Premier Dunkley Addresses Captive Conference

June 8, 2015

Earlier today [June 8] Premier Michael Dunkley provided welcome remarks at the 2015 Bermuda Captive Conference, which is being held at the Fairmont Southampton from June 8 – 10, telling attendees that “Bermuda is a mature insurance market – the leading domicile in captive insurance, a vibrant insurance industry and a global reinsurance market.”

Premier Dunkley said, “It’s been a year since I last addressed you, and I’m thrilled to once again welcome you all to the 2015 Bermuda Captive Conference. We are delighted to have our Bermuda clients, business partners and other industry professionals represented here today. To those of you who are visiting us, welcome to Bermuda!

“We can’t tell you enough how gratified we are in your choice to do business in Bermuda. As you know, Bermuda is a mature insurance market – the leading domicile in captive insurance, a vibrant insurance industry and a global reinsurance market.

“And after years of global economic uncertainty, this year’s Captive Conference comes at a time of growing trust in the world economy. Ladies and gentlemen, investor confidence is increasing in Bermuda, which translates into new business growth for the Island. And it’s not just in the insurance industry that we’re seeing positive trends.

“We are excited to be hosting the upcoming America’s Cup in 2017 – an extremely high-stakes battle for the oldest international sporting trophy, based on a competition that dates back to 1851.

“It took some fierce bidding to make it happen, but in the end the America’s Cup Event Authority expressed a great deal of faith in Bermuda when they partnered with us to help grow the event globally.

“And this week, you might get a sense of the expected spectacle by looking out at the Great Sound as the world’s best professional sailors are here already in training in anticipation of the first America’s Cup World Series races, this October. In fact two of the teams, Oracle USA and Artemis have already settled on Bermuda as being its permanent base.

“But it is not just playing host to top sailors and the world’s yachting fraternity for the next two years that has Bermuda abuzz. As expected, there has been increased consolidation in the insurance/reinsurance industry – Endurance and Montpelier; RenRe and Platinum Underwriters; XL Capital and Catlin.

“In a domicile known for its innovation and capital strength, the merger and acquisition environment, we believe, will strengthen even further the Island’s standing as a major international market. The greater capital, together with cost savings and synergies, will make the combined companies stronger and more competitive. Others may follow.

“Ladies and gentlemen, strong and useful regulation is critical to today’s financial markets. The Bermuda Monetary Authority, with the support of the insurance industry and the Government, has always sought effective supervision combined with coordination among regulatory peers in other jurisdictions, such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

“In fact, Bermuda was the first offshore jurisdiction to be granted ‘conditional qualified jurisdiction’ status by the NAIC, emphasizing US confidence in the BMA as an insurance supervisor.

“And on the other side of the Atlantic, just this Friday, Bermuda [excluding captives], Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States were recommended for ‘provisional’ equivalence with Europe’s Solvency II Directive.

“Our application was supported by European insurance regulators, by Lloyd’s of London and the Federation of European Risk Management Association [FERMA].

“Just as NAIC approval was important to our US business, EC approval is important to our European insurance business.

“The BMA’s CEO Mr. Jeremy Cox has already stated that while this is good for Bermuda, it is not the complete and final result we seek. The Authority is committed to achieving full equivalence with Solvency II and has already taken a number of more recent steps toward this goal.

“The work with European and American authorities has been a part of the BMA’s thrust in enhancing Bermuda’s regulatory framework for commercial insurers to reflect a progressive risk-based approach to regulation.

“Elsewhere, over the last few years there has been a surge of hedge funds investing in the insurance linked securities which themselves constitute a substantial segment of the alternative reinsurance market.

“Bermuda has been successful in attracting complex investment funds and private equity structures. The Island’s asset management capabilities have been embraced by leading fund management groups.

“Bermuda has a global reputation as a well regulated, but business friendly jurisdiction.

“The Island has been quick to respond to market trends and new products and the Government is committed to growing the international business sector. Bermuda is at the center of industry innovation and transformation, as convergence between reinsurance and capital markets is a key factor in local insurance and reinsurance incorporations.

“As the jurisdiction of choice for this innovative asset class, Bermuda’s excellence in global risk management is evidenced by strong regulation from the BMA, the Bermuda Stock Exchange and the fund management industry.

“The Bermuda insurance market has been busy, seeing some important growth. Latest BMA statistics indicate that the market wrote $163 billion in gross premiums last year – a more than 35 percent increase compared to the year before. Assets were up to more than $600 billion. In fact, Bermuda’s Captive market alone wrote more than $48 billion in gross premiums and reported total assets of more than $161 billion.

“Reported capital and surplus was just shy of $60 billion. These statistics indicate our market’s continued resilience in the face of increased competition and a prevailing soft market.

“But much of this you will hear during your meeting sessions this week.

“Ladies and gentlemen, ultimately, my lasting message for you today is this: Our Government will continue to listen, collaborate and take action with all our partners and stakeholders.

“We welcome you… and we hope you take this opportunity to network and discuss the major trends, innovations and challenges impacting the industry.

“In closing, I wish to offer my heartfelt thanks to the organizers of this great captive conference, who have shown outstanding dedication and commitment in making this a truly special annual event!

“Thank you and I wish you a successful and enjoyable week.”

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    “Our Government will continue to listen, collaborate and to take action with all or partners and stakeholders”, WELL when are you gonna listen and collaborate with the average working Bermudian.
    This is B!@# S!@# !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!