMLs, those peak losses, and run them through our capital model. It is tax effective but those really aren’t tax issues. We look at those scores, we look at that output and it’s considered a part of the rating analysis.

McDONALD: Do you test against multiple losses?

DeROSE: Yes. The stress test is two separate events occurring in one year.

REISNER: With that we get an absolute number. We look at it on a relative scale as well, how much capital they’re holding versus another company that is similar. We try to look at it on both bases.

GUERRA: In the Bermuda market, along with the stress test that we do in BCAR, we also look at the management team. When we look at the management teams, the fact that they hold what some people would consider to be excess capital shows that they really understand the risks that they’re writing. They’re OK with having excess capital in the company for that extreme event that could occur.

McDONALD: What are the factors that we think could possibly change this market?

GUERRA: Regulation is the biggest one that comes to our minds — any changes we have with Solvency II coming, with Bermuda gaining equivalency, the Neal bill. Any great shifts in the regulatory environment could either benefit the Bermuda market or cause it to have to make additional changes and adapt so they can operate efficiently.

DeROSE: Adapting is the key word there. Change is a constant. We can probably say with 100 percent certainty that a year from now it won’t be the same as today and companies have adapted. They will continue to adapt to any change that’s on the horizon. They’ll find a way to basically deploy their capital and deploy it efficiently.

KANDEL: I have a couple of interesting questions from attendees: Is there a capital size requirement or minimum for a higher credit rating?

DeROSE: Absolutely not. Obviously I would say that there’s a certain amount of capital that you need to hold in order to be an effective competitor or player in a market. That would be considered in the rating analysis. But size is not necessarily an indication of what a rating outcome will be. Capital strength is. That’s a relative, risk-adjusted evaluation of a company’s capital regardless of size.

KANDEL: I have one more: Absent an improved market outlook in 2011 and, possibly beyond, is it possible that other Bermuda companies might consider winding down their operations and returning all the capital to shareholders? They mention Glacier Re’s activity last year.

DeROSE: We don’t follow Glacier, so I don’t know all of the issues that surrounded that particular event. What I do know of it, and my understanding may be wrong, was that this was private equity that was in there. Whenever a company has private investors, those investors have certain return targets. If those return targets don’t look like they’re going to be realized, then the investor is obviously going to consider what the alternatives are. In that particular case the alternative was to put the company in run-off, take the capital out and redeploy it to a more opportunistic venture. That’s probably more the exception than the rule. There are other private equity investors that have been in the market. They understand the long-term nature of the market, that the cycle runs its course. There are good times and bad times. Even when times are bad, if you have a prudent management team supporting that capital, you maintain discipline. You know that you can continue to generate a reasonable return and be there when that opportunity truly presents itself.

McDONALD: Bob, could you recap for us what A.M. Best announced in terms of any rating activity in the recent past involving Bermuda?

DeROSE: Noteworthy is that, despite a financial crisis, despite a series of catastrophes, there really have been no rating changes of any materiality, certainly not to the negative. That demonstrates that these companies are very well managed and they manage their capital very prudently. They’re providing their constituents the operating returns that are required. If there’s anything that happened, we did assign several positive outlooks to several members of the class of ’05. We assigned those outlooks based on our opinion or view that those companies outperformed the peer group. We view them as long-term outlooks and see the class of ’05 maturing and developing into meaningful market players.

McDONALD: How do you characterize ’05 versus ’01? Have they reached the point where they’re equal competitors or do they have different characteristics?

DeROSE: I think they’re different. When you look at the class of ’01, those organizations are obviously more mature. They came into the market at a time when the opportunity was more broad-based. They generally started out in reinsurance and then got into insurance and were able to write both property and casualty classes of business. The opportunity that followed 9/11 was certainly relatively long in duration. The ’05 start-ups were more focused on shorter-tail classes of business. Following Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the opportunity wasn’t as long as that following 9/11. Those companies had to adapt. They faced a more challenging market environment more quickly. Despite that they’ve been able to execute and execute quite well.

McDONALD: What are we seeing in terms of the investors’ view of Bermuda?

REISNER: If you look at current valuations, most companies are trading below book. In that regard it seems like the appetite for the insurance or reinsurance companies has moved in a different direction. At the same time, if you look at the fundamentals again, pricing, low investment yields, and loss reserve releases drying up, they don’t see this changing in the intermediate term either. They’re going to look for other opportunities. I think that’s what’s taking place here.

GUERRA: The investors could shift in what they want from the different companies in terms of yield or return on their investment. If their perception changes, they may stay with the insurance company instead of going elsewhere to look for opportunities.

McDONALD: In the last half of the decade you saw the sidecars and some of these alternative vehicles emerge. What does that mean? Will there a next class of ’05s, ’01s or are you going to see a new flavour?

DeROSE: I don’t think we can say for certain what it means. Obviously, sidecars have been more of the preferred vehicle as of late, the reason being is that it’s not permanent capital. It’s capital that can be there for the opportunity and that can be repatriated to the investors once that opportunity evaporates. For the investor in a sidecar it’s very important that they partner with an underwriter who knows what they’re doing. Certainly the existence of that type of investment detracts from an investor putting money into a permanent start-up. Nonetheless, following major events we’ve seen capital not only go to start-up ventures and sidecars but to some of the established players. If a company is publicly traded, its currency is liquid. You can invest in a company and then sell that investment once you feel that opportunity has dissipated. No question, a sidecar is a new vehicle that presents another alternative and probably one that’s here to stay.

REISNER: As the class of ’05 shows, some private equity got in but they couldn’t get out as easily as they wanted to. It comes down to the flexibility. Sidecars offer that flexibility; they can get in and get out pretty and easily.

McDONALD: We’ve seen mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity and some talk of start-ups. Is there real action here?

REISNER: A lot of talk, but few of the deals get done. That’s the reality thus far. The conditions are there for increased M&A. Valuations are probably holding that back. Management teams are going to be hesitant to sell below book or even around book. They might feel their company is worth more and they can get more over the long term or do better by their shareholders. Those perceptions can change over time. Investors might be comfortable with the deal being done at different valuation levels based upon what they perceive for the future of the market. It’s yet to be seen.

McDONALD: What do the mergers we’ve seen tell us?

REISNER: The last couple that we’ve seen, they’re taking a longer term view in that they’re merging now and in a few years’ time a better company will be built. At this point there might not be an immediate benefit but they’re in it for the long term.

DeROSE: In one of them, private equity was involved. Private equity wanted to merge with a public company so that it provided currency. Not that they wanted it immediately, but it certainly provided that flexibility. The other was created by the fact that the management team was looking to move on and that provided the motivation to seek out a partner. M&A happens for various reasons. Valuations have definitely been the inhibitor here. The longer the soft market lasts, the more likely we are to see some M&A activity. Sure, buybacks have been the preferable capital management strategy but you can only do that for so long. Ultimately investors will become impatient. They’re going to want to exercise their influence. We may see some increased M&A activity.

KANDEL: There are several questions: What would be the effect on the Bermuda insurance market if the Neal bill goes through?

GUERRA: It would depend on the specifics of the regulation. Bermuda companies have shown throughout the years that they’re very adaptable. The companies should adapt to the bill and do what they need to do to run their companies efficiently.

KANDEL: Would changes in US Federal regulation of insurance make it more attractive for offshore reinsurers to go back to the US.?

DeROSE: Anything’s possible. Again it depends on just how effective and how business-friendly the US becomes and what changes may be on the horizon for taxes. It’s not inconceivable that the circumstances could present themselves that it makes the US a more attractive place to do business on a direct basis but that remains to be seen. It’s hard to fathom from where we sit today but anything’s possible.

REISNER: It depends on the severity of the regulation passed. If it’s not as severe or considered very severe or less severe, it’s going to have different outcomes.

KANDEL: There was a question about A.M. Best’s policy to rate start-up reinsurers.

DeROSE: We’re still in the business of rating start-ups. Obviously the rating outcome is very much dependent on the business plan, the management and the capital that’s provided for the business venture.

McDONALD: As a Bermuda market watcher, what are you watching for?

REISNER: The factors for Bermuda aren’t that much different from what you’re going to see from other global players. It’s the pricing trends, it’s the low investment yields, the reliance on losses or releases. There are challenges and there are some sizable ones. They’ve navigated them well thus far, so we’ll continue to monitor as we do. I guess I don’t really have an overly negative bias in terms of I’m alarmed or overly concerned. I think it’s just a wait and see and watch approach and see how different companies separate themselves from the pack.

DeROSE: Obviously they’re facing considerable challenges as a result of the underwriting cycle but the companies are generally very well capitalised. The management teams that are based in Bermuda are very competent. They’ve lived through this before and I’m sure they will live through it again. Obviously regulation is a key issue. It’s not only a key issue for Bermuda, it’s a key issue no matter where you operate in the world. Given Bermuda’s track record of success, I would anticipate that there’s a very long, successful road ahead for the Bermuda players.

GUERRA: I’m of the opinion that Bermuda’s here to stay. I’m interested in seeing how companies will manage through the soft market cycle that we’re in.

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  1. Terry says:

    “am” is best. Look at the photo…..shoot ahead many years and tell me you don’t see something.

    In a month I will be living in the wild amongst what is left of habitant and live a wanning life. Deserved, worked for and I hope others have this opportunity.

    Beam me up….damn TV screens….the ruination of mankind.

  2. always happens says:

    Zzzzzzzzz……

  3. Ya'll are just not smart enough says:

    If all this is true (which it is), then what the HELL is Bob Richards talking about????????

    • 32n64w says:

      The economy as a whole (which includes at least the retail, banking, construction, investment & financial services, sectors) … not simply the insurance industry.

  4. Truth says:

    All of this is specific to Insurance and ReInsurance. Whilst the industry id generally faring well, it has contracted significantly in the last 2 years. XL alone shed about 100+ jobs. Those shed jobs have not come back i.e. the sector is not growing at the moment and will not in the foreseeable future. Keeping that in context with the rest of the Bermuda economy, which definitely is shedding jobs and from what I hear is supposed to shedding a couple hundred more (shrinking the Govt and civil service), we are in for some very tough times ahead. The Reinsurance sector cannot absorb those individuals who have lost jobs. I believe Bob Richards is right in that we are in for some lean times.