17 September 2014ILS

BSX flattered by imitation to grab ILS

The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) has exceeded 100 ILS structures, with an aggregate market capital of $13 billion. This means ILS now represents one-seventh (14.3 percent) of BSX’s overall official listings and represents a record for the exchange, Gregory Wojciechowski, BSX’s president and CEO, told Monte Carlo Today.

Wojciechowski said such impressive figures demonstrate the strength of the exchange and the benefits of Bermuda as a domicile in the face of increasing competition in the market.

“It’s a natural evolution that when you have one jurisdiction or product area that’s really solid and successful competitors will see an opportunity,” he said.

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, and we are inevitably are going to see these different jurisdictions try to get into this space. We watch it cautiously—as we should—but we take a bit of comfort in the strength and depth and base of knowledge that’s in Bermuda.”

Bermuda is a tried and trusted jurisdiction in a variety of different aspects of specialty reinsurance and reinsurance support, he explained.

“Over the decades the market has been an innovator, and a thought leader in terms of creating new products. While there may be some traction with other jurisdictions, to replicate the degree of experience and knowledge that resides in Bermuda will take time.

“The participants in this market want to work with those that have been there for the long haul and have the understanding of the market. We know our product and are confident in it, but there’s nothing like a dose of competition to keep everybody on their toes,” he said.

Wojciechowski sees Bermuda emerging as a centre of excellence in the ILS space and adds that this development is natural because of Bermuda’s longevity in the insurance business, its infrastructure and its regulatory framework, which is moving towards Solvency II equivalence.

“BSX has a focus on supporting the insurance industry as well as the alternative insurance industry, so it’s a pretty exciting time,” he said.