Bermuda First Economic Strategy Committee Launched

HAMILTON, Bermuda – On Wednesday, April 1st Ariel Reinsurance CEO Don Kramer, Bermuda’s Premier Dr. Ewart Brown and Opposition Leader Kim Swan jointly launched a first-of-its-kind non-partisan economic group in Bermuda called Bermuda First. The 80-plus member group will examine the sustainability and strength of the country’s economy in light of current and forecasted global economic conditions.

A 17-member steering committee is responsible for the general direction of Bermuda First, led by Mr. Kramer, Premier Brown and Mr. Swan serving as co-chairs. A 68-member advisory committee will support the steering committee. Bermuda’s governing Party, the Opposition Party and the private sector are all represented in the group’s membership, as well as representatives from diverse areas of expertise including organized labor, education and employer groups.

“It is all hands on deck,” said Premier Brown, Bermuda First Co-chair. “We have an ample supply of high quality human resources dedicating time to this effort because each member cares deeply about Bermuda’s success. I have no doubts that at the end of this process we will have a clear picture of the country’s best options for a strong economic future that matches or even surpasses our past economic successes.”

“It is clear that Bermuda needs to examine how we can best preserve and grow our economy in the years ahead,” said Mr. Swan, Bermuda First Co-Chair. “The challenges we face today are legion. Recession is the most obvious, but there are other long-standing threats to our economic position that must be addressed if we are to pass on to our children an economy as strong as the one passed on to us. The Bermuda First initiative can help achieve that.”

Bermuda First has commissioned the world’s oldest and largest management and consulting firm McKinsey & Company to gather perspective from Bermuda’s various stakeholders, provide fact-based analysis and produce a report that highlights options for Bermuda.

McKinsey & Company is a leading global management consulting firm that helps major corporations, governments and non-profit organizations make distinctive, lasting and substantial improvements in their performance. With over 9,000 consultants deployed from some 90 offices in nearly 50 countries, McKinsey advises clients on strategic, operational, organizational and technological issues. The firm has deep expertise in the financial services, insurance and tourism industries and has conducted a number of studies on economic development strategies and financial center competitiveness

“Bermuda First’s funding is being undertaken primarily from the private sector, with the full cooperation of virtually every facet of the Bermuda economy and social sector,” said Mr. Kramer, Bermuda First Co-Chair. “We expect that the intensive research to be undertaken by McKinsey will reveal some counter intuitive findings about our economy as well as several strategies for dealing with the impending global economic storm.”

The final report is expected to be complete near the end of May 2009. The McKinsey report will ultimately be made public.

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