SPECIAL R 16 EPORT: WOMEN IN HAMILTON
Company: Sirius Bermuda Insurance Company
Job title: Chief operations officer
How well is Bermuda positioned to continue to prosper?
Bermuda is well positioned due to its deep pool of intellectual
capital, strong regulatory environment and track record. The
Bermuda market has a history of being at the forefront of insurance
industry developments, starting with captive insurance over 60 years
ago and this ability to innovate will serve it well.
How do you see the industry developing in the next five years?
The industry will need to adopt new technologies to improve its
efficiency and reduce costs, to be able to bring better analytics to
understanding and pricing risk and to delivering their products to
The Bermuda Monetary Authority has shown its willingness
to embrace new business models by publishing its Insurance
Regulatory Sandbox and Innovation Hub guidelines in September
2018. This is encouraging as companies trying new business models
need to ensure they have a robust and appropriate regulatory regime
in which to operate and thrive.
I expect that companies will take advantage of this to develop
new business opportunities which will then benefit the Bermuda
Sheila Nicoll started her career as a Lloyd’s broker before returning
to Bermuda to join Johnson & Higgins. During her 40-year career
she has worked in London, Bermuda and New York in both the
reinsurance and insurance markets.
Nicoll was president of Olympus Reinsurance, the first
reinsurance sidecar formed by White Mountains Insurance Group,
from its formation in 2001 until 2008. She is a past president of the
Bermuda Insurance Institute and currently the chairman of Argus
Group Holdings, a publicly traded Bermuda insurance group.
Is there still a shortage of female risk professionals in the Bermuda
Yes, women are significantly under-represented in the global
reinsurance market, particularly at the senior management levels,
and the Bermuda market is no different.
However, I’ve seen good progress during my career with an
increasing number of women in senior roles and believe that we
need to ensure that the momentum is maintained.
What initiatives have you seen to encourage local talent on
Bermuda to join the market?
A lot of effort has been put into encouraging local talent to join
the market over many years. There are a number of industry groups
and individual companies who work to ensure that the insurance
industry is seen as an interesting and attractive place to work by
high school students and then to help them select a university course
which will assist them to become equipped to join the industry on
More recent developments are initiatives such as the Dive
In Festival which are focused on improving diversity in the
How else can any such shortage be addressed?
It will be essential for the industry to adapt so that young, tech
savvy people view the industry as an interesting and challenging
place to work. The millennials have very different perspectives on
what is important to them than previous generations. The insurance
industry must work to understand what changes must be made to
attract the people with the right skills and then be prepared to adapt
What is your view of the current state of the re/insurance market
The Bermuda market companies are financially strong and are
willing to make strategic decisions to adapt to the changing global
market conditions. The Bermuda market has proved to be resilient
and is able to evolve to meet new demands and challenges and I
think this will continue.
“Bermuda is well positioned due to its
deep pool of intellectual capital, strong
regulatory environment and track record.”