Parrish brings fresh ideas to captive event
When the Bermuda Captive Conference returns to its June slot this year, after being displaced by the America’s Cup last year, it will have a new man at the helm.
In addition, a number of fresh ideas and innovations, including a conference app, will be rolled out.
Michael Parrish has stepped up to the role of chairman and he believes the event, now in its fourteenth year, will be bigger than before with expectations it will surpass last year’s total of 718 delegates.
He is also working on ways to bring more community involvement and ensure the conference has an increased beneficial impact on Bermuda.
An inspiring and charismatic keynote speaker has been announced. Derreck Kayongo’s story spans his childhood as a Ugandan refugee to his success as an American-based business visionary and founder of the Global Soap Project.
The industry keynote speaker will be Bermuda’s Jonathan Reiss, part of the founding management team of Hamilton Insurance Group and its group chief financial officer.
The conference is being staged at Fairmont Southampton from June 11 to 13. The theme this year is diversity, and how that relates to people, skills and risk.
Mr Parrish said: “We will have a session that relates to women in the captive industry. And we are carrying that [diversity] theme through the agenda.”
Other topics of discussion will be board composition of captives, and corporate governance; US tax reform and the impact on captives; technology and the impact on risk; and market disruption.
The conference logo has been redesigned and the website has a new look and functionality.
“We have done a lot of work behind the scenes,” said Mr Parrish.
New this year will be conference app that allows delegates to communicate with other attendees through private messaging, which could be useful for scheduling meetings. The app will also carry the schedule of events and other pieces of information.
There will be changes to the look of the exhibition hall, which will be a single room. Large monitors will display conference information and alerts when sessions are about to start. The screens will also show Bermudian-related videos, possibly including some from the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
“Rather than just being about the conference, there will be things relating to Bermuda as a destination. We have people that are coming back year after year and are bringing their families.”
On the first day of the conference there is a morning family programme, offering activities including walks, golf, and a glass-bottom boat excursion.
Mr Parrish added: “We want to engage more of the community and ensure Bermuda benefits from the conference as a whole.”
As part of that drive the conference is instituting a charity programme, with an island charity chosen each year to be supported and given the opportunity to have a presence at the event.
The conference will induct another set of captives into its Hall of Fame. The honour is given to captives as they reach 25 years of operation. The conference will also award its third Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Bermuda Captive Conference is already a flagship event for the island. Last year’s event was moved from June to September to avoid clashing with the staging of the America’s Cup. A total of 750 booked hotel nights at Fairmont Southampton were attributable to the conference.
Of the more than 700 delegates, 220 came from overseas. That number would have been higher, but 41 delegates were prevented from attending due to travel disruption in the US caused by Hurricane Irma, including the temporary closure of Miami International Airport.
Mr Parrish previously served on the conference event committee, and has taken over as chairman from David Gibbons, who has completed a two-year tenure in that role. Mr Parrish said: “I’m very pleased to be the chairman. It is a great conference. We have a large and enthusiastic team working to deliver the conference.”
Captive insurance is an important segment of Bermuda’s economy. The island is a leader in the field, with close to 800 captives based here, generating $55 billion in gross written premiums per year. The sector annually contributes an estimated $174 million into Bermuda’s economy and directly employs more than 550 people on the island.
Giving his thoughts on the state of the sector, Mr Parrish said the industry was stable and Bermuda was holding its own as an established leader in the field.
He said there are avenues for an expansion of the market in countries and regions beyond the US, such as Canada and Latin America — both destinations where the Bermuda Business Development Agency has been conducting roadshows to attract potential new business for Bermuda.
For details of the conference, including registration, visit https://bermudacaptiveconference.com/