“Other hot industry topics on the ReFocus 2019 agenda included global trade
barriers, the opioid crisis, artificial intelligence, blockchain and insurtech.”
Senior executives from insurance groups with a Bermuda presence,
including Legal & General, Global Atlantic, Athene Re, Wilton Re,
and Hannover Re, were featured on the programme—highlighting the
growing importance of Bermuda in the life insurance marketplace.
Bill Wheeler, president of Athene Holding, was a panellist in a
session on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and Thomas Olunloyo,
CEO of L&G Re, moderated a discussion on the UK’s departure from
the EU the following day.
Other hot industry topics on the ReFocus 2019 agenda included
global trade barriers, the opioid crisis, artificial intelligence,
blockchain and insurtech, uninsured gaps, and the impact of
The heightened Bermuda presence at this year’s ReFocus event also
aimed to highlight BILTIR’s annual life and annuity conference—
According to John Wight, group chairman and chief executive officer of
BF&M, Bermuda is sometimes referred to as “the capital of the world for
risk” for good reason. Its growing prominence in the life sector—which
now holds more assets than either captives or P&C—is proof of this.
Wight says this is well earned for many reasons. One of the top
reasons cited by businesses choosing to domicile there is Bermuda’s
robust but flexible regulation by the BMA. Bermuda enjoys both
Solvency II equivalence and National Association of Insurance
“This means the Island’s re/insurance market
operates in a legal and regulatory environment that
is on par with those in Europe and the US. This
has put Bermuda ahead of many of its competitor
jurisdictions and reaffirmed its position as a dynamic
insurance market with highly credible regulation.
“Another reason cited by investors to incorporate life
re/insurance companies in Bermuda is the straightforward
and streamlined licensing process, which supports speed
to market,” says Wight.
scheduled for September 19, 2019 at the Fairmont Southampton. Last
year, the BILTIR event attracted a record 300 attendees.
“Bermuda is an ideal venue for insurers from the East Coast of the
US and the UK to gather and learn more about the strength of our
jurisdiction,” said Sylvia Oliveira, CEO of Wilton Re Bermuda and a
The BDA added that long-term insurance and reinsurance, which
help protect consumers from underfunded retirement years and
provide care for unsupported dependents, is a growing market
globally. In Bermuda, the sector—comprising a diverse group of
companies with more than $300 billion in total assets—is expanding,
with a total of 11 new life re/insurers licensed by November 2018,
with more newcomers expected in statistics released for December
and Q1 2019.
“Further, while maintaining the necessary regulatory principles
including policyholder protection, proportionality and transparency,
Bermuda continues to be recognised as a leader in innovation through
the creation of new, leading-edge structures.”
As a result of this, Wight claims, Bermuda is perhaps best known for
its global reputation as a domicile for captives and P&C re/insurers,
adding that in 2019, life re/insurance constitutes a significant segment
of Bermuda’s overall market.
The life sector has overtaken the captive and P&C sectors in assets.
In 2018, the number of new life insurance formations in Bermuda
more than doubled over the prior year.
“We continue to see strong interest in offshore products
issued by Bermuda reinsurers, which translates into a high
level of activity by large US reinsurers and investment houses
seeking to establish new long-term re/insurance facilities in
Bermuda,” Wight concludes. “Bermuda’s re/insurance sector
continues to move from strength to strength.”
The capital of the world for risk—with good reason
“We continue to see strong interest in offshore
products issued by Bermuda reinsurers.”