Owners and corporate risk managers for Fortune 500 companies, among nearly 800 delegates attending this week’s Bermuda Captive Conference, praised the 15th annual event for its innovative programme, expert panels, and dynamic social and networking opportunities.
Bermuda’s largest industry conference, which ran Monday through Wednesday at Fairmont Southampton, attracted captive insurance owners, risk managers, brokers, captive managers, service providers, sponsors, and vendors from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and the Caribbean—driving total room nights at the hotel close to 1,000.
“Once again, the Bermuda Captive Conference has set a high bar to surpass—the 15th event has been a big success and we’ve received excellent feedback so far from attendees and participants,” said Conference Chair Mike Parrish. “The numbers tell the story every year, confirming this event provides a boost to our industry, to our business community, to hospitality, and to Bermuda’s economy.”
President of the Bermuda Captive Owners Association (BCOA), Scott Reynolds, lauded the conference as “the best yet” and said Bermuda and the event continue to be relevant to large corporations that have established captives—or are thinking about it. “The Bermuda captive conference is especially valuable to owners and risk managers as it allows idea-sharing with some of the brightest people in the captive industry in a terrific venue,” he said. “Many attendees informed me after various sessions that this was the best conference yet. The event reinforced the fact that Bermuda is a superb domicile, and I expect the volume of business in the Bermuda captive marketplace to rise as a result.”
With its 2019 theme of “Elevate,” the conference comprised moderated panels and roundtables on hot topics and emerging risks like insurtech, global employee benefits, autonomous driving, AI, cyber risk, and the shared economy. Networking and social events ranged from beachside receptions and networking lounges to and morning activities including a boat excursion, golf tournament and fitness walk.
Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson officially opened the conference Tuesday morning, welcoming delegates and saluting the Bermuda market’s “legacy and future of innovation.” He presented Jeremy Cox, Executive Chair of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), with the fourth Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the industry. Cox was also the spotlight industry speaker the following day.
The conference celebrated this year’s inductees to the Bermuda Captive Hall of Fame, an honour awarded to companies committing at least 25 years to the island’s market. Established in Bermuda in 1994, they were: Fairtide Insurance, Iboba Insurance, Pitts Bay Insurance Company, and Trimark Insurance. Two additional companies, Pipe Insurance (1987) and American Contractors Insurance Group (1981), made a special trip to this year’s conference—to celebrate their past qualification as Hall of Famers. Bermuda is the top global captive jurisdiction, home to more than 700 captive insurance companies supporting primarily Fortune 500 corporations in the US and generating $40 billion in annual gross written premiums.
Keynote speaker, YouTube comedian and filmmaker Tripp Crosby, entertained delegates with video clips and career advice to boost creativity by “doing less, reflecting more.” For the second year, a community component saw the conference donate $5,000 to a beneficiary charity—Big Brothers Big Sisters Bermuda, which staged a booth in the exhibit area. The event also partnered with Bermuda’s Department of Workforce Development, Bermuda College, and local high schools to connect job-seekers and students to industry mentors and held two interactive sessions moderated by keynote Crosby and local comedian Nadanja Bailey.
“Bermuda Captive Conference extends sincere thanks to all local and overseas companies that supported this year’s event, which brought almost 120 captive owners to the island,” said Gemma Godfrey, COO of conference organisers The Whitfield Group. “Early feedback from attending captives commended this year’s event agenda for its topic relevance as some of the best educational content in recent years. Updates to format and sessions were also well-received, in particular Barclay’s gala dinner that hosted over 450 guests on the Lido Terrace, Paget.”
The Bermuda Captive Conference returns next year, June 8–10.
PHOTOS CREDIT: Alexander Masters