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ABIR marks 25 years and looks toward the future

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Hamilton, Bermuda, July 12, 2018—An overflow audience heard Bermuda’s past and present insurance leaders speak to the promise of Bermuda as a re/insurance market in the coming years; and heard public officials praise the important role Bermuda plays in managing insurance and reinsurance risk globally.

“We celebrated our 25 years of innovation, growth and leadership.  We look forward to the next leap forward in Bermuda’s risk management leadership,” said Kevin O’Donnell, chair of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) and President and CEO of RenaissanceRe Holdings, Ltd.  “Bermuda reinvented the management of extreme event risk in liability and catastrophe markets.  In the future, ABIR companies will continue to innovate to benefit insurance consumers and communities around the world, supported by Bermuda’s sophisticated regulator scheme, robust yet nimble governance framework, and the critical mass of diverse talent we have built here over this quarter century.”

The event, “Managing Risk Through Time,” marked ABIR’s 25th anniversary. Held at Rosewood Bermuda yesterday, it saw high-profile industry, government and regulatory executives past and present participate in an afternoon of keynotes and panel debates focused around major themes impacting the industry. Premier David Burt and former Premier Sir John Swan were among the speakers, along with Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, Mike Consedine, CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and former Insurance Commissioner of Pennsylvania, and Julian Enoizi, CEO of Pool Re.

“Bermuda is a leading global hub for commercial insurance and reinsurance,” noted John Huff, President and CEO of ABIR. “According to Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) research, ABIR members specifically and Bermuda’s broader insurance market generally has contributed more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in claim payments to US and EU consumers since 1998.  Insurance consumers benefit globally by our risk spreading diversification that makes insurance markets more competitive.”

Bermuda Premier, the Hon. E. David Burt, commended ABIR on its anniversary—and its significant contribution to both Bermuda’s reputation overseas and its community at home since 1993.

“ABIR doesn’t just represent its companies’ interests in Bermuda, but it also represents their interests globally,” he noted. “So, when ABIR is representing its members’ interests in the United States, the United Kingdom, or Europe, it is also representing Bermuda, because our interests are intertwined. The government has an excellent working relationship with ABIR and we’ll continue to work with business leaders to make sure the Bermuda market remains the leading market for risk in the world.

“When you look at ABIR’s 25 years, and the contribution insurance has made to Bermuda’s economy—through employment, physical assets, taxes, philanthropy, education, scholarships and community work—it’s clear the member companies of ABIR have demonstrated their commitment to assisting in Bermuda’s development. Without a doubt, ABIR companies are the cornerstone of Bermuda’s economy.  It is the government’s hope that collaboration, that partnership, will continue for many years to come.”

“The formation of ABIR was transformational for the industry here in Bermuda,” said former XL executive Fiona Luck, currently a Director on the Lloyd’s Franchise Board. “It professionalized everything and everything it does in this community is of the highest quality. I don’t think we can underestimate how powerful that’s been for Bermuda.”

“I think it’s a time to feel good about what we in Bermuda have accomplished,” said ABIR Chair-elect Albert Benchimol, CEO of AXIS Capital. “When I say ‘we,’ I mean everybody here. I mean the government, the regulator, the industry, and the incredible talent in Bermuda that’s really helped us achieve this milestone. And we must carry it forward—we have to make sure we don’t sit on our laurels, that we’re not afraid to risk a little bit, and see what kind of new frontiers we can breach.”

During the keynote sessions NAIC CEO Mike Consedine noted the value of bi-lateral regulatory agreements that ensure efficiency in regulation which spoke to the quality of the BMA’s regulatory regime.  Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier noted the important role Bermuda’s reinsurance business plays in spreading Florida’s unique hurricane risk around the world, funding recovery from events like Hurricane Irma, and fostering reliability, affordability and accessibility coverage for Florida consumers and businesses.  And, UK Pool Re CEO Julian Enoizi commented on the necessity of public/private partnerships to insure against terrorism threats and boosting post event economic recovery.

In addition to the remarks by Premier Burt, whose administration is leading developments in Bermuda’s embrace of a regulatory framework for digital assets and financial technology, the event closed with remarks by former Premier Sir John Swan, whose administration presided over the remarkable development of Bermuda’s commercial insurance and reinsurance sector in the 1990’s.

To access photos from the ABIR@25 Leadership Forum:


About ABIR:  The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) represents Bermuda’s major property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. Bermuda is the center of global expertise on underwriting for catastrophe risk transfer products and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @ABIR_Bermuda.

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