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Popular Abir insurance course open to all as it returns in 2022

A foundational insurance course offered earlier this year has proven so popular that it will return for a second year in the spring semester 2022.

The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (Abir) said that the course was offered in partnership with Bermuda College and New York’s St John’s University.

John Huff, president and chief executive officer of Abir, said that diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of efforts to attract the next generation of industry leaders.

He said: “Abir member companies are committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce as we continue our work in insuring clients around the world against catastrophic losses, climate and cyber risks.

“After the success of the first year of this educational initiative, we are pleased to partner again with Bermuda College and St John’s University to offer a course that will serve to fuel our industry’s long-term talent pipeline.

“By providing open access to foundational insurance knowledge, we hope to attract future leaders from all backgrounds in line with our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Dr Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, vice-president of Academic and Student Affairs at Bermuda College, said: “The insurance course last spring was a resounding success both in terms of attracting interested participants and inspiring some students to pursue a career in re/insurance.

“We are looking forward to the course next spring. At Bermuda College, we believe that our re/insurance partnerships will contribute to the sustainability of the industry in Bermuda. We are grateful to John Huff for his vision and collaboration with us to develop the partnership with Abir.”

Dr Mark Browne, faculty chairman of the Greenberg School of Risk Management at St John’s University, said: “St John’s University’s Greenberg School of Risk Management is pleased to partner with Abir and Bermuda College to further the education of Bermudians to be the future leaders of Bermuda’s international insurance and reinsurance sector.”

Registration is now under way at Bermuda College for “Special Topics in Insurance: Foundations of Bermuda’s International Re/Insurance Sector”.

The spring semester course starts on January 17 and will be delivered online via Zoom on Mondays from 6pm to 8.30pm.

The first session will feature a round table on international business in Bermuda, featuring Marc Grandisson, chairman of Abir and chief executive officer of Arch Capital; Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister; and course facilitator Craig Simmons, Bermudian economist and senior lecturer at Bermuda College.

Mr Simmons will introduce the weekly sessions and facilitate questions to the guest lecturers.

“The course is aimed at Janette and John Public. For students doing the course for credit, there is no insurance or math prerequisite,” he said. “Our guest lecturers pitch their presentations for students with only a cursory knowledge of reinsurance.

“What we’ve discovered is that industry professionals use the course as a way of learning about the many lines that comprise the reinsurance industry.

“In this way, the course is an informal professional development opportunity for C-suiters, senior and mid-level managers, as well as regulators.

“The fact that they could attend the course ‘live’ or listen to it later afforded them great flexibility.

“It isn’t often that people can get a glimpse of the inner workings of the risk-management business. If you are thinking about a career in reinsurance, then you might want to register.”

Topics covered over the 14-week course will include the evolution of Bermuda’s re/insurance industry and its economic importance; climate risk and Bermuda’s leading position of providing natural catastrophe reinsurance; the growing legacy run-off industry in Bermuda; life and annuities; collateralised reinsurance; captive reinsurance and Bermuda’s world-class regulatory regime.

Presentations by St John’s University faculty and Bermuda re/insurance executives, including Catherine Duffy, country leader of AIG Bermuda; Judy Gonsalves, division president, Chubb Bermuda; Lisa Robinson, head of HR and operations, Convex Re Limited; Jeffrey Manson, head of global public sector partnerships, Renaissance Re; Dan Malloy, president of global distribution, SiriusPoint; Suzanne Williams-Charles, director of policy and regulation, Abir; and Mark Browne, professor and faculty chairman, School of Risk Management at St John's University, will also be featured.

Additional C-suite executives will be confirmed before the course begins.

The first iteration of the course in spring 2021 proved successful, with weekly attendances of up to 250.

Early evaluations by the college indicate a high level of satisfaction with the course content. At least two students changed their majors to concentrate on insurance on the basis of the course experience.

In 2019 Abir member companies employed 1,576 full-time staff in Bermuda, of which 1,137 were Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians or permanent resident certificate holders.

Further training and development of a strong local workforce in Bermuda is a priority for Abir members, who provided educational scholarships, internships, graduate training programmes, tuition reimbursement and leadership training.

The lecture series is also open, at no cost, to members of the community who wish to learn more about Bermuda’s re/insurance industry.

Those who wish to attend individual lectures can e-mail CFS@college.bm.

Top down, from left: Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance; Marc Grandisson, CEO of Arch Capital Group Ltd and Abir chairman; Catherine Duffy, country leader, Bermuda, AIG; Lisa Robinson, head of HR and operations, Convex Re Limited; Jeffrey Manson, head of global public sector partnerships, Renaissance Re; Judy Gonsalves, division president, Chubb Bermuda; Craig Simmons, economist, Bermuda College, and course facilitator; Suzanne Williams-Charles, director of policy and regulation, Abir; Mark Browne, professor and faculty chairman, School of Risk Management at St John's University

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Published December 10, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated December 10, 2021 at 7:54 am)

Popular Abir insurance course open to all as it returns in 2022

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