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William Berkley: Bermuda's worst enemy

01 October 2008

William Berkley, CEO of WR Berkley and leader of the campaign to get Bermudians to pay tax on internal reinsurance, tells Mark Bonthrone why he is optimistic about success in his quest.

Read more: William Berkley WR Berkley internal reinsurance tax

It is a war of words that has been going on for years as US firms demand Bermudians pay tax on internal reinsurance. They, in return, have fought tooth and nail against change. The stakes could hardly be higher.

The bitter feud is again escalating, however, after the introduction in the US House of Representatives of a bill by Richard Neal, a Democratic Representative, aimed at ending the tax benefits enjoyed in the islands.

The crux of the dispute is that opponents of Bermuda believe foreign insurers with US affiliates are able to move much of their taxable underwriting and investment income out of the country, merely by reinsuring the business with a foreign affiliate in a low-tax jurisdiction.

In short, it's claimed that much, if not all, of the income from US-written policies escapes US tax in stark contrast to US-based insurers who must pay tax on all their...


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