Newsletter of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA)
FEBRUARY 2016The Budget bottom line
Budget season is always a good time for evaluation. The Bermuda government’s 2016–17 statement, delivered this month, provides a fiscal snapshot of where our jurisdiction stands on debts, interest payments, industry challenges and GDP growth. Among the statistics and granular breakdowns, however, several fundamental themes emerged:First things first: our economy is growing
Slowly, perhaps, but we can point to four quarters of consecutive GDP growth. As the Budget indicated, this doesn’t mean we’re back in the economic powerhouse period of the 1990s and early 2000s—far from it. In fact, we may need to accept those halcyon days may never return, replaced by a new normal. Those believing we need to bounce back to boom levels to be truly out of recession need a dose of post-financial-crisis reality. Lack of boom notwithstanding, we are seeing green shoots sprouting and we must tend to them: new companies are establishing, jobsare being created, and positive momentum is fuelling investment and positive effects in many sectors, from office refurbishment powering construction and real estate, to flight capacity and hotel-bed occupancy boosting tourism.
Bermuda-based America’s Cup teams are in Muscat, Oman February 27–28 for the year’s first Louis Vuitton World Series event. The series, including racing in New York, Chicago, Portsmouth, and Toulon, France, allows the six teams to vie for points leading up to the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in June 2017. Meanwhile, Bermuda hosts the RC44 Championship Tour opener March 2–6. The RC44 Bermuda Cup, supported by BDA, features America’s Cup sailors in high-performance mono-hull yachts in the Great Sound.
Bermuda shorts made a statement in Hong Kong this month. At a special event to promote Walkers Professional Services, more than 20 lawyers from the firm’s regional office donned authentic Bermuda shorts to welcome Walkers’ new association with Taylors in Bermuda. More than 200 clients were invited as a thank-you for their support and to introduce Kevin Taylor and Jonathan Betts as the new Bermuda team. “The launch party was a great way to introduce Hong Kong clients and business contacts to Bermuda, ” said Betts. “Having the Walkers gentlemen dress in Bermuda’s unique business attire sparked much interest. We look forward to having many more chances to promote the jurisdiction internationally.”
Captive InsuranceThe rising threat of cyber risk to global corporations was the focus of our first 2016 webinar this month. Our industry experts discussed how to mitigate loss from data breaches and cyber attacks via a captive insurer in Bermuda, where access to capital is a jurisdictional plus. The presentation can be accessed here. Cyber and healthcare risks will also be hot topics at our Team Bermuda US roadshows to Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC (March 15 and 17), and at June’s Bermuda Captive Conference: register before February 29 for early-bird hotel rates.
Insurance-Linked SecuritiesBDA joined ILS Bermuda and key industry partners in New York this month at the annual SIFMA Insurance and Risk Linked Securities (IRLS) conference. The dates for Bermuda’s Convergence 2016 have also been announced:November 9–10. Both networking and business development events bring together investors and industry leaders in the booming ILS and alternative reinsurance sector. Bermuda is home to the lion’s share of ILS listings, with $19 billion, or 75 percent of the world’s capacity. According to artemis.bm’s latest market report, Q4 2015 issuance included hurricane, cyclone and earthquake risk.
Trust & Private ClientOrganisers and attendees praised Bermuda’s inaugural staging of the Legal Week Private Client Forum Americas this month. The event, attracting a prestigious group of delegates to Rosewood Tucker’s Point Resort, focused on Latin American high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and family offices—a growing sphere. Bermuda’s Chief Justice Ian Kawaley spoke about the modern responsiveness of the island’s courts, which mark their 400th anniversary in June. “Having key decision-makers coming to Bermuda is beneficial to showcase the sophistication of our domicile, ” said BDA CEO Ross Webber, pictured (right) with conference chair Josh Rubenstein.
Asset ManagementBermuda’s asset management sector plans to strengthen connections with the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) by organising a local group of industry representatives. A soft-launch networking event will be held March 3 at Bermuda National Gallery, City Hall & Arts Centre, at which Bermuda Monetary Authority CEO Jeremy Cox will be guest speaker. AIMA represents the global hedge fund industry and offers technical and regulatory teaching resources. The group believes a stronger AIMA presence in Bermuda will enhance the jurisdiction’s profile in the international market, provide a channel for new business, and give a unified voice to Bermuda’s industry professionals.
Re/insuranceBermuda’s success in achieving Solvency II equivalence and the island’s post-recessionary “renaissance” get the spotlight in a special reportin the February issue of Reactions. The magazine’s Bermuda supplement looks at incoming captives and other insurance start-ups, including hedge fund-backed reinsurer Fidelis, plus the new wave of America’s Cup 2017 investment in the island’s hotels and infrastructure. “The America’s Cup has been a catalyst for Bermuda’s economic resurgence, ” noted Jessica Mello, of Deloitte and a Bermuda Tourism Authority director. Reactions, a long-respected re/insurance publication, is read by thousands of risk industry participants and has a presence at numerous key trade events throughout the year.
AviationBDA CEO Ross Webber and Business Development Manager Kevin Richards will travel to Tehran this spring to explore investment and business opportunities at the Iranian Aviation Symposium. They’ll be joined by officials of the Department of Civil Aviation, which becomes the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) in April. The highly-anticipatedApril 25–26 event marks a new era for Iran’s aviation sector, which opened for business this year after the lifting of nuclear sanctions. Organised by AeroPodium, the event will attract aircraft operators, manufacturers, banks, leasing and finance companies, airports, law firms, and aircraft registries such as Bermuda’s. Pictured, from left: Richards with DCA’s Thomas Dunstan and Len Cormier, who will speak at the conference.
ShippingThe BDA will join local shipping partners at the 31st Annual Connecticut Marine Association (CMA) Conference and Exhibition in Stamford next month. Both BDA and Hamilton-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement will have booths at the event, and representatives of Shoreline Managers and theDepartment of Maritime Administration (DMA) will also attend. The March 21–23 event, organised by the largest commercial shipping association in the US, brings together the international shipping community to network and discuss key commercial, technical and regulatory issues affecting the industry.
Survival of the Fittest
BDA Chair Caroline Foulger advised Bermuda’s charities to adopt corporate tactics to survive and succeed, during the recent Third Sector Conference. The annual Centre on Philanthropy event was attended by some 200 representatives of local non-profit organisations. A guest panelist in a discussion titled “Survival of the Fittest, ” Foulger was joined by author Larry Burchall, economist Craig Simmons, and Kumi Bradshaw of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), and moderated by Brian Madeiros. She suggested strategies that work for companies to stay competitive—mergers, consolidation, solid financial accountability—could serve non-profits well in a challenging economy.
The BDA encourages direct investment and helps companies start up, re-locate or expand their operations in our premier jurisdiction. An independent, public-private partnership, we connect you to industry professionals, regulatory officials, and key contacts in the Bermuda government to assist domicile decisions. Our goal? To make doing business here smooth and beneficial.
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