9 September 2022ArticleAnalysis

Creating the Bermuda Captive Network

The Bermuda Captive Network (BCN) came about due to a need among various captive insurance organisations in Bermuda for an amalgamation and a strengthening of focus by the captives industry in Bermuda.Prior to the BCN there were three organisations in the captives space on Bermuda: the Bermuda Insurance Managers Association (BIMA), the Bermuda Captive Owners Association (BCOA), and the Bermuda Captive Conference (BCC).The decision to start a review of the organisations occurred just before the COVID-19 pandemic and it was during 2020 that the opportunity arose to address why we had three organisations, and whether that was the best way forward for the captives industry and our stakeholders. In early 2020 we engaged PwC to perform a feasibility study to provide a professional review of what these organisations did, what the industry needed and what changes may be needed to ensure Bermuda maintained its competitive advantage going forward.The result of the study showed quite clearly that change was needed. PwC’s review was in-depth and widespread. They reached out to a lot of industry people and firms, not just here in Bermuda but also captive owners and other industry groups in the US and Europe. It was clear from the feasibility study that the overarching requirement was that there needed to be a merger and a rebranding of the captive associations.Following the publication of the results, the industry groups agreed that an amalgamation and a new organisation representing all stakeholders under one brand were needed—and the concept of the BCN was formed.It started off with the merger of the three organisations with future strategic growth plans as part of our goals and objectives. To get us where we are today we engaged the services of Gemma Godfrey of the Whitfield Group and Pat Phillip-Fairn, an industry professional with a long history and professional profile, to ensure we would be able to launch before the end of 2022.

“Rather than going out with just a captive voice we’re engaging as part of the Bermuda voice.”

Leslie Robinson, Bermuda Captive Network

Widening the scope
One area of focus as part of our strategic growth is to engage more proactively with our overseas stakeholders: captive sponsors and owners. The Bermuda Captive Conference attracts a lot of sponsorship and support from overseas. These stakeholders had no organisation to be a part of before the establishment of the BCN. The conference happens only once a year and one of the things we want to do is expand our membership to many of our key sponsors who are overseas so that they can continually engage with the Bermuda market throughout the year instead of just annually at the conference.All the members of BIMA will become members of the new network, and the members of the BCOA will automatically grandfather into it.Our next steps are to work on expanding the membership base, not only here in Bermuda but more importantly to our stakeholders overseas including service providers and captive owners. We are ready to do this with a membership platform launching this month.Cary Olsen, our corporate secretary and legal advisor, has been engaged to complete the incorporation process—which all parties involved took very seriously and worked hard to ensure nothing was overlooked.

“The BCN will be able to create a stronger positive relationship with the BMA, the Bermuda government and the Registrar of Companies.”

Grainne Richmond, Bermuda Captive Network

Launch and aims
The launch in August has the aim to expand our overseas membership and provide a platform to help people register. It will all be seamless—through a membership portal which is key nowadays to ensure you can reach your membership. The days of faxing applications or completing forms and emailing are a thing of the past. Whitfield has done extensive research and work on ensuring the membership platform is user-friendly and secure.The second aim, which is just as important as the first, is that we have to deliver a service and a product offering to our members. The Bermuda Captive Conference is the first large conference we’re bringing to our members and stakeholders. It is running from September 12 to 14.Following the conference we aim to have targeted educational webinars between now and the end of the year. In July 2022, the BCN in association with Bermuda Business Development Association (BDA), Carey Olsen and KPMG held an educational session with insurance managers on-Island with regard to latest updates on Economic Substance. It was clear from the positive feedback from this event that future events are required.The next one is planned to be an online webinar for overseas members which will enable them to attend, learn about Bermuda developments and provide Bermuda with feedback on what their requirements are.The third aim is to take the Bermuda message overseas again. We can see through the BDA that it has opened up its offering of where it is going—not just getting conferences here but going overseas as well, so we will be partnering with the BDA to do some overseas roadshows.Rather than going out with just a captive voice we’re engaging as part of the Bermuda voice with captives being a perfect fit—that’s a very strong strategy because we are reaching a wider audience.Last but not least the industry has a very positive relationship with the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). Through the BCN we want to increase our advocacy role so that we’re at the forefront of when new legislation or rules and regulations are being enacted.The global legislative and regulatory framework and related requirements are always going to be changing. Through the BCN’s increased relationship and advocacy role with the BMA, we can work to ensure that our members’ interests are heard.We’re trying to ensure that Bermuda continues to be looked at as a bifurcated jurisdiction—we have Solvency II regulation for the commercial insurer classes but a more pragmatic, risk-based approach to regulation for captive insurers that operate here in Bermuda.We want to build on the work we have done thus far in fostering a good, working relationship with the BMA and now apply it to other key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy and Labour and the Bermuda government as a whole.It’s great that we have evolved to the point where we have a large network and advocacy group for captives. It’s great news for Bermuda as well as the captive insurance industry as a whole.