29 September 2017News

ABIR announces member survey results

Members of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) made a direct economic contribution to Bermuda of nearly $900 million in 2016, according to the 12th annual member survey results published by ABIR.

Twenty-three ABIR members reported data for calendar year 2016. ABIR’s aggregate direct economic impact to the Bermuda economy was $886.4 million for CY 2016. This is up $52 million or 6 percent from 2015. ABIR notes the indirect impact of the operations of its major global commercial insurers and reinsurers is a multiple of that nearly billion-dollar figure.

“Bermuda remains a great place from which to run a global (re)insurance group,” said ABIR chair Kevin O’Donnell, who is also the president and CEO of Renaissance Re Holdings. “Our market leadership continues to build on its strengths, including specialty sector expertise and the sophisticated, fit-for purpose regulatory oversight of the BMA. Bermuda’s commitment to cooperation, transparency, and world class standards have earned it favourable global recognition—from our two largest trading partners in the EU and the US. Continued diligence is required to make progress to conform to additional international tax and regulatory standards.”

ABIR member employment grew in the last year, but ABIR chair O’Donnell noted: “Payroll tax changes can deter senior executive employment in Bermuda and we expect that any further payroll tax change will have a negative impact. Companies are very sensitive to these costs. Relocation of senior executives logically leads to a relocation of direct reporting teams which further dampens local employment opportunities.”

The year 2016 highlighted important “political risks” facing ABIR members as they witnessed both the UK referendum decision to leave the European Union and the US elections resulting in a change in administration. There were also increasing regulatory restrictions on reinsurance market access by other jurisdictions’ protectionist policies, coupled with changes in global tax-reporting and disclosure requirements led by the OECD and the EU. Against this backdrop, ABIR members continued to experience pressure to reduce expenses further and to maximise efficiencies around the globe.