Bermuda’s life and annuity sector has a bright future, say panelists
Three primary factors have spurred the growth of the island’s long-term sector over the past ten years, a panellist told attendees at the 2022 Bermuda International Life & Annuity Conference on Monday at Rosewood Bermuda.
Darryl Herrick, president of Global Atlantic Re, said the emergence of significantly more talent in the life and annuity sector, the development of an economic balance sheet framework by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and — most importantly — global recognition of Bermuda’s regulatory regime, which is well regarded internationally, have driven the sector forward.
Mr Herrick was speaking on the panel “Bermuda and how it fits into the Global Economy” at the conference presented by the Bermuda International Long-Term Insurers and Reinsurers organisation.
He was joined on the panel by Amy Ponnampalam, CEO of Athora Life Re Ltd; Niall O’Hare, founder and CEO of Triangle Life; and Martin Maringi, deputy director, supervision, insurance, at the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
The panel was moderated by Natasha Scotland-Courcy, senior VP, general counsel and COO, at Athene.
Ten years ago, Mr Herrick said, the sector had fewer companies and they were primarily staffed by three to five people, but it was now common to find companies with 20 to 50-plus employees.
He said Global Atlantic has hired Bermudians at junior to mid-levels, while other workers in the sector have come from overseas, and some have come from the island’s property and casualty insurance sector.
Ms Scotland-Courcy noted the growing use of sidecars in the sector, and Mr Herrick said those larger staffs are required “to be able to successfully operate a sidecar in a prudent manner”.
Ms Ponnampalam said the sector a decade ago had a North American market focus but now has a global position.
Mr Maringi, for the regulator, said the BMA’s main job is policyholder protection and added that education played a huge role in its mandate, particularly in relation to innovative structures such as sidecars.
The panellists agreed that the sector in Bermuda can look forward to the next ten years with optimism.
Mr O’Hare said: “I see the future as nothing but bright.”
Mr Maringi said that the industry has a responsibility to policyholders for the promises it has made.
He added: “I believe the next decade will be predicated on how well we execute on that responsibility.”