Big Brothers Big Sisters Bermuda, which provides supportive mentorship for at-risk children and teens on the island, has been chosen as the beneficiary charity of this week’s Bermuda Captive Conference 2019.

The 15th annual event, running yesterday through Wednesday at Fairmont Southampton, has attracted close to 800 delegates, including captive insurance owners, risk managers, captive managers, sponsors, and vendors. Attendees are from the United States, Canada, Latin America, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

“Community outreach is an increasingly important part of our conference,” said chairman Mike Parrish, “and we’re delighted Big Brothers Big Sisters Bermuda is our 2019 designated charity.

“We’ll support them with a donation of $5,000 and we also welcome them to attend our event, set up a booth in the exhibitor area, fundraise, and generally highlight the valuable work they do. We see this as a way for the industry to give back to Bermuda.”

Last year, the conference — the island’s largest industry event — launched a community partnership initiative that selected palliative care charity Friends of Hospice as the inaugural beneficiary. BBBS Bermuda is the second awardee, and along with the conference cheque, it hopes to be able to gather additional donations from delegates, as well as volunteers.

“This is an awesome opportunity for Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said BBBS Bermuda managing director Patrina O’Connor-Paynter (media personality “Powergirl”). “One of the things we’re focusing on with young people is goal-setting and purpose. We hope to talk to delegates and find out what skill sets they can offer us, and how they might get involved!”

Launched more than 40 years ago, BBBS Bermuda is a mentoring programme dedicated to helping children and youth, many from single-parent homes, realise their potential. It matches those between the ages of five and 18 with adult mentors — a positive role model and friend. The programme currently helps more than 100 young people on its roster.

As part of its community outreach, the conference is also partnering with Bermuda’s Department of Workforce Development, Bermuda College, and local high schools to connect job-seekers and students to industry mentors. Two interactive sessions this afternoon, moderated by conference keynote Tripp Crosby of YouTube fame and local comedian Nadanja Bailey, feature young professionals exploring how captives work.

“A lot of people in our community have lost jobs,” noted Leslie Robinson, head of the conference’s community outreach committee. “So, our focus this year is on youth, plus adult learners who are looking to transition into the insurance industry. Captives have been around for close 60 years — they’re a mainstay of the Bermuda market. We want to raise awareness about jobs offered in this industry, including those among service providers: the lawyers, accountants, auditors, actuaries, and compliance experts.”

This year’s conference, with its theme of “Elevate”, offers three days of moderated panels and roundtables on hot topics and emerging risks like insurtech, global employee benefits, autonomous driving, AI, cyber risk, and the shared economy. Networking and social events are also built into the programme. As well as the charity presentation, the event’s official opening this morning will include the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award and the Captive Hall of Fame Awards.

Bermuda is the top global captive jurisdiction, home to nearly 740 captive insurance companies supporting primarily Fortune 500 corporations in the US and generating over $55 billion in annual gross written premiums.