New Bermuda registrations are ‘steadily increasing’, says Conyers’ Michael Frith

More insurance companies with a physical presence and long-term plans to grow are forming in Bermuda, creating new jobs and opportunities for the industry, according to Conyers Dill & Pearman.

Michael Frith, a director at the law firm’s Bermuda office and a specialist in corporate insurance and regulatory law, said new insurance registrations were ‘steadily increasing’.

He said: ‘Not only have the numbers overall been improving, they represent a broad range of insurance vehicles, with significant increases in the numbers of captive insurers — our “bread and butter” and a very significant source of service provider employment.’

Frith added: ‘There are also some very substantial commercial insurer formations, with some large Class 3B and 4 companies registered or in the process of registration, and an increased number of special-purpose insurers, which is a strong indicator of continued growth in the insurance-linked securities sector. So far this year, each of these trends is showing every sign of continuing.’

According to Frith, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the insurance sector is also very strong at the moment: ‘That could also be seen as an indicator of confidence in the continued strength of the market here, and as a demonstration of companies’ greater confidence in making use of excess capital to strengthen their position and set themselves well for future growth.’

What is particularly important, he said, is the number of new insurance entities formed that have physical operations in Bermuda.

‘Both on the commercial insurance and ILS side, there are more companies forming that have a definite interest in establishing a physical Bermuda presence, and in each case they are taking a long-term view that involves reinforcing and growing that presence in Bermuda.

‘Whether they be specialised ILS investment funds or traditional property catastrophe reinsurers, they are clear on where the talent and innovation can be found — and that’s here in Bermuda.

‘I would take that as both a clear sign of continued confidence in the strength of the Bermuda insurance and ILS market and greater confidence in the Bermuda economy generally. Add to that the fact that the industry, the regulator and various government departments are all working so hard to provide a welcoming, responsible business environment, and we can readily understand why the numbers for the first few months of the year are looking so robust.’

Frith added: ‘There is still a lot of work to be done, but there is no doubt that there are very positive signs of growth out there.’