There was a time when we had the Insurance Development Council (IDC). This was an offshoot of the Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) and it worked in collaboration with the Bermuda Insurance Institute (BII) to produce marketing literature; in particular, the Bermuda Market Solutions (BMS) newsletter and directory.
The captive industry currently has the Bermuda Insurance Management Association (BIMA) to lobby for, and represent, insurance managers; the Bermuda Captive Owners Association (BCOA); the BCC whose sole purpose is to put on the Bermuda Captive Conference. Do they all need a separate infrastructure, administration and website? This is just for captives. When we expand this, we can fold in ABIR, BILTIR, BIRBA, ILS Bermuda, BII, BFIS... etc.
I think we can consolidate a lot of this and make a stronger “whole” versus disparate “separates.”
Let’s have a look at Cayman. Their main “promotional” body for insurance was IMAC (Insurance Managers Association of Cayman). This was because the Captive market was the established and dominant component in their insurance mix. As insurance, reinsurance and ILS became more prevalent, IMAC adapted and worked with their risk transfer colleagues to create Cayman International Insurance. They say, “Cayman International Insurance brings the insurance sector together in the Cayman Islands, supporting the interests of all market participants and working to maintain Cayman’s pre-eminence in the insurance industry.”
There is no criticism, finger pointing or blame here. Bermuda evolved very differently as an actual pre-eminent insurance market. There is a reason for all the disparate groups. They each have their histories, legacies and specific areas of focus. There is nothing wrong with that. However, just because there is an explicable legacy does not mean we should not look at other successful models and consider modifying our model to be contemporary, different and effective.
When it comes to effecting change – it’s hard and you will inevitably experience resistance. Some people will view the desire for change as a criticism of their methods or beliefs. They will take it personally. You are proposing to destroy or alter something they are invested in. Here, however, I’m not proposing to destroy anything. I think we have an opportunity right now to consolidate and build on the legacy organisations to produce a more effective and coordinated model.
Q. How do you eat a whale?
A. ONE BITE AT A TIME…
As we know, perfection is the enemy of progress. And so is biting off more than we can chew. So, let’s not try and boil the ocean. But we can make a start! After that first step, the next steps are easier.
Initially, we don’t have to change anything… we can simply use the services of an experienced management executive who is a qualified and connected, marketing, business development and communications specialist. This person (or group) should lead the development of a new operating model for the insurance groups, particularly as it comes to jurisdictional promotion. From a funding perspective, the alphabet groups can reallocate funds that may currently be ineffectively used.
The goal is to have a marketing & promotional body that focusses on, and represents, Insurance Bermuda (iBDA) that acts as a coordinating unit between each of the acronyms to maintain a compelling, contemporary, consistent and communicated message and presence. It is, in effect going Back to the Future, to reboot the IDC for this decade.
BDS is here to help make this happen and get us back on track.
Ross D. Webber