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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Branching out to Bermuda

he reinsurance and insurance industries in Bermuda continue to be forces to be reckoned with. The market has great momentum and the island has an excellent regulatory environment in which international business can operate. Along with the obvious benefits of the beautiful weather, outdoor life, and low tax environment, those with actuarial experience have the opportunity to network with the best in the business.

Foreign talent
There is a global shortage of experienced actuaries, and Bermuda is no different from other international markets in this respect. Actuarial skill sets have become more indispensable in a post-11 September and Katrina world. In 2004 there were 109 certified actuaries in Bermuda. In 2005 that number increased to 126. The majority of those positions are held by non-Bermudians and so the Bermuda government and business community have been encouraging young local talent to explore opportunities in the actuarial industry by developing the provision of educational assistance, scholarships, summer internships, and mentoring programmes in order to fill future positions. That being said, for Bermuda to stay competitive today, it needs to continue to recruit people with the right drive, skills, experience, and expertise and, where necessary, to import foreign talent with particular skill sets.
In Bermuda it is typically known that there is a need for actuarial experience with pricing and loss reserving in property/casualty and life reinsurance, but actuarial positions are not limited to these. We have seen a burgeoning need for actuarial experience in the hedge fund and consultancy industries as well. Many of the globally recognised consultancies have a large presence on the island and there are many veteran local and foreign actuaries and senior executives from around the world who call Bermuda home.

Auditing and hedging
Auditors ought to know their clients and their clients’ risk exposure inside and out and back to front. So it would be natural to have actuarial expertise as part of an auditing team. Bermuda has a total of 1,300 insurance and reinsurance companies on the island, of which 498 are Class 3 and 4s. Bermuda is also the leading captive domicile in the world with 987 companies operating on the island. We have seen more individuals with actuarial experience in the provision of financial reporting information because many firms in Bermuda have holding companies in the US and UK that are subject to their respective financial regulatory bodies. Bermuda is ripe with opportunity to capitalise on an actuary’s knowledge of property and casualty and life insurance lines of business, finite exposure or structured risk, loss reserve estimates, and rate-setting.
Hedge funds are also an area of growth as there are a number of hedge fund firms set up in Bermuda. Hedge fund actuaries who have a background in the application of quantitative techniques to develop ideal structures for securitisation deals and have experience in analysing potential investments by using financial derivatives, make for attractive candidates to employers here in Bermuda.

Underwriting
As reinsurance underwriters become more and more specialised in their specific lines of business and pricing models become increasingly advanced, we have seen more actuaries who work closely with underwriters or become underwriters themselves. The ability to underwrite and price structured financial portfolios and to analyse exposure and risk are qualities that employers find to be a valuable asset.
Over the past ten years in Bermuda, as well as internationally, we have seen the actuary’s role develop and grow to include involvement in the capital management of a company and the development of enterprise risk management models, which represents a fundamental shift in the way companies have historically approached risk assessment.
Interestingly, we have also seen people with actuarial experience being promoted within companies to positions such as chief risk officers, chief underwriting officers, and information technology officers and other senior roles.

Elbow-rubbing
Bermuda is full of possibilities for actuaries with all types of skill sets. With the right balance of ambition, work ethic, and commitment, Bermuda continues to be a place for anyone in the actuarial industry to advance their career and rub elbows with some of the best in international business.

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