The Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) is looking forward to hosting the World Federation of Exchanges’ 62nd General Assembly in a few weeks’ time. It is a great privilege for us and our island. We look forward to welcoming you for two days of engaging discussion about the key topics confronting our industry and providing experiences that will immerse you in Bermuda’s culture, heritage and stunning, natural beauty. We are excited to introduce our WFE colleagues and friends from around the world to Bermuda and for you to experience our island, from its white roofs and colourful buildings to the warmth and beauty of our community. Set against a backdrop of cerulean waters and sky, we hope that your time visiting us will help you understand our love for our island and all it has to offer.
Over the past months, the WFE, together with the BSX, has been working to create a thought- provoking programme for this year’s meeting, facilitating a dialogue around issues important to the global exchange industry. The WFE has created an exceptional agenda of sessions featuring panels of speakers who are experts in their fields.
Bermuda has long been an island surrounded by mystery and misconceptions. From being known as the Devil’s Isle and for the enigmatic Bermuda Triangle, the island transformed itself to become known as the ‘Jewel of the Atlantic’. Equally, Bermuda has gone through a transition in the global economic arena. Once just a small tourist island, it has now become known as the “world’s risk capital” and is a leading jurisdiction for the financial services and (re)insurance industries. Today, our 21-square-mile island, which lies 650 miles due east of North Carolina, is home to some of the largest global (re)insurance and financial services companies. As the host Exchange, we are eager to highlight Bermuda’s role as an international financial centre supporting the global economy and the role BSX has in its success.
Since its inception in 1971, the BSX, has evolved from a purely domestic marketplace for trading local stocks to an internationally recognised stock exchange. From its early days, where trading occurred by drawing numbered ping pong balls from a small, black velvet bag to becoming an internationally recognised platform for the listing of institutional products such as insurance linked (ILS) and international debt securities, BSX is a critical component of Bermuda’s financial services ecosystem. Today, BSX specialises in the listing and trading of capital market instruments such as equities, debt, funds and ILS. BSX is the global leader, supporting the listing of 90% of global ILS issuance. As a full member and representative for the Americas region on the board of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), BSX brings a unique perspective around the issues and opportunities confronting all members of the WFE, in particular the smaller WFE members.
As an island nation, Bermuda shares the world’s concern around climate-related issues. Bermuda is establishing itself as a global thought leader on climate-risk financing through development of a strategy which provides tools to mitigate and manage the consequences of climate change. With the island’s long history of providing catastrophic peril coverage through innovative vehicles such as ILS, the BSX will continue to play an important role supporting Bermuda’s strategy to become a climate risk financing hub.
In closing, we are excited to be the host Exchange for this year’s General Assembly and we know that you will enjoy your stay on our little piece of paradise and appreciate the uniqueness of our location, natural beauty and people. To us, Bermuda is not only a beautiful place to live but a way of life.
As Mark Twain once said “You can go to heaven if you want to, I’d rather stay in Bermuda.”
The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.