15 October 2013ILS

On the right track

Stephen Lund, CEO of the newly formed Bermuda Business Development Agency (Bermuda BDA), has spent the last decade of his career somewhere a bit different from the balmy climes of Bermuda: Nova Scotia, the second-smallest province in Canada. As he explained, “For the last 12 years I ran Nova Scotia Business Inc, which is the province’s business development arm. I started that organisation and built it up over the years.”

Caroline Foulger, chairman of the Bermuda BDA board and one of those responsible for hiring Lund, said of the new chief: “Stephen is—in our view—a perfect fit for the CEO role at the Bermuda BDA. He established Nova Scotia Business from scratch, which is what we are asking him to do with the Bermuda BDA. He has a track record of attracting business and creating jobs in Nova Scotia and, equally important, he is known and respected by senior people in Bermuda, having lived and worked here for five years.”

"Thre are certain things that must always be the remin of government-- such as legislative change, policy amendments and relationships with other jurisdictions."

Lund earned his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Canada, where he worked as both a banker and a venture capitalist. A fiveyear stint in Bermuda was an excellent opportunity to form contacts on the Island which—when combined with his experience in Nova Scotia—makes him an ideal candidate for a role at the Bermuda BDA. Under Lund’s purview, Nova Scotia Business Inc. attracted leading corporations like IBM, BlackBerry, CITCO, Marsh and Lockheed Martin to Canada and Nova Scotia was recently recognized by Financial Times as the top jurisdiction in North America for attracting new foreign direct investment. Lund has also been acknowledged for his achievements throughout his career and was named one of the most influential people in the world’s Financial Centres and listed as one of the top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada.

Lund’s new undertaking is both exciting and challenging. The Bermuda BDA was formed in the spring of 2013 after the merger of Business Bermuda and the Bermuda Insurance Development Council. The Bermuda BDA is a public-private partnership tasked with promoting international business across multiple industries and encouraging job creation on the Island to the betterment of Bermuda as a whole. To this end, the Bermuda BDA works closely with focus groups representing various industry sectors to develop new initiatives and drive business growth on the Island.

Lund explained his reasons for leaving the organisation he founded in Canada to come to the Bermuda BDA, saying, “I loved the job I was doing in Nova Scotia and we had a lot of success. I had a great team and we were at the top of our game. But, when this opportunity at the Bermuda BDA arose I looked at it as an exciting chance to do what I have already done successfully for the last 12 years.

“I was lucky to be able to leave an organisation at the top and take on this new opportunity. This work is something that I enjoy doing and have done for a number of years—I view this as a chance to start something new with the skills I’ve acquired.

The first order of business, Lund says, is to build on the team he already has in place. Having been surrounded by excellent people in Nova Scotia, Lund realises the importance of a strong team and working collaboratively to deliver on the organisation’s goals. Lund told Bermuda:Re that he and his team will work with Bermuda’s existing industries at every stage, ensuring that the approach of the Bermuda BDA is strategic, targeted and, above all, effective.

“We are the business development organisation for Bermuda. Our job is to work with key individuals and partners within the business community on the Island in order to grow the economy and attract new opportunities and help make sure that Bermuda’s name is known around the world.”

Foulger added, “We believe that the public-private partnership element of Bermuda BDA will be key to its success. There are certain things that must always be the remit of government—such as legislative change, policy amendments and relationships with other jurisdictions. Conversely, there are many things that the business sector is better equipped to do, such as identifying new commercial needs or opportunities, speaking to the actual ‘buyer’ of a product (such as an underwriter speaking to a risk manager), and being able to respond quickly and nimbly to market changes. We view it as instrumental to the Bermuda BDA’s success to have both parties aligned and pulling in the same direction to fulfil a common agenda.”

This cooperative approach extends to captives, re/insurance and the insurance-linked securities(ILS) industry. “Bermuda has had a tremendous amount of success in the insurance and reinsurance industry. It’s a worldclass sector with a broad spectrum of expertise from people who are really knowledgeable about their industries,” Lund explained.

“Our job is to work with the re/insurance industry—to help it grow and identify the best opportunities internationally to attract business here. Our role is to lead business development efforts for Bermuda, but it’s also to support a lot of the efforts that are already in place and sustain existing business.”

“The Bermuda BDA’s success will ultimately be measured by delivery against its key objectives—growth in GDP and jobs. However, now that Stephen has joined us we will be working with him and leveraging from his Nova Scotia experience to develop the right measurement metrics, so that we can be confident we are either on the right track or informed enough to make adjustments to our execution along the way,” said Foulger.

With a solid business background and his Bermuda credentials, Lund is set to steer the new Bermuda BDA—and Bermuda’s business environment—towards an even stronger course than it’s on today. With a solid team behind him and the support of the Island’s re/ insurance industry it’s sure to be full steam ahead.