Catherine Duffy receives Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award
Catherine Duffy has been awarded the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding commitment and contribution to Bermuda’s captive industry.
She was named the award winner at the Bermuda Captive Conference, which is being held virtually.
In a statement, the conference organisers said Ms Duffy is a sought-after speaker, writer and programme leader, Duffy is recognised locally and internationally as a highly respected and extremely qualified insurance professional.
The award celebrates Bermuda figures who have had an outstanding impact and valuable contribution on the captive insurance industry. Launched in 2016, it is named after pioneering Bermuda-based Ohio engineer Fred Reiss, who conceived of the idea of “self-insurance.” In 1962, Mr Reiss created the world’s first captive as a dedicated subsidiary through which a corporation could manage its own risks. Starting with American steel companies, Mr Reiss pursued the concept in Bermuda and the sector recorded exponential growth over subsequent decades, fuelling the foundation of the island’s global insurance market.
Leslie Robinson, Bermuda Captive Conference chair and senior vice-president, head of underwriting and claims at Willis Towers Watson Management (Bermuda), said: “This year’s awardee is one who demonstrates the very drive and determination of Fried Reiss, who birthed Bermuda’s captive industry many decades ago. This year’s award winner could not be any more deserving of this accolade.”
Ms Duffy has spent 41 years in service to Bermuda’s insurance industry, and currently holds the position of country leader of Bermuda at AIG. She was the first woman CPCU in Bermuda and is the author of Held Captive, which was the very first book written about the history of international insurance in Bermuda.
In addition, Ms Duffy was chosen as one of 36 women leaders globally, as a Fellow for the International Women’s Forum in 2018-19, and was chosen as one of 26 women in the 2020 class of AIG’s Women’s Executive Leadership Initiative.
Describing herself as “a daughter of the soil of Bermuda,” in as note of thanks Ms Duffy said her life is a product of many years of obstacles, opportunities, stops and starts.
She said: “I am grateful to be recognised by my peers and the industry as the recipient of the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award. I am also honoured to be joining Jill Husbands, Michael Burns, Brian Hall and Jeremy Cox as past recipients of this award.
“This award would not be possible without the pioneering spirit and resilience of Fred Reiss, for whom this award has been named; therefore, I will always be grateful to Fred Reiss for choosing Bermuda as his domicile of choice for launching the ‘captive’ concept.”
Duffy is the fifth industry veteran to receive this honour, with previous recipients including Jeremy Cox, executive chairman at the Bermuda Monetary Authority (2019), Brian R Hall, OBE, a former director and president of Johnson & Higgins (2018), Michael Burns, a leading Bermudian corporate lawyer (2017) and Jill Husbands, former chairman and managing director of Marsh IAS Management Services (Bermuda), who won the inaugural award in 2016.