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ABIC scholarships to be awarded

Patrick Tannock

An international companies umbrella group is to unveil its 38th annual scholarship winners on Wednesday.

Previous winners have lined up to praise the Association of Bermuda International Companies’ (ABIC) long-running scheme for helping them to get a foot on the corporate ladder.

Patrick Tannock, head of Bermuda insurance operations for giant XL Catlin and also now president of ABIC, said: “The ABIC education awards enables young Bermudians to further their education overseas and acquire the skills sets in order to participate and succeed in international business.

“As former scholarship recipients working in international business, we are uniquely positioned to act as ambassadors to positively influence perceptions about Bermudians in the international business arena and perceptions about international business within our communities.

Mr Tannock, who won a scholarship in 1980, added: “And we must continue to tangibly demonstrate by our contributions to the success of our companies that it is a great investment for international companies to award scholarships to Bermudian students.”

ABIC said many of today’s industry leaders were among the 541 Bermudians who have benefited from the scholarships since they were introduced in 1977.

Scholars now work in fields like accounting, law, information technology, media and financial services, as well as insurance and reinsurance.

The awards marked their 35th anniversary with a new award sponsored by insurance firm Zurich named after Shernelle Outerbridge, the former president of Zurich Investment Services.

The programme has handed out more than $5 million in the last decade alone.

Bowring Marsh assistant vice president Laura Norman, who won a scholarship in 2008, said the award helped to fund her studies in business at Edinburgh University.

She said: “The funding contributed towards tuition, accommodation and required textbooks. I greatly appreciate the association’s support during my studies.”

XL Catlin underwriter Deniece Gordon, who won her scholarship in 2003, added: “Furthermore, ABIC can be monumental in providing a student their first glimpse into the world of international business.

“Being awarded the ABIC education award as well as the Michelle Outerbridge award opened up doors to internships and relationships that I may have otherwise not been given the opportunity to pursue.”

Scholarships are awarded by a special committee drawn from donor companies and are given on the basis of financial need, academic ability and area of study.

Every year between 14 and 20 students are given $30,000 over two years to help fund undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.