The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) has launched an initiative to make the island the leading jurisdiction for climate risk finance.

Roland %22Andy%22 Burrows – Bermuda Development Authority

The strategy, which is being developed in collaboration with the private sector, is aligned with and complementary to Bermuda’s existing strengths in the (re)insurance, ILS and professional services sectors, the BDA said.

The partnership, the BDA’s CEO Roland Burrows, said, “is a natural fit for Bermuda to become a major base of operations for the global climate risk finance sector”.

“Not only do we already have many of the world’s leading experts on weather-related catastrophes based here in our globally significant property catastrophe reinsurance market, we also have a financial services regulator, in the form of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which understands the importance of environmental, social and governance concerns,” Burrows said.

“By extending our global reinsurance leadership to climate risk finance, Bermuda can again prove to be a collaborative partner to the world’s key markets, a leading member of the worldwide family of responsible communities, playing a major role in delivering solutions to one of the most important challenges of our time,” Burrows added.

Stephen Weinstein, the BDA’s chair and former group general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer at RenaissanceRe, said the BDA “will work to bring climate risk finance firms to Bermuda, thereby providing a new landscape of exciting and innovative career opportunities for Bermudians”.

“While it will be challenging, and can only develop over time, we have the goal of encouraging a new economic pillar of analogous scale to reinsurance.

“That is, substantial, international market firms, characterised by substantial domestic physical presence employing Bermudians, hiring vendors and service firms, and generating visits and activity in the hospitality and leisure sectors,” Weinstein added.

News of the new initiative comes after John Huff, the president and CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, detailed to The Insurer last week the important role Bermuda plays in closing the protection gap and how the island “has the foundational elements to become a leader in climate risk finance”.