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Over 700 participate in ABIR insurance course

New ‘speed networking’ event enables particpants to speak with professionals

Hamilton, Bermuda (May 28, 2024) — A record number of more than 700 people participated in the online foundational insurance course provided free to the Bermudian public thanks to sponsorship by the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR).

ABIR partnered with Bermuda College and the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science at St. John’s University, New York to offer the Special Topics in Insurance programme for a fourth consecutive year. Enrollees included students, career shifters and others interested in learning more about the international industry that drives Bermuda’s economy.

More than 20 speakers, including many professionals from ABIR member companies, featured in the 14-week programme on a wide range of re/insurance topics. Students and members of the public were invited to register for the whole course or any individual session. More than 500 people logged on for one of the presentations.

The course material is designed to give participants a grounding in basic industry knowledge and potentially a stepping stone towards a re/insurance career.

For the first time, this year’s course included an in-person ‘speed networking’ event at O’Hara House, giving up to 100 participants the opportunity to meet industry professionals, ask questions, investigate potential career paths and make connections.

One speed networker said: “As someone looking to transition careers later in life, the ABIR networking event was exactly what I needed.  The industry and HR professionals provided clear guidance as to where my current qualifications could be leveraged and what opportunities were available, as well as what my next steps should be.  They gave me the confidence boost I needed to put myself forward for positions.”

Another said: “Networking as an industry-outsider is not always easy, and I valued the opportunity to make meaningful connections with industry professionals.”

John Huff, CEO of ABIR, said: “We would like to thank the community for their tremendous support. The popularity of the course reflects a strong interest in the re/insurance industry, an interest we are happy to feed through ABIR’s sponsorship of this course. By enabling free and open access to foundational insurance education, this course supports ABIR members’ commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.

“We thank our partners, Bermuda College and St. John’s University, and the many volunteer presenters from ABIR member companies who have been generous in giving their time and sharing their knowledge.”

Necheeka Trott, Acting Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at Bermuda College, said: “This continued partnership between Bermuda College and ABIR is an incredible opportunity to empower students with specialised knowledge about insurance and reinsurance. The comprehensive Special Topics in Insurance course not only fosters a deeper understanding of insurance/reinsurance, but also promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field.

“The addition of a ‘mixer’ networking session, inclusive of speed interviews, enhances the appeal of this initiative, enabling direct engagement with industry experts and empowering students in their journey towards re/insurance careers. The College is deeply appreciative of this partnership that paves the way for our students to be a part of the next generation of leaders that excel in this industry.”

Dr. Mark J. Browne, chair of the faculty of the School of Risk Management at The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University, said: “The Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science at St. John's University is pleased to partner with ABIR and the insurance industry to raise awareness of the importance of the international insurance business in Bermuda.”

Discussions are currently ongoing  for the 2025 Special Topics in Insurance Course. For more information stay up to date with ABIR  Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers on Linked In and @ABIR_Bermuda on Instagram.

Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) (@abir_bermuda) • Instagram photos and videos

Speakers and presenters who participated in the course include: Craig Simmons (Bermuda College); Mark Cloutier (Aspen); the Hon. Jason Hayward JP, MP (Minister of Economy and Labour, Government of Bermuda); Karen Grisette (U.S. Consul General); Catherine Duffy (AIG); Chantal Cardinez, (Hannover Re Bermuda); John Huff (ABIR); Angela A'Zary (RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences); Timae Flood (BMA); Grainne Richmond (Aon); Natasha Osborne (Hiscox Re); Taijaun Talbot (GMA); Lloyd Holder (SiriusPoint); George Alayon (BMA); Vicki Wells (St. John's University); Tai Hong Kim (St. John's University); Judy Gonsalves (Chubb);  Jevon Willliams (Chubb); Karen King (Chubb);  Mark Browne (St. John’s University); Gerald Gakundi (BMA); Kyle Vrieze (Fortitude Re); Dennis Mathagu (Fortitude Re); Nelson Lee (Fortitude Re); Suzanne Williams-Charles (formerly of ABIR);

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About ABIR: The Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR), which represents Bermuda’s major property and casualty insurers and reinsurers doing business in 150 countries, was founded in 1993. For three decades, the Bermuda market’s risk-bearing capacity has played a key role in enabling insurance to be accessible and affordable, to the benefit of consumers around the world. Bermuda is an internationally recognized center of global expertise on underwriting for catastrophe, climate, cyber, mortgage & credit risk transfer products, along with other specialty insurance and reinsurance. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @ABIR_Bermuda.

About Bermuda College: Bermuda College is an internationally recognised accredited community college, which offers associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas in the areas of applied sciences, business, technology, hospitality, and the liberal arts. Bermuda College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. For more information, please visit

About St. John’s University: The Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, has a rich history and tradition. It was formed initially as the Insurance Society of New York in 1901, and became the School of Insurance in 1947 and the College of Insurance (TCI) in 1962. GSRM evolved from the merger of TCI and St. John's University in 2001. For more information, visit the website.

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