27 November 2013News

Jobs and decision-makers leading metrics for BBDA

Attracting jobs to the Island will be a key metric of the success of the newly-formed Bermuda BDA, but a “lead indicator” will be its ability to access and influence key decision-makers in re/insurance, funds and asset management.

That is the view of David Cash, vice chairman of the Bermuda BDA, who said that as a public-private entity its primary focus will inevitably be on job creation, but that accessing and influencing those decision-makers who determine where operations will be located will be a key element of the Bermuda BDA’s strategy.

Stephen Lund, the newly appointed CEO of the Bermuda BDA said that there is recognition internationally that “Bermuda is a great place, with an outstanding reputation, but that the market just hasn’t seen a lot of Bermuda Inc. in the last few of years”. It is Lund’s job to see that this changes and it is apparent that he intends to shake things up.

“It’s a matter of identifying the strengths that we have and continuing to look at things that we might want to tweak”, said Lund. “The key is going to be being more proactive and leveraging our existing capabilities”. He spoke of “low-hanging fruit” being the obvious first targets for the Bermuda BDA, with the re/insurance and funds sectors being key targets that the organisation has identified as potential growth areas.

Cash was bullish about two areas in re/insurance where he expects to see growth: among hedge fund-backed players such as Third Point Re, which made its IPO in August; and among life reinsurers. Both are looking for an investment and tax-friendly jurisdiction, said Cash, with Bermuda likely to be a strong fit.

“It is apparent that Bermuda is actively targeting the funds space. Lund said that recent changes to the Investment Funds Act have made it faster, easier and more cost effective for funds to establish themselves in Bermuda.” He said that the changes were “very well received in New York”, adding that the BDA is pushing to secure the support of key figures in the funds industry there and in London.