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Anthropologist To Speak at Bermuda Captive Conference

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July 06, 2017

Bermudian anthropologist and marine heritage expert Dr. Philippe Rouja will give the keynote speech at this fall’s Bermuda Captive Conference, to be held September 10–13 at the Fairmont Southampton Resort in Southampton, Bermuda.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Dr. Rouja is an accomplished researcher who currently serves as principal scientist at the Department of Conservation Services as well as custodian of historic wrecks for the Bermuda government. His address, “A Shipwreck Cornucopia,” which is scheduled for noon on Tuesday, September 12, in the hotel’s Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre, will highlight Bermuda’s unique shipwreck history.

Dr. Philippe Rouja

“It’s a great opportunity to be the keynote speaker for this year’s Captive Conference,” said Dr. Rouja. “I’m really looking forward to talking about Bermuda’s shipwreck heritage with this audience. It is fitting, perhaps, that an island that posed such a risk to mariners should become a global center for risk management.”

Dr. Rouja has been exploring the island’s waters since childhood and says he remains deeply connected to Bermuda’s marine environment. He has been featured on numerous documentaries and television series.

“It's surprising how little people know about shipwrecks in Bermuda when one considers the Bermuda Triangle is such a well-known theme,” Dr. Rouja says. “What always makes me pause is the sheer number of shipwrecks around Bermuda and the frequency with which ships met with disaster in the past. The risks were formidable, but I imagine the rewards must have been equal to those risks. And the alternative risk of not venturing out—not taking the risks and staying home—were just as high in past eras.”

In 2000, Dr. Rouja and late Canadian epidemiologist Dr. Éric Dewailly founded the ongoing Ocean Human Health Research Program to pursue research with local and indigenous marine specialists. Dr. Rouja is also a trustee of the Adara Group and is adjunct faculty at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

“We’re privileged to have Philippe speak to this year’s event, and we know our delegates will find his research and discoveries fascinating,” said Conference chair David Gibbons. “We’re particularly proud to highlight a talented Bermudian, and a topic so intrinsically connected to Bermuda heritage and identity.”

The Conference was shifted from its regular calendar slot in June to this fall due to the America’s Cup. Last year’s 12th annual event attracted a record-breaking 800-plus delegates, with more than 50 percent travelling to Bermuda from the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the United Kingdom. They included 147 captive insurance owners, 70 sponsors, and 49 vendors, and the result was a total of 900 hotel-room nights booked during the event’s duration.

The 2017 Bermuda Captive Conference will highlight the topic of “Innovation”: how captive insurers respond to changes in their business and the environment in which they operate. Included among sessions slated for the agenda are the following.

  • New insurance solutions: technology and cyber, insurance-linked securities, incorporated cells, new insurance products and solutions, and life insurance

  • Technology advances and developments: data management and storage, IT security, self-driving cars, and intelligent robots

  • Medical and health care: impact of new research and medical developments and advances, cost and benefit impacts, and effect of changes to working lives and longer lifespans

  • Climate change: the impact on risk and insurance needs, and insurer and reinsurer responses to changes

  • Political, regulatory, economic, and social change, and the challenges each create

Bermuda’s captive insurance market is the global leader, with close to 800 companies generating more than $55 billion in annual gross written premiums. Captives are also increasingly popular tools for wealth preservation and succession planning for high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

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