Bermuda eyes dominance in life reinsurance: PwC Insurance Summit
Bermuda could become the leading global centre for life reinsurance, according to Frank (Chip) Gillis, chairman of Athene Life Re.
Speaking at the PwC Insurance Summit on November 7, Gillis said the breadth of Bermuda’s insurance market made it an interesting place for new entrants, as well as more seasoned companies.
“Bermuda has been number one in catastrophe cover, and ILS and captives for a while. And I think we are quickly developing into being number one in our sector,” he said, noting the island has seen a handful of life reinsurance companies grow in number to more than 48.
Life reinsurance is now the largest insurance sector by assets in Bermuda, with assets of over $500 billion. And as hedge funds, private equity and high net worth individuals finance new life companies, the next year could see even greater growth, said Colm Homan, partner, insurance, at PwC Bermuda.
Robyn Wyatt, CFO of Resolution Life, said: “There is absolutely just an enormous amount of money that is looking to be put to work somewhere. For life reinsurance, while the returns are not going to be super enhanced, they are steady. They’re a steady cash flow.”
Panelists also expressed optimism that the impressive growth seen in the sector in recent years will continue, despite the challenging environment for generating returns. They were particularly optimistic about untapped potential in the pensions market, which could provide another avenue for growth in Bermuda in the future.
Marc-André Giguère, president and CEO of Munich Re, US Life and Health, also praised Bermuda’s combination of intellectual property and human capital, and the pragmatic approach of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
This “makes Bermuda the ideal incubator for some of the innovation that they are looking to bring to market, and for the placement of new significant blocks of business on the island,” he said.