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Business leader says island must embrace AI

Patrick Tannock, chairman of Abic and managing director of Axa XL (File photograph)

Bermuda must quickly evolve to be more data-centric and embrace analytics and artificial intelligence, according to Patrick Tannock, the chairman of the Association of Bermuda International Companies.

Speaking at Abic’s annual meeting, Mr Tannock also told the group’s members there had been continued progress in diversity with an increase in the number of people from historically underrepresented groups in leadership roles.

Mr Tannock, who is also the chief executive of Axa XL Insurance in Bermuda, said that customer behaviours had entered a digitalised, experience-driven era and Bermuda must continue to adapt.

“As a jurisdiction we must quickly evolve to be more data centric, embrace data and analytics and artificial intelligence as a competitive enabler to anticipate customer needs, enhance customer engagement and increase customer solution options,” he said.

He also emphasised to members that on the premise that political, social, and economic stability are critical to Bermuda’s sustainability as an international business jurisdiction, the island’s future sustainability is interconnected.

“This underscores that we all have a role to play to improve our economy and ensure Bermuda’s future success,” he said.

This year, Abic’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee introduced a programme to support its members building strategies to advance DEI.

The results of a DEI survey of IB employers were presented to members of Abic, as well as members of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers and Bermuda Long-Term Insurers and Reinsurers.

Abic also continued its active support of the Association for Corporate Racial Equity, a group of Black professionals committed to advancing racial equity in the IB sector, held a workshop for members on neurodiversity — the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways — and strengthened its partnership with the LGBTQ+ community.

Mr Tannock urged a higher proportion of Abic members to complete the next DEI survey, scheduled for distribution in 2024.

“We are optimistic that the next survey results will show continued progress with an increase in the number of persons from historically underrepresented groups in leadership roles within our member companies,” Mr Tannock said.

“It is interesting and the ultimate paradox that in IB, where we pride ourselves on data and analytics, generally, when it comes to data pertaining to industry demographics by race and gender, we are lacking. We can and must do better.

“Additionally, notwithstanding the importance of harnessing as much data as we can to predict outcomes/scenarios, we must also embrace and get comfortable dealing with ambiguity and continue to ratchet up the case for diversity and diverse thinkers who can deal creatively with variation and rapid change.”

The Abic education awards, now in its 46th year, attracted a record number of 89 applicants in 2023 and raised $649,000 to support 22 students and presented three memorial awards.

Abic’s other work this year included increasing awareness of the value proposition of IB to change the dialogue from “IB gets everything it wants” to “IB gets what it needs to be internationally competitive”.

At the annual meeting, Mr Tannock also announced the retirement of George Hutchings, a long-serving Abic board member and past chairman. He will be replaced by Robert Foskey, senior vice-president and chief operating officer of Everen.

Looking ahead, the Abic board is about to start a strategic planning process, which will include exploring how it can support the Government’s ambition for Bermuda to become the world’s climate risk finance leader.

Mr Tannock added: “Our strategic action plan will be launched in the new year, with the goal of continuing to drive value for Abic members and the wider community.”

• To read Patrick Tannock’s statement in full, see Related Media

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Published December 05, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated December 05, 2023 at 7:59 am)

Business leader says island must embrace AI

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