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Abir members contributed $843m to economy

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Members of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers made a direct economic contribution to Bermuda of about $843 million in 2017.

That was the finding of the group's thirteenth annual member survey results released today.

The survey shows that the industry, despite the pressures it has faced from soft pricing and low interest rates, remains the powerhouse of the local economy.

The 23 major companies reported providing 1,495 full-time jobs in 2017, of which 1,044 were held by Bermudians, including spouses of Bermudians and permanent residency certificate holders. The group's local payroll alone amounted to $658 million.

The 2016 Abir survey found that members provided 1,621 full-time jobs. However, John Huff, chief executive officer of Abir, told The Royal Gazette, that direct comparisons from last year were not relevant because changes in the membership meant that the companies being surveyed were different.

Mr Huff did highlight a trend in the employment figures — an increase in the proportion of jobs held by Bermudians, up by 2.6 per cent over 2016 and by 7 per cent from 2007. The share of payroll that went to Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians and PRCs also increased, by 3 per cent, in 2017.

This is partially a reflection of the education and training opportunities the industry is supporting, Mr Huff said.

For example, Abir members provided 55 intern jobs to Bermudians in 2017. Seven Abir members had graduate training programmes for Bermudian employees. Member companies also reported other training and development opportunities available, such as tuition reimbursement and leadership training.

In addition to their $658 million local payroll, Abir members spent:

• $7.8 million in charitable contributions, a 4 per cent year-over-year increase

• $90 million on construction, real estate, housing, and office space in Bermuda

• $66 million on legal, accounting, actuarial, temporary services and other consulting services

• Nearly $20.8 million on hotels, airfares, restaurants, taxis and catering.

Mr Huff said: “Last year was a significant test for the re/insurance sector with a triple threat of US natural disasters, generational changes in tax policy and soft market conditions.

“Abir members passed the test with flying colours — and doubled down on their commitment to the island.”

Kevin O'Donnell, CEO of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd and chairman of Abir, said: “As Abir marks its 25 years of innovation and continued commitment to business strategies and public policies that enhance physical and financial resilience to growing risk of large catastrophes across the globe, Bermuda-based re/insurers have become the driving force of economic activity at the place we call home — Bermuda.”

Abir members have licensed operating companies in Bermuda, and more than 60 per cent have an ultimate holding company in the island.

Outside Bermuda, Abir members reported the top five locations for their global operations were the United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Ireland and Singapore.

Gaining share: the proportion of Bermudians in the Abir members' workforce is climbing (Graph by Abir)
Economic powerhouse: the international re/insurers who make up Abir's membership are big contributors to Bermuda's economy (Graph by Abir)

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Published September 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm (Updated September 20, 2018 at 1:06 am)

Abir members contributed $843m to economy

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