Island centre stage in New York
The role Bermuda plays in helping countries and communities to recover from natural disasters and catastrophes was highlighted at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.
A forum hosted by RenaissanceRe was attended by 200 leaders from a variety of areas of expertise, including insurance industry experts, scientists, environmentalists and policymakers.
Michael Dunkley, the Premier, also spoke at the New York Recovery & Resilience Leadership Forum, and joined senior figures of RenRe who, after the forum, rang the closing bell at the NYSE.
Lessons learnt from the experience of Hurricane Sandy, when it hit New York and New Jersey in 2012, were highlighted at the forum.
The need for adequate insurance coverage, and a proactive approach to preparations ahead of natural disasters, and robust infrastructure, were elements of the discussions.
Mr Dunkley said it had been a great opportunity to provide Bermuda’s side of the story, not only as a leading hub for insurers and reinsurers, but as a country that is accustomed to dealing with hurricanes.
The Premier said the message had been well received. “People just don’t realise how resilient we are and the challenges we face and the systems we have to recover,” he said.
Mr Dunkley met with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who owns a property in Bermuda, and was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, AM Best TV and Bloomberg. He took the opportunity to speak about the island’s business sector and aspects of its appeal as a travel destination.
“I put as much into the time as I can. It’s a great opportunity to support Bermuda,” he said.
The Premier held up the Bermuda flag as Stephen Weinstein, group general counsel of RenRe, led the closing bell ceremony at the NYSE.
Mr Weinstein said a wide range of stakeholders attended the forum, noting that in times of natural disasters it was crucial to have “all hands on deck”.
He said that almost all Bermuda residents are covered by some form of private insurance, and mentioned how the island was an example of a country that prepares well before a hurricane hits and comes together as a community to deal with the aftermath.
“We need that in the US as well,” he said.
It was a critical message that RenaissanceRe wanted to tell. Mr Weinstein said the forum had been a great opportunity for Bermuda to communicate its role, through the insurance and reinsurance sector, in assisting other communities recover from catastrophes and natural disasters.
“It’s very important for Bermuda to tell these stories. We are different from other jurisdictions,” he said, adding that there could be few finer places to do so than against the backdrop of the NYSE where many of Bermuda’s insurers and reinsurers trade.
Mr Weinstein said Bermuda is not a place where money goes to get hidden, but is rather a place where capital is raised in the insurance and reinsurance sectors to help communities build resilience to cope with and recover from catastrophes and natural disasters.
He added that it had been an honour to have the Premier attend and speak at the forum.
A video of yesterday’s closing bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange can be viewed by visiting: http://livestream.com/NYSE/RenaissanceReHoldings
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