Speaking to The Insurer TV, Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) chair Stephen Weinstein said the island’s proven track record of helping the world close the natural disaster protection gap provided a base on which to “help the world close the climate risk protection gap”.
“For three decades or more, Bermuda has been the best place in the world to capitalise, fund and operate a global financial services, B2B tech-levered business. That has been true of reinsurance and is now true of climate,” he said.
Having visited COP26 in Glasgow to promote the role Bermuda can play as a climate risk finance hub, a BDA delegation has since visited New York to meet with asset allocation firms and plans to host its own climate risk finance event on 3 February next year.
During the interview, newly appointed CEO of the BDA, David Hart, said: “I am so optimistic as I look forward to 2022, building on what we accomplished with our mission to Glasgow and London for COP26.
“I’m pleased to announce and share with your viewership that on February 3, we will host a climate risk finance event here in Bermuda in person for 90 thought leaders around the globe,” said Hart.
Weinstein, who spent close to two decades as chief legal officer at RenaissanceRe, said Bermuda’s regulatory framework was among its key strengths.
“No regulator worldwide is as resourced and competent to understand how financial risk resides on a balance sheet and as mitigated by risk transfer as the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) because of the three decades of leadership that our jurisdiction has had in reinsurance.
“What I sometimes call a pound-for-pound basis on a per-capita basis, the expertise and sophistication of the BMA are truly unrivalled but importantly, they’re the only game in town. As entrepreneurs and brilliant young people innovate in Europe and in the US, there are multiple regulators for all of these interesting ideas – derivatives, warranties, consumer credit banking, insurance and more – but in Bermuda we offer you just one, and that’s the BMA.”
Weinstein said Bermuda also offered unrivalled human capital. “There’s no other place in the world where you can walk down the street and find as many professionals, experts, directors and executives who are passionate about climate risk, have deep backgrounds in financial services and represent the culture of collaboration in respect to climate as much as Bermuda.”
He said there was a willingness within the Bermuda market to share thought leadership to promote safety.
“That’s been true of hurricane insurance and reinsurance claims, and it’s going to be true of climate-driven trading risks. I think when we look back on the success story that we will all do together, our contributions to advance science, to make people safer and to make communities more resilient, there will be a huge part of that partnership that Bermuda will be collectively quite proud of,” he said.
Weinstein said the climate challenge was global, severe and accelerating.
“Addressing climate change will require an all-hands-on-deck approach and that global collaboration is intrinsic to the Bermuda culture. We’ve built a reinsurance market collaborating with investors, intermediaries, ceding companies and governments, and as we partner with others to address, mitigate and help transition climate risk this model of culture collaboration will continue to serve Bermuda uniquely well.”