Kathleen Faries, ILS Bermuda
ILS Bermuda turned a problem into an advantage with its Convergence 2020 conference, using the need to host its first digital event as an opportunity to expand its reach and attract a record number of overseas delegates.
ILS Bermuda was forced to organise Convergence 2020 as a digital event due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures related to COVID-19.
However, the digital event paid off, drawing a record number of overseas visitors, including from Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
In all more than 400 people tuned in for the first virtual event, which ran from October 6-8.
Kathleen Faries, ILS Bermuda chair, highlighted the great panel discussions and keynote speakers who provided insight into the latest trends, innovation and developments affecting the ILS market. Speakers included Curtis Dickinson, Bermuda’s Finance Minister, who gave the event’s opening remarks.
“The ILS Bermuda committee is honoured to have hosted our eighth event, which exceeded our expectations on support and attendance for our first virtual conference,” said Faries. “It’s clear there are still great hurdles to resuming pre-COVID activities, but we hope to be able to welcome you in person next year in Bermuda.”
Greg Wojciechowski, president and chief executive of the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) and sponsor of the event, emphasised Bermuda’s place as the world’s risk capital and centre of innovation for re/insurance, as well as the predominant jurisdiction for ILS.
"Global issuance of ILS was approximately $42 billion at the end of Q3, 2020 and the BSX is by far the world’s leading exchange for ILS, including listings from other jurisdictions, with more than 500 listed issuers and $39.6 billion in market capital outstanding at end of September 2020,” said Wojciechowski. “ILS vehicles have also been identified as sustainable investments that provide resilience and help communities recover following natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Our ability to continue to provide a solid commercial platform, supported by world class infrastructure and a well-respected regulatory framework, will ensure that Bermuda remains at the forefront of this market and its transformation for many years to come.”
Roland Andy Burrows, chief executive of the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) welcomed the success of the virtual event, which he noted had allowed market participants to maintain their connections and conversations with each other.
“The Bermuda market remains the leading jurisdiction for ILS issuances and is perfectly positioned to help drive its continued evolution and growth,” he added.
Convergence 2020 was hosted by ILS Bermuda, a group that consists of industry executives working together on a volunteer basis to promote Bermuda’s expertise in the ILS industry.
Convergence 2020, ILS Bermuda, Kathleen Faries, Curtis Dickinson, Roland Andy Burrows, BDA, Greg Wojciechowski, BSX, Bermuda Stock Exchange