SPECIAL R 18 EPORT: WOMEN IN HAMILTON
are technical in nature and require a high degree of professional training.
Supporting students in making these choices early on is something that
schools and industry play a part in, in terms of promoting the right
courses and qualifications.
What is your view of the current state of the re/insurance market on
The Bermuda market moves quickly and is highly responsive to changes
in the economic environment, capital markets, and regulatory/legislative
change. This degree of agility is one of Bermuda’s great strengths and
rapid strategic change such as consolidation is one of the consequences.
The industry does need to be mindful to maintain corporate
structures which are sustainable for Bermuda, which means considering
the impacts that often accompany M&A transactions, and whether
more can be done to support the local economy through these changes.
How well is Bermuda positioned to continue to prosper?
Over the past eight years I have witnessed the long-term sector in
Bermuda shift from being primarily US focused, to becoming a major
player in the long-term reinsurance markets across the world. This
evolution is testament to Bermuda’s ability to expand its presence in
new markets and take a front row seat in the life reinsurance arena. I
believe this success is the result of a highly skilled and well regulated
industry which leverages its ability to react and respond quickly to
change. These attributes make Bermuda very well positioned to prosper
into the future.
How do you see the industry developing in the next five years?
In managing Athora Life Re, much of my time is spent developing life
reinsurance opportunities in Europe, which is a region where Bermuda
is in the early stages of making its mark in the life reinsurance space.
Achieving Solvency II equivalence was a huge step forward in
formalising Bermuda’s recognition in European re/insurance markets;
I feel that the current chapter is about bringing the BMA’s Solvency
II-equivalent regime to life in a way that works for European and
Bermudian counterparties alike.
To make this happen I believe we need to maintain the level of
transparency, trust and collaboration that exists between the longterm
sector and the BMA, and continue to build our track record of
providing well managed, effective reinsurance solutions to Europe.
Company: Athora Life Re
Job title: Chief executive officer
Is there still a shortage of female risk professionals in the Bermuda
I have worked in Bermuda for eight years and during that time I have
worked for two companies, both of which had successful management
teams comprising primarily women.
My own experience has therefore been one where female
representation has been very strong. However, looking more widely
across the Bermuda market, the landscape is different, and at board
level there certainly remains a shortage of female directors.
The shortage of senior women is, in part, typically put down to the
majority of childcare responsibilities being placed firmly on the shoulders
of women, and this is where I think change is needed in Bermuda.
It would be an impactful and positive step for more companies to
offer equal parental leave to men and women, and support families in
sharing childcare responsibilities so that having a family stops being an
issue that affects only women.
What initiatives have you seen to encourage local talent on Bermuda to
join the market?
Last year, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers
(BILTIR) launched a college internship programme which ran
successfully over the summer, and provided 10 college students with an
insight into the working world of life re/insurance in Bermuda.
I have personally participated in the Youth Net mentoring
programme, and know many others who volunteer their time for
similar activities. My perception is that there is a strong drive among
the re/insurance community in Bermuda to develop local talent in
the life industry and create Bermudian leaders to drive the industry
I do feel we need to do more to make what has historically been an
expat-dominated market more accessible to local talent, and this starts
at a very young age. We see a number of re/insurers sponsoring school
events and I think this is a great way to bring the industry and the
youth community together so that Bermudian youngsters start to build
a vision of working with international businesses from a young age.
How else can any such shortage be addressed?
International work experience at any age is a great way to broaden
horizons, appreciate diversity, learn about other working styles and
cultures, and develop new skills. Many re/insurers in Bermuda have
offices across the globe and could look to leverage this network more
to give Bermudian talent the opportunity to experience work in some
of the other major financial centres across the world, and enhance their
ability to succeed in international business.
Choosing the right academic path to support a future career in re/
insurance is an important step in developing local talent as many roles
“It would be an impactful and positive
step for more companies to offer equal
parental leave to men and women.”