The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers has announced a new strategic partnership with Bermuda College and New York’s St John’s University, Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance & Actuarial Science, to develop diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to recruit the next generation of re/insurance leaders in Bermuda.
Initiatives from the partnership include:
- Spring 2021 foundational re/insurance course at Bermuda College underwritten by Abir
- Summer internship opportunities at Bermuda’s leading insurers and reinsurers
- Pilot Abir scholars’ educational opportunity for high-performing Bermudian students to complete risk-management education at S. John’s University
Albert Benchimol, chief executive officer of Axis Capital and chairman of Abir, said: “Abir member companies serve global communities, while being committed to building their talent pipeline of new re/insurance leaders in Bermuda.
“This strategic partnership with Bermuda College and St John’s University will build on our prior progress and sustain our long-term commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, which is so essential in our work. We remain very proud to be a leading employer and contributor of economic activity in Bermuda.”
Registration is now open at Bermuda College for ‘Special Topics in Insurance (INS 2298): Foundations of Bermuda’s International Re/Insurance Sector’ offered in Spring 2021. Scholarships in the amount of $465 for this course are available for Bermuda College students. The course is currently scheduled to be delivered online, Mondays from 6pm to 9pm.
The 14-week course will be facilitated by Bermudian economist and senior lecturer at Bermuda College, Craig Simmons. The course will feature presentations by Bermuda re/insurance executives and St John’s University faculty. Topics include the economic contribution and role of re/insurance to Bermuda’s economy; climate risk and Bermuda’s leading position of providing natural catastrophe reinsurance; the growing legacy run-off industry in Bermuda as a capital management tool; life & annuities; and Bermuda’s world-class regulatory regime.
A unique feature of this course is that the lecture series will also be open to high school students, community and Government leaders. Individuals with an interest in Bermuda’s economy and re/insurance industry may register to attend individual lectures by sending an expression of interest to Mr. Simmons at CFS@college.bm. There are no prerequisites or corequisites for this course. Bermuda College students will earn eligible college credits while high school and community/government leaders will benefit from lecture content and a greater understanding of Bermuda’s international re/insurance sector.
Dr Phyllis Curtis-Tweed, vice-president of Academic and Student Affairs at Bermuda College, said: “The partnership between Bermuda College, Abir, and St John’s University provides a great opportunity for Bermudians interested in pursuing a career in insurance/reinsurance. We appreciate Abir’s commitment to developing the Bermudian talent pipeline with a programme that provides internship, financial support, and employment. The lecture series will allow those interested in insurance/reinsurance to sample a range of topics and perspectives in the industry. This is an opportunity not to be missed!”
In 2019, nearly 75 per cent of Abir member companies offered internships to Bermudians. This year, Abir will host a centralised listing of these offerings to encourage broad engagement and a robust pool of diverse applicants for these positions during the summer of 2021 when opportunities become available.
The partnership will work to pilot an Abir scholar programme in which high-performing Bermudian students are identified and recruited by Abir members to finish their formal education at St John’s University, Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance & Actuarial Science in New York with a commitment to return to Bermuda and work for the firms. The pilot re/insurers will assist students financially with scholarships to ensure any gaps in financial needs are met to fulfil their education before returning to Bermuda to work at Abir companies.
Dr Mark Browne, faculty chairman of the Greenberg School of Risk Management at St John’s University, said: “St John’s University’s Greenberg School of Risk Management is pleased to partner with Abir and Bermuda College to further the education of Bermudians to be the future leaders of Bermuda’s international insurance and reinsurance sector.”
Abir said its members are committed to investing in the training and development of a vibrant, local workforce in Bermuda. Along with the internships, educational scholarships in Bermuda by Abir members totalled more than $1.3 million in 2019. Abir members continue to offer additional training and development opportunities, such as graduate training programs, tuition reimbursement and leadership training.
In 2019, Abir members employed 1,576 full-time staff in Bermuda, of which 1,137 were Bermudians, spouses of Bermudians, or permanent residence certificate holders.
Mr Huff said: “Abir member companies are experts in insuring against catastrophic losses, climate and cyber-risks around the world while remaining committed to investing in building a diverse and inclusive Bermudian workforce. This educational partnership will be a lasting legacy for Bermuda’s international re/insurance market.”