The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) represents the public policy interests of Bermuda’s international insurers and reinsurers that protect consumers around the world. With headquarters and operations in Bermuda and with operating subsidiaries in the United States and Europe, these carriers do business in more than 150 countries.
What is reinsurance?
When disaster strikes, the public face of recovery is often insurance companies. Backing up these companies are reinsurers.
Like their customers, insurance companies buy insurance to manage their risk. To keep prices competitive, protect their capital, expand their coverage capacity, and keep the market stable, insurance companies share their risk with reinsurance companies. Reinsurance works to keep your insurance premiums low by allowing more insurers to compete in markets. By absorbing disaster risk around the world, reinsurers spread and diversify risk so that insurers don’t become over exposed. This means consumers get more insurance choices at lower prices, all thanks to reinsurers.
ABIR’s members employ nearly 117,000 people around the globe including more than 47,500 employees in the US, nearly 1,500 employees in Bermuda, and more than 16,000 in Europe. In addition, Bermuda relies on our exceptional broker teams, that as the jurisdictions largest brokers, have created a path that many can follow. Members include the following:
John M. Huff
President and CEO
John Huff was appointed President & CEO of ABIR effective January 1, 2018. In this role Huff directs ABIR’s worldwide public policy initiatives. Huff has more than 25 years of experience in the Insurance sector, most recently as the 2016 president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the US standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the nation’s chief insurance regulators, and as director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, a position he held for eight years.
Prior to entering public service, John spent more than a decade in executive positions with leading global insurers and reinsurers.
A former practicing attorney, John’s knowledge of the insurance industry is global in scope, spanning the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Asia markets. John brings to the table a keen understanding of the regulatory, legal, financial and operational challenges that insurance and reinsurance companies face.
Huff earned his JD from Washington University School of Law and holds a MBA from St. Louis University and a BSBA from Southeast Missouri State University.
Activities and Affiliations
- Presidential Nominee, National Association of Registered Agents & Brokers, 2016
- Member, State Regulator Task Force for US EU Covered Agreement, 2015 & 2016
- Adjunct Professor, Insurance Law, Washington University School of Law, 2012 – 2016
- Adjunct Professor, Insurance Law, Saint Louis University School of Law, 2014 – 2016
- Member and Chair, Board of Trustees, Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan, 2009 – 2017
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- Lead State Regulator, US EU Regulatory Dialogue, 2016
- Chair, Reinsurance Task Force, 2014 – 2016
- Chair, Financial Standards & Accreditation (F) Committee, 2014 – 2016
- Chair, Solvency Modernization Initiative, 2012 – 2014
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- Member, US Financial Stability Oversight Council, 2010 – 2014
- Initial state insurance regulator representative
- Vice Chair and Secretary/Treasurer, Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, 2011 – 2012
- Leadership of 45 state compact regulating asset based products
Director of Policy and Regulation
Suzanne Williams-Charles is the Director of Policy and Regulation of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers. William-Charles joined ABIR with nearly 22 years of industry leadership. As Director, Williams-Charles leads ABIR’s Bermuda office, specifically managing ABIR’s policy development work related to Bermuda’s efforts to ensure that the jurisdiction continues to be recognized as a leading reputable financial center. She also serves as ABIR corporate secretary involving her in every aspect of the Association’s work including corporate organization, government and industry relations and financial management. Williams-Charles is also responsible for leading ABIR’s public outreach agenda.
Prior to joining ABIR, she served as Head of Reinsurance Compliance at Hiscox Re in Bermuda. Williams-Charles has over a decade of regulatory experience in increasing roles of responsibility at the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), culminating in her role as Deputy Director of Insurance Supervision. In this role, she directed both group and solo entity level supervision, undertaking risk-based supervision of all commercial regulated entities in the insurance sector. While at the BMA, she also served in leadership roles in areas of Licensing & Authorizations and Restoration, Run-off Review & Monitoring. Williams-Charles also represented the BMA at working groups of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
Prior to her regulatory career, Williams-Charles served with KPMG in senior audit and audit manager positions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration degree from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, is a certified public accountant and has achieved several insurance industry designations.
Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Representative
Joshua Alvera is the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Representative of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR). Joshua conducts research and analysis on regulatory and public policy issues, while also providing general support to ABIR’s Executive Staff and Committees.
Prior to joining ABIR, Joshua was a Senior Associate at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Bermuda (PwC). He served on the audit team for a variety of clients in the Banking, Asset Management, Energy and Telecommunications sectors. Joshua also was Lead Senior on numerous Personal Client Services accounts, including Bermuda Charities. Many of these clients reported under IFRS and US GAAP and were subject to PCAOB standards. His work supported the jurisdiction’s commitment to transparency and financial stability.
Joshua is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of CPA Bermuda. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting and Finance from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Boston College.
Director of Administration
Priscilla Briones is Director of Administration at the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR). Briones is responsible for ABIR’s day-to-day operations, including administration, human resources, information technology and financial management, as well as meeting and event planning, communication and member services.
Prior to joining ABIR in February 2013, Briones was Director of Constituent Relations at Change the Equation, where she was responsible for member recruitment and retention, event planning, and administrative support.
Briones earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and English from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.
Education & Training
ABIR looks for opportunities to educate students, future employees, policymakers and others about our industry and the contributions that insurance and reinsurance make to both the local and global economy. ABIR actively supports and participates in the Bermuda Careers Fair for local high school students and writes and produces educational materials that links school subjects directly with job career paths in our industry. Additionally, ABIR supports the educational and training initiatives of both the Bermuda Insurance Institute and the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies by hosting student interns for lectures and presentations on various topics related to our industry. Finally, ABIR also presents to visiting risk management undergraduate and graduate students from overseas universities such as the University of Georgia Terry College of Business and the University of Hartford as well as reinsurance educational programs developed by the Reinsurance Association of America.
ABIR members are experts in insuring against catastrophe losses. What they also know is that the best way to protect people and property is to invest in hazard mitigation. Land use planning, elevation, building code disaster resistant design and enforcement, and emergency response education are all central to protecting people and property from the risks created by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, flooding, hail and wind. The US industry’s foundation work in protecting against electrical hazards (Underwriters Laboratories), theft and fraud (National Insurance Crime Bureau) and highway safety research (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) is matched with the property insurance focused work of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. ABIR members participate in many of these research organizations. The IIBHS conducts groundbreaking research on construction and materials design focused on making structures more resilient to damage from fire, earthquake, wind, water and hail. The research has resulted in the Fortified homes project, building code modernization and spillover benefits in energy conservation and sustainable building practices. Bermuda’s own experience in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane belt has contributed to common sense construction techniques that store rain water, build with strong stone walls, design with limited window openings and roof structures engineered to increase wind resistance and reduce uplift.
For Bermudians, one of the great things about a career in the insurance and reinsurance industry is that you can pursue it right here at home. And, with 25% of US insurance professionals expected to retire or assume smaller roles within three years, there will be new global opportunities for aspiring young people.
Members of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) and other Bermuda-based international (re)insurers are sophisticated, smart and interested in your future. Here, we highlight potential careers for students and young adults with academic enthusiasm for:
If you see your favourite school subject on this list (and they’re almost all there, right?), you can challenge yourself to prepare for one of the many careers in the insurance and reinsurance world, and be one of the industry’s new, up-and-coming professionals.
You can make a start by browsing our fact sheets, discover the jobs that suit you, and learn more about the post-secondary paths to an exciting future in a successful and respected industry, in Bermuda and internationally.
One Bermudiana Road
Hamilton HM 08 Bermuda
Washington, DC 20005