BERMUDA IS A LEADING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CENTRE WRAPPED IN A CLOAK OF PINK SANDY BEACHES, BRITISH CIVILITY AND SEMITROPICAL CLIMATE. Courtesy of Government of Bermuda, Department of Communication and Information It’s easy to be deceived by this picturesque, postcard-perfect island.But it’s far more than just another pretty face. With all of its natural beauty, it would be easy to assume that Bermudians make their living exclusively from tourism. But in the first half of the 20th century, Bermuda pioneered the concept of the offshore financial centre; and what now has become its core business is truly state-of-the-art. Bermuda Means Business Business principals know the island as one of the world’s leading corporate insurance and reinsurance markets — mobile, global capital covering large risks and supporting key business enterprises in the global economy.So when the earth shakes or the wind blows — earthquakes, hurricanes or industrial accidents — Bermuda is a key jurisdiction of the companies to pay the claims. These companies provide insurance to the Fortune 1000, to global brands, the biggest box stores, utilities, energy companies and a host of other types of businesses. Bermuda companies also provide reinsurance for many of the world’s leading insurance companies. The island is also home to a range of trust companies, mutual funds and the companies that administer them. It is home to shipping companies and other multinational businesses.Today, nearly every Fortune 500 company has a link to the island. Businesses are in Bermuda for a number of reasons. When Bacardí established its international headquarters on the island in the 1960s, it sought political stability, which had deteriorated in Cuba. Twenty years later, many Hong Kong companies established domiciles in Bermuda, in anticipation of Britain handing back its colony to China. International companies and trusts are attracted to Bermuda’s legal system, which is based on English Common Law with final appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England. Its law firms, Big Four accounting firms, IT businesses and other service providers help ensure that businesses in Bermuda are in tune with global standards. Bermuda’s long-standing tradition as a taxneutral jurisdiction is attractive to many global companies, whilst its location between New York and London makes it the perfect base for traders buying and selling European and North American financial instruments. Always Innovating Bermuda is “the world’s risk capital.” It is a concentration of facilities designed to finance risk, offering high-quality risk-management solutions to the world’s leading companies. With a robust infrastructure and highly regarded regulatory environment, Bermuda is recognised internationally as a one-stop-shop jurisdiction with extensive expertise and experience from leading risk-management professionals. But this insurance market didn’t happen overnight. It was a series of events in which the island created solutions to regional or global risk-management dilemmas. On each occasion, it was a shortfall in market-provided insurance or reinsurance, which Bermuda markets would fill. It began with captive insurance in the 1960s, which was refined even further in the 1970s. Today, there are captive insurance domiciles in about 100 jurisdictions — including some 30 U.S. states. Bermuda remains the largest domicile by the number of captives, the amount of premium or business, and the amount of captive insurance professional expertise and experience. It simply has the largest market. Bermuda is also a dominant provider in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market, and the Bermuda Stock Exchange is the leading exchange for listing the securities. Bermuda-based businesses provide an estimated 600,000 jobs in the world economy, according to a recent study, and direct investment into the U. S. in 2012 of $55 billion. More Than Insurance Although an insurance powerhouse, Bermuda is home to other forms of financial and international services, including asset management, Islamic finance, and life sciences, together with aviation and shipping registries. Many of the world’s ships and aircraft are registered in Bermuda, as owners are attracted by the island’s efficiency and high safety standards. Some leading shipping companies are also domiciled in Bermuda. Mutual funds and hedge funds have been managed and administered in Bermuda for decades. These range from money market funds operated conservatively by banks to private hedge funds in the alternative investment sector operated by leading investment managers specialising in reinsurance risk. Regulation At the start of 2016, the European Commission officially recognised Bermuda’s prudential framework for (re)insurance and group supervision as being fully equivalent to regulatory standards applied to European reinsurance companies and insurance groups, in accordance with the requirements of the Solvency II Directive. Under Solvency II, outside firms operating in EU countries must be supervised by an “equivalent” domestic regulator to receive equitable treatment. There has long been little doubt as to the calibre of commercial (re)insurers operating from Bermuda or the quality of their regulatory environment. But acknowledgement has its privileges. Meanwhile in the U.S., Bermuda has been approved as a “qualified jurisdiction” by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Executive. The NAIC is the U. S. standard-setting and regulatory support organisation created and governed by the country’s chief insurance regulators from the 50 U.S. states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Low Taxes, Not No Taxes Bermuda has a consumption-based tax system, which has been in place since the 1800s. Customs duties, stamp duties, payroll tax, passenger taxes and land tax, together with annual fees for international companies, generated three-quarters of the government’s collected revenue. The scale of taxes is broadly in line with those prevailing in the countries with which it conducts the bulk of its foreign trade. The estimated ratio of total government receipts was about 17 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2011/2012. By contrast, for the federal government of the United States, the same ratio was approximately 20 percent of GDP in 2012. About one-fifth 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. New incentives have also been introduced to encourage more non-Bermudians to form companies in Bermuda and to bring their key decision makers to live and work on the island. Job creators already working on the island can also earn the right to own property, depending on how many people they employ and how long they have been living in Bermuda. There is also consideration for giving a range of rights to high-net-worth people who make their homes in Bermuda. Banking in Bermuda Visitors and residents are able to open accounts with all banks, provided they complete the standard documentation. There are four licenced banks on the island: • HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the international HSBC Bank. (6 Front St., 295-4000, hsbc.bm ) • The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited is the oldest banking institution. (65 Front St., 295-1111, www.bm.butterfieldgroup.com ) • Clarien Bank Limited is the youngest.(21–25 Reid St., 296-6969, clarienbank.com ) • Bermuda Commercial Bank Limited is the fourth bank. (19 Par-la-Ville Rd., 295-5678, bcb.bm ) Telecommunications Visitors can buy SIM cards and pre-paid telephone minutes or rent mobile phones. Many overseas GSM phones work here. Check with your service provider. Hamilton is a very 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 popular areas such as St. George’s and Royal Naval Dockyard. The government is also moving forwards with telecommunications reform to ensure a competitive marketplace. To that end, a Regulatory Authority is overseeing the implementation of the Electronic Communications Act 2011 (ECA) and single licences to suppliers who can offer a range of telecommunications services under one company and from a single or multiple platforms. The reforms that are under way are designed to bring bundled services at competitive prices to Bermuda, as well as spur new investment and job creation. Open for Business The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), a public and private partnership, is the driving force behind a targeted and proactive outreach to businesses. In collaboration with the Government of Bermuda, the BMA and the business community, the BDA is focused on expediting legislative reform and enhancing Bermuda’s value proposition, which is aimed at attracting new companies to the jurisdiction and supporting global enterprises already based here. When it comes to business, Bermuda really is so much more. Moving In Relocating to Bermuda may sound like a dream, but there are several ways that you can make it come true. Bermuda has one of the highest expat populations of any country in the world. People choose to relocate here for many reasons, including attractive work opportunities, safe living conditions, overall quality of life and, of course, the island’s incredible natural beauty.If you’re about to call Bermuda your new home, there are tips and tactics to make your transition all the sweeter. Work Permits For most people who relocate to Bermuda, it’s their employer that takes care of the work permit logistics. Non-Bermudians are required to have a government work permit to work on the island, and standard permits are usually issued for periods of up to six years (with options for renewal). Once your work permit’s been secured, you can finally start settling into island life. Finding a Place to Live Whilst the standard of living is very high in Bermuda, life here is quite different from what you may be used to “back home.” Home ownership, for starters, isn’t an option for most people who relocate to Bermuda. Only a select number of high-value properties are available for non-Bermudians to purchase, so most people who relocate here usually rent a house or apartment during their stay. Rents are very expensive, since accommodation is in high demand. Good places to see what’s out there and available are The Royal Gazette and the local website emoo.bm. Consider working with a real estate agent, too, to help narrow your search. And once you’ve found a new home, head to emoo.bm to furnish it with pre-loved stuff. Since people are always coming and going on Bermuda, there’s a constant flow of quality goods being exchanged. Groceries and Getting Around Supermarkets are spread across the island and are usually open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.Most anything you eat here (apart from much of the locally caught seafood, of course) is imported, and you can expect to pay at least twice what you do for groceries in North America and most European countries. Bermuda is compact and well serviced by public buses and ferries, but chances are you’ll want to get around more independently if you plan to stay awhile. To minimise road traffic, only one car is allowed per household; and you must have a property assessment number to show in order to complete your purchase (proving it’s the only vehicle owned at that site). Expect to pay high annual licencing fees for the right to have a car (upwards of $600). Many expats opt for scooters instead, since they have no limitation number per household and cost about $3,000. Having a scooter eases parking hassles, too, and you can often find good bargains on secondhand rides on emoo.bm. If you’re relocating to Bermuda, you’ll need to get a Bermuda licence (non-Bermudian licences are only valid for rental scooters). The process is straightforward, and you can apply in person at the Transportation Control Department. Mind Your Water! Water usage on the island blindsides many new arrivals. Since there’s no freshwater source in Bermuda, your roof is the catchall for whatever ends up in your water tank (and thus coming out of your shower and sinks). You’ll learn to use water more conservatively here.You can pay to fill up your tanks if you run out, of course; but if you’ve waited till the last minute to order more during a dry period, it’s quite possible you’ll have to wait. Creature Comforts Sometimes all it takes is watching a programme from your home country to stave off the homesickness. And that’s where Bermuda CableVision comes to the rescue with packages that will have you tuning in to your favourite series and sports programmes from back home. Your best bet on feeling at home here is by making new friends. Many people who’ve relocated to Bermuda pitch in on volunteer projects, a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. There are many clubs aimed at uniting expats, including American Ladies in Bermuda, L’Alliance Française des Bermudes, Emerald Isle Society, Circulo Hispanico and the International Women’s Club of Bermuda. And it wouldn’t be island life without some watering holes to pop into for friendly banter.Favourites include Flanagan’s, Bermuda Bistro at the Beach, Rosa’s, Red Steakhouse and Swizzle Inn, as well as the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. All are safe bets for good times with worldly citizens and new arrivals to Bermuda. Raise a glass and say cheers to your new life! THE BANK OF N.T. BUTTERFIELD & SON LIMITED 65 Front St., Hamilton, Tel: 295-1111 Website: www.butterfieldgroup.com Established in 1858, Butterfield is Bermuda’s oldest and largest indigenous bank, offering a full range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and fiduciary services. Clients enjoy convenient access to Butterfield services at five Banking Centres and 30 ATMs located across the island and via advanced online and mobile banking services. Butterfield also offers the island’s leading lineup of credit cards, featuring exclusive airline rewards programmes. Outside of Bermuda, Butterfield Group provides private banking, asset management, investment advisory and personal trust services from subsidiary offices in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and services to corporate and institutional clients from offices in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Guernsey, which include asset management and corporate trust services.Butterfield is publicly traded in Bermuda, and its shares are listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. Further details on the Butterfield Group can be obtained online. BERMUDA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (BDA) Maxwell Roberts Building, 6th Floor 1 Church St., Hamilton Tel: 292-0632 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: bda.bm The BDA encourages direct investment and helps companies start up, relocate or expand their operations in its premier jurisdiction. An independent, public-private partnership, the BDA connects investors and businesses to industry professionals, regulatory officials and key contacts in the Bermuda government to assist domicile decisions. Its goal is to make doing business here smooth and beneficial. BERMUDA MONETARY AUTHORITY BMA House 43 Victoria St., Hamilton Tel: 295-5278 E-mail: email@example.com Website: bma.bm The Bermuda Monetary Authority is the regulator of Bermuda’s financial services industry. Established by statute in 1969, the authority has changed significantly over the past four decades to adapt to changing needs of the financial sector and global regulatory requirements. Today, it supervises and regulates financial institutions operating in Bermuda. Additional responsibilities include issuing Bermuda’s national currency, managing exchange control transactions, assisting other agencies with the detection and prevention of financial crime, and advising the government on banking and other financial and monetary matters. The authority develops risk-based financial regulations that it applies to the supervision of Bermuda’s banks, trust companies, investment businesses, investment funds, fund administrators, money service businesses, corporate service providers and insurance companies. It also regulates the Bermuda Stock Exchange. BERMUDA PHILATELIC BUREAU Bermuda Post Office 56 Church St., Hamilton Tel: 297-7865 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2016 include 90th Birthday Queen Elizabeth (April 21), Bermuda WW1 (May 19), Bermuda in Bloom Part 3 — New Definitive (August 18), Lifecycle of Monarch Butterfly (October 20) and Presentation Pack 2016 (November 3). BERMUDA STOCK EXCHANGE (BSX) 30 Victoria St., 3rd Floor, Hamilton Tel: 292-7212 E-mail: email@example.com 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 (exclud - ing mutual funds) in excess of $325 billion.There are nearly 650 securities listed on the BSX, of which over 300 are offshore funds and alternative investment structures. The BSX has emerged as a market leader for the listing of Catastrophe Bonds with over 140 listed vehicles representing over 70 precent of the global issuances. 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. CELLONE Head Oce, 5 Reid St., 2nd Floor, Hamilton Tel: 700-7000 Website: cellone.bm For over 16 years, CellOne has been providing the island of Bermuda with innovative products, superior network quality and award-winning customer service.Since its inception, service offerings have expanded beyond wireless mobile plans to include long distance and home and small business Internet. With this growth in available services comes the island’s most extensive smartphone lineup and the latest tablets. Organisations across the island will also benefit from the expertise of a dedicated Business Solutions team who understand what is needed in today’s competitive markets. The focus on customer needs and their innovative approach to business demonstrates why CellOne is truly Bermuda’s favourite wireless carrier. DEPARTMENT OF E-COMMERCE — MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Tel: 294-2774 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: gov.bm Digital 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 forwards and provide benefits and opportunities for all stakeholders. The Department of E-Commerce also provides information to those wishing to set up an e-business in Bermuda. ELBOW BEACH CYCLES LTD. Elbow Beach Bermuda Resort & Spa 60 South Shore Rd., Paget Tel: 296-2300 E-mail: email@example.com 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 LIMITED 26 Harvey Rd., Paget Tel: 236-3885 E-mail: info@electronicservices Website: electronicservices.bm Electronic Services Limited 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 Limited has worked with many large overseas production companies and meeting planners to provide custom services for clients with conventions and video conferences in Bermuda. OLEANDER CYCLES SALES AND SERVICE Tel: 236-2453 (Main Office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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