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ILS conference lines up America’s Cup star

Keynote speaker: Jimmy Spithill, of Oracle Team USA

The helmsman of America’s Cup holders Oracle Team USA is to steer a course for a major reinsurance conference.

Jimmy Spithill, a two-time winner of the coveted sailing trophy, will be the keynote speaker at the Bermuda Convergence 2015 event next month.

Bermuda Stock Exchange CEO Greg Wojciechowski, who is the chairman of conference organiser ILS Bermuda, said: “Competing in the America’s Cup is the pinnacle of the sailing world and sailors must combine physical and mental strength, sailing skills and precision teamwork in an unpredictable environment.

“It’s about being focused on the goal, while taking calculated risks that rely on innovation, technology, precision and team work.

“We at ILS Bermuda are excited to have Mr Spithill talk to our attendees about leadership and team development and how he’s taken risks and strategies for success.”

Australian-born Mr Spithill has been sailing since the age of five. He led Oracle Team USA to a stunning victory in 2013 when their boat came back from 8-1 down to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8 in San Francisco.

Mr Spithill is a multiple world champion in both fleet and match-racing and was the youngest helmsman ever to compete in the America’s Cup when he made his debut, aged 19, in 1999, as well as the youngest skipper, aged 30 in 2010, to claim the trophy.

The keynote speaker sponsorship proceeds will be donated to the America’s Cup Endeavour community sailing programme, which teaches young Bermudians.

More than 200 delegates from around the world are expected to attend Convergence 2015, which will be held from Wednesday, November 11 to Friday, November 13 at Hamilton’s Pier 6.

Now in its third year, the conference attracts professionals from the booming insurance-linked securities (ILS) industry, including investors, fund managers, major insurance and reinsurance companies and professional services firms.

Bermuda has carved out a niche as the top jurisdiction in the ILS sector, with 70 per cent of the world’s total investment.

There are a total of 142 vehicles listed on the BSX with an aggregate market capitalisation of more $17.8 billion.