Courtesy of Government of Bermuda, Department of Communication and Information A LEADER IN INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE, BERMUDA OFFERS A WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS AND LIVING ENVIRONMENT IN A SPECTACULAR SETTING. Most people know Bermuda for its pink-sand beaches and idyllic setting. Most think of it as a great place to vacation — a cultivated hospitality that is perfect for tourism. Whilst that may be true, multinational companies have used Bermuda as an offshore location since the 1930s, and Bermuda’s largest economic sector has been international business for many years. A mix of specialty corporate insurance and reinsurance companies, trust services and fund-administration services have flourished on the island, together with a fully electronic trading platform, the Bermuda Stock Exchange. Today, nearly every Fortune 500 company has a link to the island. REINSURANCE MARKET Since establishing Bermuda as a premier international financial centre, the Government of Bermuda and our partners in the financial services sector have a long history of working together to continuously review, update and improve the Bermuda model. Bermuda continues to be well positioned as the risk capital of the world largely due to its tradition of being a pioneering jurisdiction that embraces market innovations. For example, there is a major shift taking place in the reinsurance market. Bermuda has been able to leverage its significant presence and expertise in the reinsurance sector with that of its influence in the capital markets, to take advantage of the convergence of these sectors, resulting in Fitch rating Bermuda the top choice for this convergence market. We have become the jurisdiction of choice for offering Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) products, which is evidenced by a record level of issuance this year by Bermuda companies with over $5.8 billion of ILS listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange at the end of 2012. Developing such innovative, niche business is what has led Bermuda to punch far above our weight in the international finance arena. Indeed, a recent report commissioned by Business Bermuda revealed that Bermuda’s businesses provide 600,000 jobs in the world economy. Bermuda is the eighth largest investor in the U.S., our biggest market, with a direct investment position of $55 billion — more than the entire Caribbean, Singapore and Hong Kong taken altogether. Asia is the fastest- growing trading partner for Bermuda. Trade with China, including Hong Kong, and Singapore grew 200 percent between 2004 and 2011. Bermuda holds $20 billion of investment from China and Singapore — up from $1 billion in 2000. Meanwhile, Bermuda also emerged as one of the top 20 trading partners of the European Union. Bermuda now ranks with New York and London as a global insurance centre. The majority of the business is wholesale, i. e., reinsurance or “captive” insurance, which is a type of self-insurance that Bermuda pioneered. Other than playing a role in insuring millions around the world, the main contribution made by Bermuda’s insurance industry is in keeping costs down for visitors. Bermuda reinsurers write a large portion of catastrophe business, insuring the world’s insurance companies from risks incurred in hurricanes and earthquakes. Whenever there is a large disaster, Bermuda companies are usually involved with the insurance or reinsurance programmes. These companies have been known to pay out billions of dollars following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma; and earthquakes that rocked Japan, Chile and New Zealand. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS The government, in conjunction with the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) and other business partners, is also exploring alternative lines of business for the island, including asset management and Islamic finance, as well as increasing our presence in the Latin American market. Collective investment schemes, such as mutual funds and hedge funds, are well served in Bermuda with many funds being managed and administered in Bermuda. These range from money market funds operated conservatively by banks to private hedge funds in the alternative investment space operated by leading investment managers specialising in reinsurance risk. Employment is dominated by international business, the government and the hospitality industries, with Hamilton as the hub of commerce. The world’s foremost corporations in 100 countries depend on an unparalleled insurance expertise found here — just part of what makes up this blue-chip, global financial centre. A balance in insurance regulation, the financial strength of the companies, the innovative solutions to corporate problems, together with an abundance of expertise has made the island a key capital for the world’s large risks, with assets of about $500 billion. The government has also streamlined the immigration process and suspended the six-year term limit policy for work permit holders. REGULATION Financial activity is regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which operates independently from the government. The BMA enforces the laws the government makes that relate to financial services in Bermuda, including the licencing and regulation of financial firms. The BMA also acts as a central bank, advising the government on banking and monetary issues. The BMA oversees financial institutions to standards at or above those set elsewhere. Some estimates place the value of assets maintained or registered in, or traded from, Bermuda at well above $1 trillion. Most are owned internationally, registered electronically and highly mobile. These institutions rely on the islands maintaining a sterling reputation. TAXES Considered “tax neutral,” Bermuda levies no income tax and has no capital gains, estate tax or corporate taxes, although it does have a payroll tax for those who work here. The islands are by no means tax-free for its citizens, however. There are property and vehicle taxes, hefty duties built into retail prices, and many smaller transaction and ownership taxes, which are necessary to support a government that employs 1 in 6 working citizens and spends more than $1 billion a year. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income, regardless of where they earn it. To take advantage of Bermuda’s lower-tax environment, they must work and live here. About onefifth of Bermuda’s workforce is imported, since the economy creates more jobs than there are working locals to fill them. Work permits are issued to guest workers for various terms, allowing them and their families the opportunity to live in Bermuda, enjoying all that our island paradise has to offer. BANKING Four banks have been granted licences to operate in Bermuda. Each serves a different sector of the community, with some overlap. HSBC Bank of Bermuda is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international HSBC Bank (6 Front St., 295-4000), whilst Bank of N. T. Butterfield & Son Limited is akin to a super-regional bank, with operations in seven countries (65 Front St., 295-1111). Capital G is a community bank and high-level financial adviser (21–25 Reid St., 296-6969). And Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited primarily handles wealthy and corporate clients (19 Par-La-Ville Road, 295-5678). Visitors are able to open accounts with either bank, provided they complete the routine “Know Your Client” documentation which would be expected by any reputable financial institution the world over. OFFSHORE COMPANIES Those doing business internationally often find a Bermuda company useful in their corporate architecture. The islands’ tax neutrality, location, international air connections, political stability and sophisticated workforce can make establishing a Bermuda company the ideal business solution. Applications to form a company are handled by local attorneys, who subject applicants to close scrutiny before passing them on to the BMA, which vets them for suitability to join Bermuda’s exclusive club of about 14,000 international companies and partnerships. Like any well-managed business centre, Bermuda has extensive company legislation and rules of operation, which make consulting a Bermuda attorney an essential first step. In terms of transparency, Bermuda has now signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 38 countries and continues to actively support these very important and lasting commitments. TELECOMMUNICATIONS Visitors can buy SIM cards and prepaid telephone minutes or rent mobile phones to call those back home. Many overseas GSM phones work in Bermuda. Check with your service provider. Hamilton is in every sense a modern business venue. Wi-Fi hot spots are abundant within the city and are also available at many cafés, restaurants and other areas across the island, especially tourism hot spots such as St. George’s and the Royal Naval Dockyard. The government is also moving forward with telecommunications reform to ensure a competitive market place. To that end, a new Regulatory Authority has been established that will oversee the implementation of the Electronic Communications Act 2011 (ECA) and ultimately the issuance of Integrated Communications Operator Licence (ICOL) allowing holders to offer a range of telecommunications services under one company and from a single or multiple platforms. Previously companies were issued separate classes for licencing of a particular service, be it cellphone, cable or Internet. Opening Bermuda’s telecommunications sector to greater competition under a modern regulatory framework is of vital importance to consumers, businesses and the growth of our economy. The reforms that are under way are designed to bring new products and innovative services at competitive prices to Bermuda as well as spur new investment and job creation. ONE-WAY TICKET If you are completely in love with Bermuda and are considering making it your new home, congratulations on your decision! With all the beauty anyone could wish for, an eclectic mix of cultures and a host of activities to keep you occupied, this Atlantic island chain offers an incomparable standard of living. But whilst any change of address can be at once thrilling and daunting, relocation requires considerable preparation to make for an easier transition. MOVING IN First things first: Bermuda is one of the most prosperous — or these days, amongst the least financially troubled — places in the world. It’s possible to live well in Bermuda, but you need to research to find a great rental pad. For more information, visit the Bermuda classified website eMoo or call a local real estate agency. If you’re planning on house hunting, do yourself a favour and hire a good real estate agent who can provide you with the most up-to-date listings and information on rules and regulations. The best option is to move once you have already landed a job, but if your heart is set on making Bermuda your next home, local employment agencies can offer assistance finding work if your expertise is in high demand. Keep in mind that prices being what they are, many Bermudians work two and sometimes three jobs, but foreign nationals are only allowed to work for one employer. There is no income tax in Bermuda, but a number of treaties and agreements the island holds with various countries may require you to file and pay taxes in your home country. Certain discounts and exemptions are worth looking into, so it’s not a bad idea to seek out the advice of an accountant who has experience working with Bermuda’s laws. For those married to non-Bermudians, they can live on the island with you but are required to obtain their own permits in order to work legally. If not working, your partner or significant other’s stay will be restricted by visa regulations. The only path to citizenship in Bermuda is by way of marriage, and once you are married, you must remain so for 10 years before applying. Children born on the island are only considered Bermudian if one of their parents is a true citizen. Fortunately, Bermuda’s recently elected government has been urged to prioritise a reform in these policies before the end of 2013. The new One Bermuda Alliance cabinet, led by Premier Craig Cannonier, is looking into furthering international relations by allowing for more flexibility in work permits, including a possible global authorisation that would allow companies to transfer employees to Bermuda from other branches. Wondering what you should pack? Stick to the essentials. A steep duty of 22.5 percent and 35 percent is charged on all household goods brought to the island, with books and clothing being exempted. EMoo is a great resource for finding furniture, fixtures, services and appliances. Another important decision is whether to bring your pet. All pets require an Import Certificate issued in advance by Bermuda’s Department of Environment Protection, as well as a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of entry. For those coming from countries that still see cases of rabies, pets are required to have a double rabies vaccination; and the minimum age at the time of entry is 10 months. More information is available at animals.gov.bm. GETTING AROUND If you are moving from a frantic metropolis with constant traffic jams and noise pollution, commuting in Bermuda will be sheer bliss. This environmentally friendly island allows only one car per household. It is two or three times more expensive to keep a car in Bermuda than it is in the U.S., Canada or the U.K. due to import duties — which are 150 percent for each car brought in — and high gasoline costs. The best way to get around Bermuda is to own a motorised bike or scooter. Bikes and scooters are easy to rent as well. Popular scooter rental establishments are conveniently placed throughout the island. Plus, every inch of this 21-square-mile island is easily accessible by bus or ferry. The world-class Bermuda Breeze bus is punctual and runs as frequently as every 15 minutes. To check schedules and fares, visit bermudabuses.bm or call 292-3851. Sea Express ferries also get you quickly from either end of the island to Hamilton. Fares, tokens, tickets and passes are the same rates as for buses. Visit seaexpress.bm or call 295-4506 for more information. OUT AND ABOUT Once you make your dream of living in Bermuda come true, integrating into the community should provide no challenge. A singular infusion of old and new makes this island one of the happiest spots in the Atlantic. Blessed with a subtropical climate and no rainy season, islanders gather year-round for local events and outdoor activities. The Hamilton Harbour Nights, Destination Dockyard and many summer festivals and sporting events are just some of the highlights. Most Bermudians are very accommodating when it comes to assisting others. The island has earned the reputation of being the friendliest place on earth, blending everything that island life offers in abundance (tropical nature, exotic food, lively culture) with posh resorts and modern conveniences. There are several expat organisations in Bermuda that provide newcomers with support, information and a ready circle of friends. Score points with your neighbours by adopting the British state of mind: be polite, hospitable and head to the local pub to join the friendly Friday happy hour. For gentlemen, sporting the casually distinguished national attire of choice — blue blazers, shorts and a pair of kneesocks — will surely help you blend in with the locals. If you are a sports nut, Bermuda will become your ultimate nirvana. The island is known to have more golf available per square mile than any other nation in the world, but you might also find yourself immersed in a world of tennis, cricket, sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing. Adventures also abound: Visit caves and underwater wrecks, or go horseback riding on trails. Bermuda is a quiet paradise with a long and settled history of rest and recreation, where vacation time ranges from two to four weeks a year. Got island fever? Fly directly to New York for a big-city weekend. Or, having made all the necessary preparations to move to this eden, you might just choose to fully embrace island life, indulging in a hammock-swinging lifestyle. Sweet island dreams, and welcome home! Bermuda CableVision 19 Laffan St., Hamilton Tel: 292-5544 E-mail: email@example.com Website: cablevision.bm Broadband at its best! Choose Bermuda CableVision to deliver: TV channels from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Portugal. Enjoy movie and sports packages such as HBO, Showtime, NFL and NBA. Experience High Definition, DVR and Video On Demand services; and Broadband in 8, 15 and 25 Meg speeds. Easy setup — simply call 292-5544. Get a free SD box, the best upload speeds, plus 24-hour telephone customer care supported by their service fleet. Bermuda Monetary Authority BMA House 43 Victoria St., Hamilton, HM 12 Tel: 295-5278 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: bma.bm The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is the integrated regulator of the financial services sector in Bermuda. Established under the Bermuda Monetary Authority Act 1969, the BMA supervises, regulates and inspects financial institutions operating in or from within the jurisdiction. It also issues Bermuda’s national currency, manages exchange control transactions, assists other authorities in Bermuda with the detection and prevention of financial crime, and advises the Government and public bodies on banking and other financial and monetary matters. Bermuda Philatelic Bureau Bermuda Post Office 56 Church St., Hamilton Tel: 297-7865 E-mail: email@example.com Website: gov.bm Other philatelic agencies and bureaus function as separate businesses apart from local postal services, whereas the Bermuda Philatelic Bureau is a department of the Bermuda Post Office. The primary function of the bureau has been to provide sufficient stamps for the general use of the post. It has always been the BPB’s endeavour to keep in mind the philatelic collector and stamp enthusiast to ensure that stamps produced will be appealing and interesting. Issues for 2013 include the Diamond Jubilee — Coronation (21st February), Bermuda Beaches Pt2 (16th May), Arts of Celebration — Gombeys (18th July), Bermuda Mystery Roses (17th October) and Presentation Pack 2013 (7th November). Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) Washington Mall, Church St., Hamilton Tel: 292-7212 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: bsx.com Established in 1971, the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) is now the world’s leading fully electronic offshore securities market, with a current market capitalisation (excluding mutual funds) in excess of $300 billion. There are more than 650 securities listed on the BSX, of which over 350 are offshore funds and alternative investment structures. Trading occurs daily, and settlement is on a rolling T+3 basis using BEST, the BSX’s central-limit-order-book trading mechanism, which is integrated tightly with the exchange’s clearing, settlement and depository platforms. The BSX’s technology partner is NASDAQ/OMX. The success of the BSX lies in its innovative approach to new products and markets and its ability to offer a commercially sensible regulatory environment. The exchange specialises in the listing and trading of capital market instruments such as equities, debt issues, funds (including hedge-fund structures), derivative warrant programmes and insurance-linked securities, including catastrophe bonds. The BSX, recognised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a designated offshore securities market, is a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges and is located in an OECD member nation. In recent developments, the BSX was granted Approved Stock Exchange Status under Australia’s Foreign Investment Fund taxation rules; Designated Investment Exchange status by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority; and, in December 2007, was granted Recognised Stock Exchange status by the U.K.’s HM Revenue and Customs. In February 2008, the BSX was admitted to membership in the Americas’ Central Securities Depositories Association. In 2011, the BSX was recognised by the Canadian Ministry of Finance as a Designated Stock Exchange. Also in 2011, the TMX Group, operators of the Toronto Stock Exchange made a strategic investment in the BSX. CCS Group Ltd. 19 Bakery Lane, Pembroke Tel: 294-3400 E-mail: email@example.com Website: ccs.bm CCS Group Ltd. And eDelta Consulting bring Appian to the Bermuda market. Appian is the market leader in modern Business Process Management software. They deliver unique worksocial capabilities by combining proven expertise in improving how work gets done with industry-leading innovations in social collaboration, enterprise mobility and portable on-premise/Cloud computing. Worksocial from Appian gives you everything you need to drive better business decisions, actions and results. CellOne 22 Reid St., Suite 3, Hamilton Tel: 700-7000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: cellone.bm Founded in 1999, CellOne is now Bermuda’s largest wireless carrier with the most advanced 4G network and a reputation for exemplary customer service. CellOne offers wireless voice and data services with international roaming in over 200 countries. With the highest independent ratings for customer satisfaction (residential and business) of any wireless carrier in Bermuda, CellOne’s customer-focused approach to doing business is proven to be a key differentiator versus its competitors. Department of E-Commerce — Ministry of Business Development and Tourism Tel: 294-2774 E-mail: email@example.com Website: gov.bm Digital progress and economic progress go hand in hand. The Department of E-Commerce’s mandate focuses on promoting the key role that technology plays as a powerful driver in helping to achieve many of the economic, social and environmental objectives of the country. Leveraging the benefits of technology and remaining current in the areas of technology-related policies and legislation will help to move Bermuda’s society forward and provide benefits and opportunities for all stakeholders. Elbow Beach Cycles Ltd. At Elbow Beach Bermuda Resort & Spa 60 South Shore Rd., Paget Tel: 296-2300 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: elbowbeachcycles.com Why follow the crowd when you can discover Bermuda’s hidden coves and dazzling pink-sand beaches for yourself? And in high style. Pick from the island’s newest and most advanced rental fleet, and then put yourself in the laid-back island mood with their industry-leading YouDrive™ tuition. For the widest choice of gas scooters, electric scooters, hybrid electric bikes and mountain bikes, and the most reassuring safety record on the island, book online or call today. Electronic Services Ltd. 26 Harvey Rd., Paget Tel: 236-3885 E-mail: email@example.com Website: electronicservices.bm Electronic Services Ltd. Is an audiovisual company with more than 30 years of experience. The firm provides technical support and equipment to major hotels, small properties and corporate offices in Bermuda. Electronic Services Ltd. Has worked with many large overseas production companies and meeting planners to provide custom services for clients with conventions and video conferences in Bermuda. LinkBermuda Ltd. 26 Victoria St., 3rd Floor, Hamilton Tel: 297-7000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: linkbermuda.com LinkBermuda has provided Bermuda with telecommunications services for more than 100 years. Today it operates Bermuda’s largest Data Centre and provides local and worldwide IP, Data, Cloud and Voice services to most of Bermuda’s insurance and financial companies over its three undersea cable systems. LinkBermuda also serves its small business and residential customers with competitive telecommunication services. LinkBermuda is building an advanced island-wide fibre network to better serve its business and residential customers. Oleander Cycles Sales and Service Tel: 236-2453 (Main Office) E-mail: email@example.com Website: oleandercycles.bm Oleander Cycles has built its reputation on quality and service. They have been providing the island with sales and service since 1964. They are proud to represent Kawasaki, PGO and TGB motorcycles and scooters. They have four retail locations across the island and are open seven days a week. Their service centre, located in the centre of the island in Paget, is open every day to service your cycle or provide spare parts or accessories when needed. They pride themselves on being the only automotive company open seven days a week. Stop by their showrooms today and take a test ride on one of their cycles. TeleBermuda International Limited Victoria Place, 1st Floor 31 Victoria St., Hamilton Tel: 296-9000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: telebermuda.com In today’s demanding business environment, continuity of business and disaster resource planning are critical to minimising operational risk. At Tbi, a recently SSAE16-certified Tier 3 Data Centre provides the secure, environmentally controlled facilities for customers to operate and maintain primary or backup network servers, partnered with a fully managed remote backup and storage platform designed to meet today’s IT challenges, says Gregory Swan, President and COO. “We have created what we believe is a full-service commercial offering for local and international businesses that are domiciled in, or considering relocating to, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.”
Published by HCP Media. View All Articles.