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BFIS summer intern programme, week one: ‘A great start’

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The Bermuda Foundation For Insurance Studies’ annual ‘Intro-to-Insurance Summer Intern programme’ is under way on the Island and in London.

Below one of the BFIS interns, Nick Butterfield, gives us some insight into the programme as he writes about the group’s first week and meetings with key re/insurers and companies involved with the industry.

All the interns in the programme are young Bermudians except two taking part from the Katie School of Insurance & Finance at Illinois State.

Monday, May 27


This session with Mike Fisher (Chairman of BFIS) was more of an overall introduction to what to expect from the internship. I learned about how I should use the information that I will learn in the coming weeks through things such as networking and building relationships with the people I will meet. Mike gave us an idea of his background and his involvement with BFIS, as well as his background in the industry as a broker. He also mentioned that we should be open to all areas of the industry and not just focused on one path as many people focus on underwriting and actuarial, but we may learn there are so many aspect that we can be a part of.


This was a very useful meeting because meeting with Leila Maideros from the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers we were able to get a full overview of the history and development of the insurance industry in Bermuda. We learned about the captive market and how this was one aspect of overall development of the insurance industry when the capacity was scarce back in the 1970s. The main ideas that we learned from this session was the reasons for insurance companies wanting to come to Bermuda. This is because of the speed to market as it takes only about six to eight weeks to get started in comparison with the US which may take up to six years due to the different legislation and regulations. Another reason is because Bermuda is a one-stop shop where within five blocks as an insurer you are able to purchase reinsurance, so this separates the Bermuda market from other markets making it more attractive. Overall this was a great start to the internship as we learned the foundation of the industry and how it all began.


The session at QuoVadis was very interesting as it showed a completely different aspect of the industry that I had not heard much about. To begin we were able to look at the data-centre and see the way it works, and the massive amount of data that is able to be stored there. We learned about the processes that take place at QuoVadis and what they do there including acting as a certificate authority, issuing digital certificates, to websites. I would have liked to learn a bit more about what they do at QuoVadis regarding cyber risk, as for the most part we only saw the technical side of what they do which maybe would have been of more interest to someone interested in a computer science career path.

Tuesday, May 28The meeting at Ariel Re was very good because we were able to hear from all areas of the business including analysts, insurance and reinsurance underwriters, an actuary, and the portfolio management team. We were able to hear from each section and learn about what they do and how it ties into the overall scheme of things, so it was good to be able to hear about everything. One of the areas which stood out to me was listening to the underwriters as this is the career path that which I want to take, and they told us what they do, but they also told us the characteristics and attributes that a good underwriter should have. So I was able to see if this job would be a good fit for me. I also enjoyed hearing from the portfolio management team and learning about the platform they built which ties all the information from the various areas of business into one centralised location making it easier to analyse.

Ariel Re


The session at the Bermuda Monetary Authority was very good. The presenters were very good for this session. We began with a tour of the museum in the BMA and we were able to see some of the old notes and coins, and how they have progressed to the notes we have today. I learned about what the BMA does, with the focus being on its interaction with the insurance companies. I did not know much about what the BMA did aside from issuing notes and coins, so it was interesting to learn how involved they are as the regulator of the companies. Overall it was a very informative session.

Wednesday, May 29

Oil Group

The session at the Oil Group was excellent. This was a very interesting session for me because we learned about insurance from the standpoint of a mutual insurer. So we were able to learn about how a mutual insurer operated, and is different from the commercial insurers. So learning about how the policyholders are the shareholders of the company, the requirements for the members of Oil, and the advantages and disadvantages of operating as a mutual insurer were a few of the topics that we discussed. The presentation gave a wide scope of the overall business and was very well put together.


The session at RenaissanceRe was very useful. This session was similar to Ariel Re in the way that we got to hear from various areas of the organisation including analysts, HR, actuary, claims, operations, as well as the legal team. Although we were hearing much of the same information about what each person does, it was interesting to hear it in relation to how their company operates because that is the distinguishing factor between the companies. This was also the first time hearing from a legal team, so it was good to hear from the in house legal team there, and what their job entails. RenaissanceRe were able to differentiate themselves as we got a chance to visit the gym and learn about the wellness aspect and how they incorporate nutrition and wellness into their company. RennaissanceRe was one of my favourite companies thus far, all the people we met were very nice, and we went to dinner at Mad Hatters after the session where we met more staff in the company giving another aspect of what they do at RenaissanceRe.

Thursday, May 30

Allied World

The session at Allied World was a very unique in the sense that it was tailored to our individual interests which was great. We spent the whole day at AWAC, and we began the day by meeting with Frank N D'Orazio, the President which was good. He had some great advice for us about the industry as well as for our individual career paths. We learned from the actuaries there about the different sides the actuaries can work in; reserving and pricing, and it was one of the first hands-on activities that we did as we were given a worksheet and we used the information which they gave us to see if we understood it. We were then split up into pairs and we met we various sectors of the company based on our interests. I was able to meet with an actuary, someone who worked in claims, and an underwriter. Each of these three gave me insight into what they did and their day-to-day functions. Everyone I met had great advice for me and I learned a lot of valuable information.

Friday, May 31The meeting at Appleby was very useful as it was great to be able to hear about the legal aspect of insurance. We learned about what needs to be done when setting up an insurance company in Bermuda, and how the new insurance companies would work with a legal firm such as Appleby when initially setting up a company.


Horseshoe & Wind River

The meeting at Horseshoe/Wind River was useful as we were able to see things from the perspective of an insurance manager. One of the main things I learned from this meeting was how they operate as an insurance manager for many of those companies who do not have an actual physical presence here on the Island, including many captives. It was also useful to have WindRiver Re there as well as we could see how the two companies interact and work with each other.

Tokio Millenium

At TMR, this was also a very useful meeting. This session followed the format of a few of the other companies as we were able to hear from someone from each area of the company, so once again although some of the information at this point was repetitive it was still good to hear it from a different aspect, a different person and from the point of view of a different company. This is because each company is unique in the way it views risks, some operate in different lines and write different business so it was still a great presentation from everyone. I particularly enjoyed hearing from the IT representative as his presentation was great. It was also good to hear from Shadae Burchall and Lyndsay Forrest (who did the intern programme last year), as they are in underwriting and that is the area which I hope to go into in my career, so I am always interested in gaining information on this and the paths that other underwriters took to get to where they are.

Calling on the BMA: Bermuda BFIS interns visit the Bermuda Monetary Authority as part of their first week. From left are Oliver Kempe, Alex Bassett, Rebecca Peisker, Dana Thomas, Ceilidh Blood and Nick Butterfield.
Pounding the pavement: The Bermuda BFIS interns make the rounds as part of their learning experience.
Business meeting: The London interns visit Thomas Miller, from left: Catherine Outerbridge, Helen Crisson, Elizabeth Dunkerley, and Jaime Ferrari McComb.
Time out: London BFIS interns enojy the heatwave in the city, from left: Elizabeth Dunkerley, Helen Crisson,Catherine Outerbridge and Jaime Ferrari McComb.

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Published June 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm)

BFIS summer intern programme, week one: ‘A great start’

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