LIVE from RISKWORLD 2022: Stephen Weinstein, Business Development Agency Bermuda, and John Huff, Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers
Stephen Weinstein with Bermuda’s Business Development Agency, and John Huff, CEO of ABIR, shared with Jamie Gassmann the history and resiliency of Bermuda that has helped it become the world’s center of risk capital. They discussed the unique benefits Bermuda offers those who choose to do business there, including the new residency option, a Digital Nomad Certificate, and more.
This show was originally broadcast from the RIMS 2022 RISKWORLD Conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
Stephen Weinstein, Chairman of the Board, Business Development Agency Bermuda
Bermuda’s Business Development Agency (BDA) connects you to industry professionals, regulatory officials, and key contacts in Bermuda. Our history has created a highly respected and successful financial centre recognized for worldwide standards of compliance, regulation, transparency, and infrastructure.
Stephen Weinstein holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has been Chairman of the Board for the Bermuda Business Development Agency since 2016.
John Huff, CEO, Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR)
The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) represents the public policy interests of Bermuda’s international insurers and reinsurers that protect consumers around the world. With headquarters and operations in Bermuda and with operating subsidiaries in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, these carriers do business in more than 150 countries.
Since 1993, ABIR’s advocacy and achievements have helped raise the global profile of Bermuda as a whole, underscoring the jurisdiction’s reputation as a top-tier international financial center. Strategically deploying capital to underwrite and manage global risk for over 30 years, Bermuda insurers have built what can only be called the World’s Risk Capital – a reference to the innovation, entrepreneurialism and leadership of Bermuda re/insurers and the Bermuda government that has fostered the growth of this industry. Energized by innovation and fueled by grit and determination after Hurricane Andrew, risk pioneers in Bermuda planted the seeds for an insurance market that would ultimately be known globally for its reliable, responsible, highly-regulated and well-resourced approach to risk management. These pioneers joined forces as a collective voice by forming the ABIR.
About Workplace MVP
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, Workplace MVP, confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real-life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
Workplace MVP Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
R3 Continuum is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
Intro: [00:00:03] Broadcasting live from Riskworld 2022 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in helping workplaces thrive during disruptive times. Now, here’s your host.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:22] Hi, everyone. You’re host, Jamie Gassmann, here, coming to you from our sponsor, R3 Continuum’s Booth at Riskworld 2022. And joining me are John Huff and Steve Weinstein from Bermuda Insurance or reinsurance.
Steve Weinstein: [00:00:37] It’s great to be here with you.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:38] Yeah. Thank you so much for being on the show. I’m excited to chat with you both. Yeah.
John Huff: [00:00:42] Our pleasure. I’m with the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers. Our acronym is ABIR.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:48] Great. Okay. So, you know, and I goofed that up at the intro. I could just assume I bucketed you both underneath the same topic, so, or titles. So, that’s awesome. So, tell me a little bit about what you both do. So, Steve, you’re with Bermuda, so share with us a little bit about what Bermuda does.
Steve Weinstein: [00:01:04] So, I am the chair of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, a joint venture, a not-for-profit between the government and Bermuda’s private sector to promote Bermuda’s sustainable and equitable prosperity. The principle why we do that is by recruiting jobs, companies and capitals to come to Bermuda, to invest in our platform and to invest in Bermuda and to take the Bermuda story on the road to come to venues like RIMS and reach out to our friends and partners and make new ones and explain what we can do together to help grow U.S. risk markets to alleviate problems and to have fun while we’re doing it.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:34] Wonderful. And so, you were sharing with me, and I think it’s kind of fun to capture. You were sharing with me a little bit of like history about Bermuda. You want to share that on our show because it’s very intriguing.
Steve Weinstein: [00:01:47] So, Bermuda, its history dates back to 1609 when a rescue mission from the United Kingdom on its way to save Jamestown crashed into Bermuda’s coral reef. And from that modest beginning, Bermuda has become a true paradise, a subtropical paradise, the world’s risk capital, a great place to live and to work, and a really unique ecosystem. There’s no fresh water in Bermuda to drink and do laundry. We capture rainwater off our roofs, store it in tanks and keep reusing it.
Steve Weinstein: [00:02:18] Bermuda is extremely storm-exposed. The first settlers landed and build houses based upon Midlands English architecture a hurricane rolled through and knocked them all down and they immediately got to work to build storm-resilient housing out of stone using simple techniques. That’s also something that Bermuda can bring to the world as we confront this rising climate-driven trend for a greater risk. Bermuda learned to build a resilient community with no power tools. And if we all work together, we can be safer from the inevitable rise whether it’s storms or floods and wildfire. We just have to be sensible.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:50] Yeah. No. I just thought that was such an interesting story and sharing that. And I love, you know, hearing kind of some background around the areas that people are from. And, I know you’re an exhibitor here at the conference. So, what are some of the things you’re sharing with your attendees that are coming by? John, do you want to speak to that?
John Huff: [00:03:07] Sure. So if you fast forward from 1609 to the last 35 or 40 years, Bermuda now represents about a third of the global property and casualty reinsurance. I like to say we were climate before it was cool. So, we’ve dealt with natural catastrophes all over the world and represent a large segment, but also captive insurance was started in Bermuda. So, really, any innovation in the insurance or reinsurance industry has happened in Bermuda in that last period of time.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:37] Great. So, here at the show, you’re hoping to bring more business to Bermuda, is that correct?
John Huff: [00:03:42] That’s right. And also to write more business globally. So, our companies in Bermuda do business in about 150 countries. So, we’re guests in those countries as we provide insurance and reinsurance protection.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:54] Awesome. And so, is there – if you were going to tell somebody, you know, kind of a selling point of something super special about what Bermuda brings and gives to either an organization or somebody looking to maybe relocate, what is that like? What would you share? The charm of Bermuda.
John Huff: [00:04:13] So in the insurance sector, it’s innovation and agility. So, being able to respond. So, because we responded to natural disasters, natural catastrophes, and that’s really been our bread and butter business, we’ve been very responsive in that market and that’s what we’ve been known for, is immediate response when there’s a crisis, whether you’re making a family or a community whole after a very disruptive event, and to have the capital behind it to make sure you can make good on your promises.
Steve Weinstein: [00:04:44] I’ll touch on two things. Bermuda really stands out uniquely in respect of its ecology and culture and architecture for innovation. And there are so many needs and they’re so complicated to be able to move quickly in an architecture that’s compliant and blue chip and respected worldwide. But also faster is getting new solutions to market quickly is really unique about Bermuda.
Steve Weinstein: [00:05:05] On a human level, it really is a subtropical paradise. There’s nearly no better place to live, work, and play. And whether you come to join one of the members of companies in John’s organization or want to come by yourself, Bermuda pioneered in the pandemic a new residency status, what we call the Digital Nomad Certificate. But if you can work remotely, consider working remotely from paradise for a year.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:26] Yeah. Amazing. So now, Steve, you mentioned you are doing a presentation of [inaudible] here at RIMS. You want to share a little bit about that?
Steve Weinstein: [00:05:34] The most important thing for us in some respects to be at RIMS is to see old friends, make new ones and share our story. So, we’re here at the Bermuda booth, which I encourage you to visit if you’re here, come by and see us, come by our event, but we’ll reach out. But we also want to be in a dialogue and hear from this community. What are your challenges, what are your issues and how can we collaborate together to make them better? So, we’re both presenting, but we’re also listening.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:57] Yeah. So, you’re presenting within your booth itself and kind of sharing that message. Got it. Okay. That’s fascinating. And, I’m definitely going to have to stop by and take a look at some of the architecture you’ve built. You have the only house in the Expo Hall, something very unique.
Steve Weinstein: [00:06:13] The traditional vernacular architecture, which is aesthetically pleasing but also storm-resilient, is modeled here by our booth. So, we’re the only two-story structure and you can pretend that you’re riding out a hurricane. By the way, another traditional aspect of riding out a hurricane in Bermuda is to have your supplies, your water, your edible snacks, but also the national drink, the dark and stormy. And if we see you socially across this week, we’ll treat you a dark and stormy or two.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:40] That’s fantastic. Well, thank you so much for sharing with us the charm and the lure of Bermuda and why an organization should consider that for a business opportunity.
Steve Weinstein: [00:06:49] Thank you for being here, and thank you for promoting workplace empathy and safety and forward-thinking. It’s so important to our members. The most important capital is human capital and we are pleased to make this connection to be here with you today.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:01] Wonderful. Thanks.
John Huff: [00:07:02] Thank you very much.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:03] Yeah. Thank you both for being on the show.
Outro: [00:07:09] Thank you for joining us on Workplace MVP. R3 Continuum is a proud sponsor of this show and is delighted to celebrate most valuable professionals who work diligently to secure safe workplaces where employees can thrive.