Island could lead world in life reinsurance
Bermuda could become the world’s leading global centre for life reinsurance, an industry leader told attendees at the PwC Insurance Summit.
Frank (Chip) Gillis, chairman, Athene Life Re, said: “We’ve gone from a handful of companies to more than 48 companies — that’s dramatic. There’s a greater number of companies here and there’s a greater acceptance in the broader market.”
He added: “I think because of the breadth of the market that has developed here, I think it’s an interesting place for new entrants as well as more seasoned companies.
“Bermuda has been number one in catastrophe cover, and ILS and captives for a while. And I think we are quickly developing into being number one in our sector.”
With assets of $500 billion, attendees heard that the life reinsurance sector has become Bermuda’s largest insurance sector by assets, with panellists saying that more growth is expected in the sector over the coming year.
Moderating a session on life reinsurance, Colm Homan, partner, insurance, PwC Bermuda, said that in the last few years “Bermuda has seen a number of new life companies establish quickly, backed by private equity, hedge funds, and wealthy private investors.”
He added: “A key takeaway from the panel was the very impressive growth the sector has demonstrated over the last five years and the optimism that our panellists had that this growth is going to continue.
“Despite the fact that investment returns are challenged at the moment, they had a lot of optimism that there is untapped potential in the market, in particular in the pensions area, and that this is going to provide an avenue for significant growth for Bermuda going forward.
“Another highlight was the confidence our panelists had that the combination of intellectual property and talent that’s available on the island and the pragmatic approach that the Bermuda Monetary Authority applies as regulator makes Bermuda the ideal incubator for some of the innovation that they are looking to bring to market and for the placement of new significant blocks of business on the island.”
Marc-André Giguère, president and chief executive officer, Munich Re, US (life and health), said the sector could be poised to grow even faster than it has been, while Thomas Olunloyo, CEO, Legal&General Re, praised the “tremendous innovation” on the island.
Robyn Wyatt, chief financial officer, Resolution Life, said: “There is absolutely just an enormous amount of money that is looking to be put to work somewhere. For life reinsurance, while the returns are not going to be super-enhanced, they are steady — they’re a steady cashflow.”
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