12 September 2022ArticleAnalysis

Inspiration and innovation

Bermuda has a long history of being an innovative jurisdiction. In the 17th century, we developed the Bermuda rig with triangular sails that allowed ships to sail upwind and manoeuvre in shallow water.In the 1780s, the Bermuda Marine Assurance Company was established and insured cargo shipped from Bermuda to Philadelphia aboard the Liberty vessel. And in the 1960s, Bermuda introduced captive insurance to the world and established itself as a global financial centre.Thanks to our continued innovative culture, we remain the world’s leading captive domicile and one of the three leading global re/insurance centres, alongside New York and London. Fourteen of the world’s top 50 reinsurers hold licences on the Island. Since 1997, Bermuda’s commercial re/insurers have paid over half a trillion dollars to policyholders and cedants in the US, the EU, and the UK.Bermuda is one of just two countries, along with Switzerland, holding full equivalence in all three areas of the EU’s Solvency II insurance regulatory regime; one of three jurisdictions holding National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)–reciprocal status; and one of seven jurisdictions holding NAIC-qualified status—a prerequisite to achieving “reciprocal” status.We are home to a broad, growing range of industries utilising captives for risk management needs. Our continued success has made Bermuda an exceptional place to conduct business, especially in the re/insurance sector and international business.

“Collaboration between stakeholders is key to Bermuda’s success.”

The Hon David Burt, Premier of Bermuda

Our continued success is due to a few key factors:1. Safety and stabilityBermuda has over 400 years of political and economic stability as a self-governing country with the oldest parliament in the western hemisphere.2. Quality and expertiseBermuda is a blue-chip jurisdiction with a deep talent pool of highly qualified professionals working across multiple industries.3. Ease of doing businessBermuda’s advantageous geographical location combines with its physical, financial, and regulatory landscape to create an environment of unparalleled access and convenience, making it a safe, compelling destination for global businesses.4. Global contribution and connectionsBermuda punches well above its weight in international commerce. Close economic, political, and cultural ties with global trade partners and its thriving international business sector ensure Bermuda plays a crucial role in supporting the global economy.5. Sophisticated lifestyleA safe, welcoming culture; stunning natural beauty; first-rate schools, top-tier healthcare; exciting sports; an enriching arts and cultural scene; and a UNESCO World Heritage site all help create one of the highest standards of living in the world and help attract and retain capital and talent, including those who can work remotely.6. Robust regulatory regimeOur financial regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), has built a world-renowned reputation. Marking 50 years of operation in 2019, the BMA has established an internationally respected, robust, fit-for-purpose regulatory regime. The BMA supports innovation, launched its best-practice innovation tracks, and takes a pragmatic approach to facilitate a financial services sector that operates with integrity and manages risk under competent supervision.Collaboration between stakeholders is key to Bermuda’s success. These stakeholders include BMA as our financial regulator, Bermuda’s legislature, and the industry.The industry provides inspiration and innovation for new business models/products/services. Our sole financial services regulator, the BMA, provides confidence and trust that the innovations do not destabilise the existing financial system. The legislators facilitate collaboration between the industry and regulators, ensuring a swift transition from innovation to trusted best practices for the industry.This cooperation between stakeholders ensures that we maintain our tireless commitment to adhering to the highest international standards in regulation, transparency, and compliance with global tax standards. Bermuda scored in the top 6 on its recent Global Anti-Money Laundering assessment.As a result, we’ve built a stable of reputable companies keen to leverage our regulatory framework to showcase to institutional and retail customers that they have competent oversight and are managing the risks.Recognising that many jurisdictions today seek captive insurance business, we have implemented legislative amendments to encourage companies to establish a presence in Bermuda.The government is committed to working with the business community to make doing business in Bermuda easier and more efficient. It remains committed to supporting international businesses in Bermuda by ensuring they have a business ecosystem that allows them to thrive.