Editor's comment: What could have been...

The morning after the night before. The night before being, of course, England’s World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia. I am writing this month’s comment piece while sitting in the waiting area of Bermuda’s LF Wade International airport where I have spent the past two days meeting with people on the island. Watching the match within the Hamilton Princess hotel yesterday afternoon alongside a group of re/insurance industry figures from the island was certainly unexpected (and not only because England was in a World Cup semi-final!). It was fascinating to watch the game in such an environment and with such a group of people, very few of whom could actually call Albion home. But that is the beauty of Bermuda – it brings people together from all over the world. Aside from being on the island to meet with various contacts and to speak to members of our soon-to-be-unveiled Editorial Board, I was also able to attend the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers’ 25th-anniversary celebrations. The association, also known as ABIR, hosted a forum at the revamped Rosewood resort in the north of the island that brought together a veritable who’s who of both old and new senior re/insurance industry figures. Of the old guard, Stephen Catlin, Don Kramer, Brian O’Hara, Fiona Luck and Michael Butt all provided anecdotes and tales from their time in the industry. They were complimented by a host of their more modern counterparts, with Pina Albo, Albert Benchimol, Jeremy Cox, Dinos Iordanou and Kevin O’Donnell all giving their thoughts. Some in the industry have questioned what the future holds for Bermuda. They look at the mergers and acquisitions that have occurred within the island, the potential impact of the US corporate changes and the rise of the insurance-linked securities sector and wonder whether Bermuda’s established reinsurance industry will survive. But, if the executives speaking during the leadership forum are to be believed, then the future, in fact, looks very bright for Bermuda. Not only does the island remain home to some of the re/insurance industry’s best talent, but in the Bermuda Monetary Authority it boasts a regulator that has time and again proven to be open and quick to respond to any opportunities or challenges that have arisen, And while there were some initial concerns about how the still-relatively-newly installed Progressive Labour Party government would regard the re/insurance market, it and the new Premier David Burt have been found to be very supportive of the financial services industry on Bermuda, recognising the important role it plays in the island’s economy. Indeed, as you will hear in next month’s bumper September issue, the Premier and his party are open to hearing from the re/insurance industry about any ways they can lend some support. Turning to this month’s issue, our cover story looks at the impact of the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The outbreak infected an estimated 500 million people around the world and is thought to have killed more than 50 million people. One of the most deadly disasters to ever befall mankind, the impact of a similar pandemic in today’s world would also have catastrophic consequences. As highlighted later in the magazine, while the ultimate death toll would likely be lower than that from the 1918 outbreak, the likelihood is that a similar pandemic would still kill millions of people. For the life insurance industry, the impact of such an event is obvious. But the property and casualty industry would also be affected, with business interruption policies one area of the market that would see claims being filed as resorts, malls, airports, sporting events and many other places of mass gathering would be closed. Elsewhere, we speak with Charles Goldie, PartnerRe’s P&C CEO; Rupert Swallow, the CEO of... CLICK HEADLINE TO READ MORE

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