Conference attracts record numbers

  • Packed house: Delegates hear Premier Michael Dunkley open The Bermuda Captive Conference at the Fairmont Southampton Resort  (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

    Packed house: Delegates hear Premier Michael Dunkley open The Bermuda Captive Conference at the Fairmont Southampton Resort (Photo by Nicola Muirhead)

The tenth Bermuda Captive Conference (BCC) concluded on Wednesday night with a gala dinner, fireworks and the Fire Show at the Beach Side Terrace at Fairmont Southampton.

The spectacular ending came after record attendance, record exhibit participation and record sponsorship. Conference registration was 745, not including 120 people who attended a Market Leader speech by Hamilton Insurance Group CEO Brian Duperreault.

One of Bermuda’s flagship hotels, the Fairmont was originally booked for some 585 room nights, but the number mushroomed to nearly 1,000 room nights, as the BCC attracted hundreds of visitors to the Island.

Shelley Meszoly, regional director of sales and marketing for Fairmont Hotels Bermuda, said the hotel was delighted to host the annual event again.

She said: “This year was one of the best ever and we were thrilled to welcome over 300 international hotel guests and almost 500 other attendees.

“Large group business, such as Bermuda Captive, is extremely important to the destination and to The Fairmont Southampton.

“We continue to work diligently with our partners at The Bermuda Tourism Authority to bring more groups like this to the Island. This year The Fairmont Southampton will host over 200 groups of all sizes from around the globe.”

Early in the week BCC president Thomas McMahon told delegates: “We want you to appreciate what Bermuda has to offer. This year we developed a programme outside of the conference so that you and your family with whom you are travelling can visit some of the attractions, including golf courses and restaurants.

“And these facilities have agreed to provide a special discount to registrants of the conference.”

He said that more Latin American companies are finding the advantages of a Bermuda captive domicile, stating: “We have more than 30 delegates, representing 15 Latin American organisations.”

Meanwhile, one of the BCC sponsors, PwC Bermuda, issued a statement yesterday noting the heightened interest in captive formations from new attendees and questions from existing owners on how to optimise the use of their captives.

The firm agreed that the potential for an increase in Latin American captives was great.

Director of their captive insurance group David Gibbons said: “The types and uses of captives are growing increasingly innovative and sophisticated.

“Latin American captives are a significant part of new captive growth in Bermuda.

“In response to the increased interest from the region PwC Bermuda has produced a guide to its captive services in Spanish. We also have members of our dedicated captive team who are fluent in Spanish.”

PwC Bermuda tax leader Richard Irvine said the session on FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), in which he was a panellist, was extremely well attended.

He noted that FATCA becomes effective beginning next month, on July 1, 2014, and will be phased in over two-and-a-half years, ending in 2017.

“The implications of FATCA for captives were of high interest to attendees,” Mr Irvine said. “Overall, there was a high level of interest in the Bermuda captive market.”

Mr Gibbons said the top issues that PwC professionals engaged with attendees on included:

— Bermuda’s readiness for Latin American business including multilingual professionals and understanding of the regulatory environment in those countries.

— Corporate governance and the importance of the board of directors actively reviewing the performance of the captive and of its outsourced service providers.

— The impact on captives of FATCA, preparing for and implementing FATCA compliance, and the impact of the Neal Bill.

— Alternative ways to utilise existing captive structures such as new types of insurance (cyber risk, employee benefits) or insuring higher layers.

— What is the best investment composition and mix of portfolio in a low interest rate environment.

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Published Jun 6, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 10:58 am)

Conference attracts record numbers

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