Island delegation takes message to New York
Bermuda’s unique value to onshore economies across industry sectors was the clear message of an executive forum held in New York today by the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
The forum saw an impressive collective effort by government, regulatory and industry executives who spoke about the island’s blue-chip legacy, innovative corporate environment, world-respected regulation, and pool of talent across sectors ranging from reinsurance and fund management to ship finance and high-net-worth services.
“It’s important that Bermuda is represented here in New York. We always say Bermuda is open for business, but we need to meet business — and all of Bermuda Inc were here today through all the industries we represent as a global financial centre,” said David Burt, the Premier, who attended the midtown event and opened the fintech portion of the day-long programme by highlighting pioneering legislation passed by Bermuda’s Parliament this spring to govern digital currencies.
“We’re here to show investors that there are great opportunities in Bermuda, whether that’s in any of the traditional industries, or in the emerging digital asset space,” said the Premier, joined by National Security Minister the Hon Wayne Caines, who took part in a panel on fintech’s “New Value Equation”.
Close to 300 attendees filled the forum location on Seventh Avenue, where more than 60 industry executives detailed Bermuda’s message to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs and c-suite executives on a dozen moderated discussion panels.
“We’ve had terrific attendance — we were thrilled to see how many people came to every one of the sessions,” said Paul Scope, the BDA chairman.
“Sometimes in Bermuda, industries stay in their own silos, but through collaborative initiatives like this one, we’re promoting the broad base of businesses across our whole financial sector. Our aim is to show the diversity of industries on our island that are served by the same sophisticated infrastructure.”
Keynote speaker Brian Duperreault, the Bermudian market veteran who was named CEO of American International Group last May, addressed a packed lunchtime auditorium, highlighting the island’s unique combination of experience, quality and innovation.
“Bermuda is a wonderful jurisdiction and I personally benefitted from the island, its approach to the market, what’s been created, and I just feel I’ve got to give back — I’ve got to help tell the story,” Mr Duperreault said afterwards.
“I wanted to speak today about what a great marketplace it is, how welcoming it is, how pro-business it is. I think it makes sense to come to New York, as the centre of finance, to tell our story, because we have great story to tell.”
Industry panels throughout the day covered topics such as the impact of US tax reform, recent mergers and acquisitions, and the advent of blockchain technology and virtual currencies.
This is the second international multi-industry forum organised by the BDA. The first, held in London last November, attracted more than 200 delegates encompassing a wide range of industries, and featured Robert Childs, deputy chairman of Lloyd’s and Hiscox chairman, as keynote speaker.
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