Finance Minister on reinsurance industry: We can, must and will improve our performance’
New ways of buying insurance do not generate as many jobs — but Bermuda has to keep its position at the cutting edge of the industry, Finance Minister Bob Richards said yesterday.
Mr Richards added: “Several Wall Street analysts have painted a rather grim outlook for the reinsurance industry, citing too much capacity and too few disasters.
“As a major reinsurance centre, we need to look at what we can do to make our offering in this sector more attractive and competitive.
“As there is already a highly-developed physical, legal, professional and regulatory infrastructure in place for insurance, our emphasis should be to keep on doing what we’re already doing, only do it better.”
He added that insurance linked securities — where outside investors shoulder the risk for good returns if the policies are not called on — did not generate the same number of jobs as traditional reinsurance firms.
But he added: “We must be and be seen to be, innovators and on the leading edge in the risk business.
“This will enhance Bermuda’s reputation as the crucible for risk management innovation which will surely augur well for this sector and Bermuda.”
Mr Richards added that the asset management sector — which last year was boosted by new legislation designed to make the Island more attractive to the business — was also crucial to Bermuda’s prosperity.
He said: “We now have to continue ramping up our marketing and business development efforts internationally through the newly-formed Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) to promote our advantages internationally.
“BDA is a joint venture between Government and our private sector partners.
“The offshore funds business is a highly competitive business, heavily reliant on speed to market and sensitive to costs and we have not traditionally excelled at either of these.
“However, we can, must, and will improve our performance. We used to dominate the offshore funds sector, but we have lost ground to the competition.
“As financial markets continue to recover, there will be opportunities to rebuild this business in Bermuda.”
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