Re-Insurance

Burns receives Fred Reiss Lifetime Award

  • Top honour: Michael Burns holds the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by David Gibbons, right, chairman of the Bermuda Captive Conference (Photograph by Scott Neil)

Corporate lawyer Michael Burns has been awarded the Fred Reiss Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was honoured at the opening of the 13th Bermuda Captive Conference at the Fairmont Southampton.

Mr Burns has played an important role in adding to Bermuda’s competitiveness, both in his professional career and working on collaborative efforts with the Government and business groups.

As he accepted the award he stressed the importance of working in collaboration to achieve better outcomes.

“Bermuda is a leader in world insurance and in making so many other things possible. With Fred Reiss’s legacy, I’m truly humbled to receive this award in particular. It reminds me that we stand on the shoulders of others in all that we do as a jurisdiction,” he said.

“As fellows, as people who compete furiously, that’s what we do best. But when it comes to taking great strides forward, it’s always important and timely to collaborate. Collaboration is the key, as it always has been to Bermuda and to Bermuda’s success.”

Mr Burns has led a number of corporate law reform initiatives on behalf of the Bermuda Insurance Management Association and the captive insurance sector.

He worked with the Ministry of Finance and Attorney-General’s Chambers to develop the Segregated Accounts Companies Act 2000, and has also been involved in the Incorporated Segregated Accounts Companies Act 2017, which is being prepared for Parliament.

David Gibbons, chairman of the Bermuda Captive Conference, presented the award and told delegates that Mr Burns was a former senior partner, executive board member and global group general counsel of Appleby.

Mr Gibbons said: “He is now running his own consultancy business, but he spends most of his time helping the jurisdiction. It goes beyond helping just his clients. He spends an extensive amount of time working with the Government to enact legislation to make our jurisdiction better.”

The award honours the late Mr Reiss, who is credited as the founding father of Bermuda’s insurance industry. In 1962 he formed the first captive insurer in Bermuda, and set the island on the path to its current status as world leader in the captive insurance sector, with almost 800 captives domiciled here. Mr Reiss died in Bermuda in 1993.

Mr Burns is the second recipient of the award. Jill Husbands, former chairman and managing director of Marsh IAS Management Services (Bermuda), was the inaugural winner. She was presented with the award last year.