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Bermuda First group reformed

The Bermuda First advisory group was yesterday given a new lease of life.

Philip Butterfield, former CEO of HSBC Bermuda, was made chairman of the re-established group, which is tasked with developing a long-term economic and social vision for the island.

The rebirth of Bermuda First was one of the 21 steps the Progressive Labour Party pledged to take in its first 100 days in power.

The Bermuda First group has 13 members so far, made up of representatives of local and international business, charities, unions and other groups, with more to be announced.

No politicians will serve on the committee.

Members include Sir John Swan, the former premier, John Wight, head of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, Duranda Greene, president of Bermuda College, and Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union.

Also announced were Gil Tucker, Darren Johnston, Patrick Tannock, Gita Blakeney-Saltus, Michael Collins Andy Burrows, Wendy McLeod, Scott Pearman and Michael Branco.

The group is expected to have between 16-20 members, far smaller than its 69-strong predecessor created by the PLP Government in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis.

Mr Burt said not all of the earlier group's proposals were put in place, but it had successfully advanced the island as a centre for insurance-linked securities.

Mr Burt said the new committee would “look for new opportunities for Bermuda to strengthen its economic base, identify new and emerging technologies and assist in developing balanced, long-term economic growth”.

Mr Butterfield added the appointments were “an opportunity to give back and provide a plan that is not only broad in its vision, but also practical”.

He said the group will be “inclusive and collaborative, and will welcome input from all sectors of the community”.

Mr Butterfield added that he and his colleagues had yet to have “our come-to-Jesus conversation” on how to steer the island through the next ten to 15 years.

The Bermuda First group will devote up to eight weeks on organisation and research.

Mr Burt said: “The committee will begin working immediately to develop their mandate and identifying their methodology, and will be given an operating budget together with office space and administrative support.”

Mr Burt added that the cost of the committee had yet to be established and that Mr Butterfield had said “that he is going to reach out to members of the private sector as well”.

The group will lay out collective recommendations, but will not make any direct investments.

The Premier said he expected to have the committee's initial report by the middle of next year.

To read Mr Burt's remarks in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

David Burt, the Premier, announces the Bermuda First advisory group (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm (Updated October 27, 2017 at 8:09 am)

Bermuda First group reformed

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