An interview with David Hart, CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency
The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) encourages direct investment and helps companies start up, relocate, or expand their operations in this leading jurisdiction. As an independent, public-private partnership, BDA connects you to industry professionals, regulatory officials, and key contacts in the Bermuda government to assist domicile decisions.
The European spoke to CEO David Hart to find out what makes the jurisdiction so successful.
The European: Bermuda is renowned as a leading international jurisdiction for financial services, especially (re)insurance. What are the main advantages for enterprises setting up there?
David Hart: Bermuda fosters a collaborative business culture that sees both government and industry working together for the success of the jurisdiction. That history of collaboration has created a highly respected and successful financial centre, globally recognised for blue-chip standards of compliance, transparency, and infrastructure. Bermuda offers five unique advantages for doing business:
- Bermuda is safe, secure, and stable
- It is a blue-chip jurisdiction
- The jurisdiction is open, accessible, and business-friendly
- Bermuda is globally connected
- People love Bermuda’s sophisticated island lifestyle
Bermuda is also one of the best places in the world to raise capital and to implement that capital to solve a pressing global need. Bermuda is also unique as a risk domicile in that we are simultaneously a commercial (re)insurance hub, a premier captive domicile, the leading ILS issuer, and a great place to develop InsurTech.
TE: Expand on how Bermuda has embraced fintech as an emerging sector. What can you offer companies specialising in this area?
DH: While Bermuda may be geographically small, our jurisdiction has made huge waves that have helped solidify us as emerging global leaders in the technology sector, including fintech and InsurTech. From pioneering the world’s most progressive digital asset business legislation to having a pragmatic supervisor with robust regulatory sandboxes, Bermuda is the perfect ecosystem to develop innovative technology. Over the past few years, Bermuda continues to be resilient, innovative, and adaptive to changing technology and global issues. Our integrated and independent financial services regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), currently has 16 Digital Asset Business licensees under its supervision including RELM, the world’s first fully regulated collateralised reinsurance business that can accept both fiat and cryptocurrencies as collateral. Momentum is growing – in the past year alone, Bermuda welcomed Nayms as the world’s first, fully regulated crypto-native insurance marketplace, and Jewel Bank as the island’s first digital asset bank.
TE: Discuss the importance of Bermuda’s progressive legislation and robust regulation to the jurisdiction’s commercial ecosystem.
DH: International businesses here can easily access the ear of the government and the BMA; we can act nimbly as a country, between the three primary change agents – industry, the regulators, and the legislature – to make changes quickly, as speed to market is very important.
TE: We are living in the age of the digital nomad: discuss Bermuda’s appeal to professionals looking for a change of scene.
DH: Bermuda is just 90 minutes from New York, with direct flights to London and Toronto. Stable, long established, and highly entrepreneurial, the island is a unique business ecosystem where established and emerging industries connect with a deep talent pool of professionals in financial services, (re)insurance and the law. Bermuda has a long history as a blue-chip jurisdiction, meeting international standards for the last 70 years, led by the BMA who for over 50 years has established a robust yet pragmatic regulatory regime that encourages innovation while enabling resilience. Combined with our welcoming culture, stunning natural beauty, and enriching arts scene, we offer one of the highest standards of living in the world. To help facilitate that move to the jurisdiction, the government offers a Work from Bermuda digital nomad programme as well as an Economic Investment Certificate.
TE: Any exciting news for our readers leading into 2023?
DH: Following from the success of our inaugural Bermuda Risk Summit, the BDA looks forward to hosting our second annual summit at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club from 6-8 March, 2023. Bermuda really is a place that is best experienced in person, so whether you’re on holiday or business we hope to see you on our island shores soon.
ABOUT DAVID HART
CEO of the Bermuda Business Development Agency David Hart joined the organisation in October 2021, having previously served as Executive Vice President at the Florida Chamber of Commerce (Chamber), one of the largest and most successful business advocacy organisations in the United States. Over the course of his career, Mr Hart has held leadership positions in public service at the federal level in Washington, D.C. and state level in Florida. He has also been part of dynamic and growth-oriented leadership teams in the private sector and association management.