First Published in Bermuda:Re+ILS/Bermuda Business Development Agency Special Report

Bermuda's reinsurance industry has endured many challenges over the years, but its unique mixture of talent, capacity, innovation and world-class regulation has ensured its adaptability in the midst of change. It has remained the go-to hub for large and complex risks globally and a hotbed for innovation for risk transfer solutions. This virtual roundtable, held just before the renewals season and sponsored by the Bermuda Business Development Agency, drills down into the main opportunities that lie ahead for the Island's reinsurers.

Welcome to this special report, detailing the insightful and sometimes challenging conversation and debate that took place at a roundtable discussion on Bermuda's reinsurance industry.

Held against the backdrop of the economic disruption caused globally by the COVID-19 pandemic, the discussion examined the implications for Bermuda's reinsurance industry and the opportunities that may also emerge as a result.

The roundtable examined how Bermuda has an important role to play in the response of the risk transfer markets globally-and in terms of assisting the world to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

The roundtable was attended by senior leaders from Bermuda's reinsurers and institutions who help shape and regulate that industry, including the Bermuda government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The executives offered insightful thoughts and debated opportunities and solutions during the session, leaning on the expertise and infrastructure that Bermuda has wrapped around its risk transfer industry.

Window of opportunity

The challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic represent a window of opportunity for Bermuda again to innovate and lead from the front when it comes to moving the industry forward-as it has so many times before.

From the creation of the first captive to solving the liability crisis in the mid-1980s, to leading the way in the development of the insurance-linked securities sector globally, Bermuda has always been at the forefront of moving risk transfer solutions forward.

It has also been the centre of gravity for new capital entering the market on the back of changing market conditions, capacity crises and hardening rates.

The hard market the industry is currently experiencing is no different-new money has already flowed into the industry, much of it into Bermuda. And there looks likely to be a lot more to come. The roundtable examined how that money might be put to use and why Bermuda has remained the hotspot for attracting new capital.

The reinsurance industry will once again respond and reinvent itself in the midst of the challenges presented by COVID-19, which has come on the back of several years of additional challenges for the industry including high cat losses and a widening hole in casualty reserves.

Bermuda will again be at the heart of this process, and this roundtable examines exactly what that might mean.

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