Burt: Bermuda is open to innovation
BDA planning more overseas forums
Bermuda's historic business bonds with London and potential future synergies through fintech and emerging technologies were key themes of a multi-industry forum in London yesterday.
Close to 200 industry professionals from a range of business sectors, from shipping to insurtech, attended the Bermuda Executive Forum held at ME London by the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA).
The event, the agency's fourth overseas forum and second in London over the past year, brought together more than 50 senior industry and regulatory leaders as speakers and panellists to showcase the island as a financial centre of excellence. Presentations and discussions turned the spotlight on investment and business opportunities, and also underscored commonalities shared by the Bermuda and London markets.
“London is a very important market, and we want more people to know how we're innovating and how we're leading the charge,” said Premier David Burt who officially opened the forum. “Bermuda is different. We represent a place where you can develop products and services and sell them to the world from a well-regulated environment. We want to make sure that message is consistently heard.”
The UK's Chris Holmes, Lord of Richmond MBE, joined the Premier for a 40-minute fireside chat on fintech to kick off the event, moderated by BDA director Jessel Mendes. Holmes is a former Paralympic swimmer and nine-time Games gold-medal winner who has championed digital opportunities and the public benefits of blockchain and assistive technology since entering the House in 2013.
“London and Bermuda have had an extraordinary relationship over centuries, rooted in areas of the economy such as insurance, which continues to be such a close and fruitful bond for both parties,” noted Holmes. “When you look at all the opportunities fintech presents, it fits so well into that connection we have as two innovative jurisdictions, where we can collaborate, and where there can be niche areas for both entities. Working together, London and Bermuda can be key players in forging the potential future the Fourth Industrial Revolution offers.”
Throughout the day, industry professionals discussed the mature foundation and advantages Bermuda affords both established companies and startups, as well as its regulatory leadership and innovative culture that pioneered a legislative framework around fintech this year.
“Today's forum was even bigger and better than our first one last year, an indication of the interest folks in London have about Bermuda,” said Mendes, an EY Bermuda partner. “In talking with Lord Holmes and the Premier, clearly there's a lot of common ground. Insurance has been a huge connection for a long time. And now, the same synergies apply to fintech. This is a dialogue we should continue.”
BDA, London forum, Premier David Burt