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‘Bermuda evolving with the risk market’

Bermuda is at the centre of an evolving market in risk, a top insurance consultant said today.

Arthur Wightman, managing director and insurance leader at PwC, said: “What I am saying is that over the last 12 months you have seen this domicile engage and evolve in spite of the variety of disruptive forces out there.

“It has worked to better serve the needs of policyholders, investors and other stakeholders and to drive changes in an environment where the inevitability of inaction now will lead to irrelevance in the future.”

Mr Wightman was speaking on the second day of the Bermuda (RE) insurance Conference 2013, organised by PwC and ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

He said that it was tough to drive up demand in a difficult market still struggling from the effects of the global recession.

Mr Wightman added: “In the current environment, when interest rates are low, or if you look at the European Central Bank action last week, they are non-existent, there is clear pressure on underwriting.

“But when you look at the current environment there it is hared to see near term respite.”

Mr Wightman said that, together with protectionism, regulation two-speed growth and moves to remove funds from intermediary institutions to invest directly, the industry had to fight to secure its foothold.

He added: “And that is what they must do because stabilising today's operating model is absolutely critical in order to be in a position to innovate and drive up demand for risk transfer.

“In spite of all the potential challenges, we see great opportunity that can be seized and some of that was tabled yesterday.”

And Mr Wightman said: “It would, of course, be entirely wrong to view limited growth in traditional markets and a range of disruptive new threats on the horizon as being the acceptable norm.

“Panellists discussed yesterday that importance and being extraordinarily good at what we do — namely, getting closer to customers, understanding their perspective and issues and responding innovatively more as a risk partner than a risk taker.”

Mr Wightman added that both the insurance linked security market and traditional methods of reinsurance were struggling with the same problems — finding new and profitable sources of demand.

But he said that the “entrepreneurial and innovative skill of the intellectual property that resides here” would shape risk transfer in the years to come.

Arthur Wightman

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Published November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm)

‘Bermuda evolving with the risk market’

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