RG Business – RG Magazines http://rgmags.com RG Magazines Mon, 18 Feb 2019 20:01:57 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 The (Not-So) Secret to Networking in Bermuda http://rgmags.com/2019/01/networking-in-bermuda/ http://rgmags.com/2019/01/networking-in-bermuda/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2019 19:27:38 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7938 It’s not what you know, it’s who you know! Keith Szmierek With Bermuda being such a small physical space and population, there is even more opportunity to create lasting relationships with people that matter. While the resume is always going to be an incredibly important piece of the recruitment puzzle in finding a role, how [...]

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It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

Keith Szmierek

With Bermuda being such a small physical space and population, there is even more opportunity to create lasting relationships with people that matter. While the resume is always going to be an incredibly important piece of the recruitment puzzle in finding a role, how you develop your network and maintain it is equally as important, as strong connections within your field open up otherwise missed opportunities.

While the ability to network effectively doesn’t come naturally to everyone, the process of developing relationships with like-minded people can be developed. Whether you’re at the start of your career or have decades of experience, there are a few do’s and don’ts that apply to everyone:

Involvement

Volunteering, playing sports or coaching kids, getting involved in the church or being active in your community are all great ways to meet people on a level footing and build your network.

Social media

Having an informative LinkedIn profile is a great way to show off your skills and make you more marketable. Keeping your profile fresh by updating it or regularly posting relevant articles are important ways to market yourself in the information age.

Events

Attending events is great, but take your networking up a notch and really showcase your expertise by being a speaker/panelist instead of just an attendee. Presenting at an event will boost your credibility as a leader in your profession and will give you a platform to offer insight to others.

Get in there

Bermuda’s size provides excellent opportunities to rub shoulders with decision makers. There will be plenty of times when you don’t realise you’re having dinner or a drink at a table next to someone who is influential. That said, for the same reasons, be wary of your surroundings before you overindulge!

Tips for networking:

  • Create your elevator pitch. A concise personal and professional profile of who you are.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Make every effort to engage with people you don’t know. Take the initiative.
  • Ask questions, listen and learn. Anticipate the kind of people you’re likely to meet and what you would like to ask them. Then listen and learn from the response.
  • Bring plenty of business cards and exchange them with people you speak with.
  • Follow up and follow through. Thank people for their time, connect with them on social media and do whatever it is you said you would do.
  • Be patient, developing contacts isn’t always about immediate results. Good connections and relationships are developed and payoff over time.
  • Be prepared. Before heading to networking events, make sure you find out who is going and think about what you might ask them or want to learn from them.
  • Don’t be “too social” – Remember those first impressions last, as do old impressions that might still be on your social media. Be careful not to overindulge in the wrong circumstances.
  • Be careful about what you post online. You wouldn’t think to post your resume on Facebook or Instagram, but make no mistake, more employers research all social media when deciding who gets the job offer. Creating a professional image on LinkedIn is a great tool but don’t undermine it with what can be found on other social media.

Simply sending in job applications might not be enough – spend some time on building your network. Done right, it can provide a range of benefits, including the exchange of ideas, knowledge and information that can take your career to the next level and develop longstanding friendships along the way.

Keith Szmierek is the Recruitment Manager for Bermuda-based recruitment agency Frontier Financial Services Ltd. Established in 2000, Frontier provides both permanent and consulting recruitment for international and local business, as well as immigration and new business set-up, compliance and related professional services.

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The Year-End Bonus: To Give or Not to Give? http://rgmags.com/2018/12/the-year-end-bonus-to-give-or-not-to-give/ http://rgmags.com/2018/12/the-year-end-bonus-to-give-or-not-to-give/#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2018 16:03:44 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7888 Duncan Hall So, you’ve had a good year. Income is up, expenses are down – the company is thriving. And now comes the question on the minds of everyone who works for you – is the company going to share its good fortune with the people who made it possible? Yes, it’s year-end bonus time. [...]

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Duncan Hall

So, you’ve had a good year. Income is up, expenses are down – the company is thriving. And now comes the question on the minds of everyone who works for you – is the company going to share its good fortune with the people who made it possible?

Yes, it’s year-end bonus time.

Or not as the case may be.

But how do you, as an employer, decide whether to award a year-end bonus?

Well, it depends why you are giving a bonus at all, says Ky Kingsley, the Los-Angeles-based vice-president of Robert Half Finance & Accounting, North America, an expert on career growth and development.

“Some companies give bonuses as a way of thanking their employees for their contributions and do not tie them to specific metrics,” she writes. “These are usually viewed as more informal holiday bonuses and may be more nominal than performance-based bonuses. However, these holiday bonuses also create goodwill with employees and contribute to creating a positive company culture.

“Companies may also offer a one-time bonus as an incentive for employees or teams around a specific project or goal. For example, they may be planning a new division, initiative or relocation that will require a significant amount of time or commitment from the staff. These bonuses are also often structured with specific metrics and goals.”

Employers can benefit from giving bonuses in a variety of ways, she writes.

“One benefit of bonuses is they give you a more flexible way to compensate your employees than salaries alone,” Ms Kingsley says. “Employers can decide how to structure their bonus programmes and what types of bonuses they’ll offer, based on individual, team or company performance — or a combination of those.

“Another benefit is improving staff retention. Aside from a competitive salary, professional development and work-life balance, workplace recognition is a significant strategy for keeping talented members of your team on board.”

Doug Soares, managing partner of management consulting and outsourcing company Expertise, said that “annual bonuses are quite common in Bermuda in non-unionised workplaces.

“These vary from relatively low value amounts given at Christmas time to very large amounts paid out after the organisation’s financial year-end,” he says. “Typically, when amounts are given at Christmas time, they are considered gifts, the inference being it is not guaranteed and is discretionary. However, when the amounts are large, meaning 10-50 per cent of annual salary, it is common for objective criteria to determine some, or all, of the amount paid. Management discretion sometimes plays a part in it, but the financial performance of the company or employee’s business unit tends to play a key role along with the employee’s personal contribution to achieving the results.

“Employers that carefully design an annual bonus scheme typically benefit from higher employee productivity. When employees know their personal productivity directly results in greater rewards, they tend to produce more. Conversely, employers that simply pay for time actually motivate employees to produce less.

“Employers who recognise this dynamic realise that it is both fairer and more profitable if you pay for output and results rather than merely inputs such as time and effort.”

Soares says there are other ways that employers can reward employees aside from cold, hard cash.

“Most well-designed bonus schemes are self-funding. If productivity goes up, the employer pays more. If productivity stays the same or decreases, bonuses do not get paid. But not all employees conduct work that is easy to measure, and many employers do not have profit margins sufficient to pay cash bonuses which are significant.

“For such workplaces, it is not uncommon for employers to give non-cash awards with high perceived value. In Bermuda, airline tickets are common. That’s because the perceived value of a pair of tickets to New York is far greater than the actual cost. Similarly, if an employee enjoys fine wine, the value of receiving a bottle of fine Bordeaux is greater than its cost because of the thoughtfulness of the employer and the experience of drinking the wine. Employers that are thoughtful often get more bang for their buck because there is no love in receiving cash from your employer.”

Even a simple ‘thank you’ at year-end for a job well done can be beneficial, he says.

“A genuine thank you, meaning heartfelt appreciation felt by employees, will always do more to retain and motivate people than paying cash,” Soares says. “The best employers, of course, are those that have both intrinsic reward systems that demonstrate appreciation for a job well done as well as extrinsic rewards which link some of an employee’s compensation to their productivity. Most employees like the opportunity to earn more if they perform well and exceed expectations.”

 

 

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Opportunity in Bermuda’s Growing Games Industry http://rgmags.com/2018/12/opportunity-in-bermudas-growing-games-industry/ http://rgmags.com/2018/12/opportunity-in-bermudas-growing-games-industry/#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2018 17:41:57 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7880 Nike just signed their first eSports star, Chinese League of Legends player Jian Zihao. In September, ESPN featured the first professional gamer to appear on any magazine cover – anywhere. If you Google UKIE[1], you’ll find that it’s a trade body that represents the interactive entertainment industry within the UK, and its sole purpose is [...]

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Nike just signed their first eSports star, Chinese League of Legends player Jian Zihao. In September, ESPN featured the first professional gamer to appear on any magazine cover – anywhere.

If you Google UKIE[1], you’ll find that it’s a trade body that represents the interactive entertainment industry within the UK, and its sole purpose is to work at making a positive image for video games and other forms of entertainment within the media industry.

Try IGDA[2]. You’ll discover a society of over 10,000 video game developers worldwide. They describe themselves as being “dedicated to the promotion of innovative ideas and latest developments.”

Women in Games is another example of a professional body that shows an opportunity for a growing industry, and the buck doesn’t stop there: Jian Zihao’s new t-shirt partnership with Lebron James makes one wonder about the possibilities beyond the creation, to selling, franchising, merchandising, and building national players to play on an international level.

Every year, the Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented Education Programme holds a science, technology, arts, engineering and maths (STEAM) academy – which included a Gaming Academy 2018 for children who are interested in learning video game and technical theatre production.

Recently, Trojan Horse Gaming put on a successful full-day Fortnite (Epic Games)[3]Tournament. Over 100 children participated. “Bermuda has many talented players,” says Dion Correia, CEO of Mindshift Entertainment Group Limited and founder of BermyCon, “We have started the process with reaching out to various gaming companies overseas to build a number of international eSports tournaments that can possibly be played here in Bermuda.”

While Trojan Horse wants to play games, Adrian Lodge, founder of Bermuda Island Games (BIG), wants to build them, and both are working with the Bermuda College to explore interest in the subject. Adrian would like to see the same effort and focus which is currently being put into fintech into the games industry which is currently untapped in Bermuda. “While blockchain may be the future, students today are coming back to Bermuda with the skills needed for game development, and just need somewhere local to apply them.” He is keen on growing that industry with other partners, which includes the government.

BIG is an independent game development company that aims to promote the island through games in the most entertaining and educational way possible. Winner of the Rocket Pitch 2018 for a series of educational games, his most recent project involves an adventure with Sir George Somers. He also plans to put on a small competition to see who can come up with the best idea to start building games locally.

When he thinks about a games industry on the island, he refers to what we already know, “The reinsurance industry is doing well here because we have the right infrastructure and regulations.” He feels that we can build what is needed to really fill in a gap in the market.

Despite having the most expensive internet and a limited population compared to other places with thriving industries, Lodge believes that it is very possible to create games in Bermuda that are profitable worldwide. He would even go so far as to say that “this is the third leg.” After international business and tourism, could we have games?

To give an idea of how these types of things are doing elsewhere, Red Dead Redemption 2, an action adventure game developed by Rockstar Games in San Diego, released end of October and made $725 million worldwide in its opening weekend. If we compare that to the film industry, Disney’s Avengers made only $640 million upon its debut last April.

Aside from the potential income for the island, developing games brings skills that are easily transferable and even sought after, i.e.:

  • graphic design (building background and character);
  • programming (the same skills are used for website and application development);
  • product development;
  • storytelling (the creator has to ensure that the character connects with the player and pays attention to details such as historical accuracy);
  • creativity;
  • project management (deadlines, understanding, concepts);
  • audio engineering (sounds effects and voice acting);
  • camera work; and

For those that are interested in games beyond the playing aspect, there is an opportunity to build careers in marketing, advertising and more. “With this in mind,” Correia says, “we have structured a plan that will include us working further with the government in making sure that we are able to build a foundation and direction in helping to build interest in all areas of gaming.”

How can a business get behind this? Help to create the space for innovation and learning to take place, or look to ESPN and get behind a gamer. One Communications has already committed, along with BermyCon, Gamers BDA, DNA Creative Shoppe and Bermuda Tabletop Wargaming, to bringing international gaming to Bermuda.

Venues can sponsor their space for tournaments, parents can volunteer, and of course, financial donations go a long way. Companies can, of course, benefit from the normal advertising spiel, but more so by taking on the corporate social responsibility to contribute to industry, create opportunities for different learners, innovate the island and educate the world. A stretch?

“That’s the thing about games,” says Lodge, “the limit is your imagination. You can build anything. That’s why kids are drawn to it.”

Notes:

[1]The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment

[2]International Game Developers Association

[3]Developed by California-based studio Epic Games, Fortnight is what’s known as an open-world survival game, in which players collect resources, make tools and weapons, and try to stay alive as long as possible.

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A Story of How Bacardi Limited Came to Bermuda http://rgmags.com/2018/12/the-story-of-how-bacardi-limited-came-to-bermuda/ http://rgmags.com/2018/12/the-story-of-how-bacardi-limited-came-to-bermuda/#respond Thu, 20 Dec 2018 17:03:49 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7869 Raymond Hainey Global drinks giant Bacardi was born in Cuba 156 years ago – but it was from its adopted home in Bermuda that the company grew up into the major player in the industry it is today. Bacardi – as a pioneering international company – also helped put the island on the map as a home [...]

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Raymond Hainey

Global drinks giant Bacardi was born in Cuba 156 years ago – but it was from its adopted home in Bermuda that the company grew up into the major player in the industry it is today.

Bacardi – as a pioneering international company – also helped put the island on the map as a home for businesses from around the world. Bacardi, still family owned and the largest spirits company in private hands was founded in Santiago de Cuba in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardi.

The firm’s more refined rum gained rapid popularity and was the tipple of choice for hard-drinking Nobel Prize-winning writer Ernest Hemingway, who drank Bacardi cocktails in Havana’s legendary El Floridita bar when he lived on the island for extended periods in the 1940s to the early 1960s.

The company would still be there, but for the 1959 revolution that propelled Fidel Castro and a hardline Communist regime to power. Bacardi assets in their homeland were confiscated, despite the influential family’s initial support for Castro’s effort to oust corrupt military dictator Fulgencio Batista.

The family was forced to flee to America, briefly setting up in the Bahamas before they settled on Bermuda as their new home in 1965. Cuba’s loss was Bermuda’s gain and the unquenchable Bacardi spirit, which had survived, and even been involved in, previous revolutions against Spanish rule, flourished.

Some inside the company believed Castro did the firm a favour – because Bacardi grew from relative small fry focused on the rum business to a worldwide brand with a portfolio of drinks including Italian vermouth, French vodka, Scotch whiskey, English gin and – most recently – the $5 billion-plus acquisition of Patron, Mexico’s top-selling upmarket tequila.

And the expansion came on the back of a rock-solid home base in Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke, in a custom-built building inspired by a design by modernist superstar architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – a design at first intended to be built in Santiago.

The company went from selling 1.7 million cases of rum in 1960 – the year its Santiago distillery was stolen in a state nationalisation programme – to more than 10 million cases a year in 1976.

Juan Prado, a top Bacardi salesman who fled Cuba with his wife and young children after Castro took power and who helped set up the company on the island, told Tom Gjelten, author of Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: “A lot of people think Bacardi should thank Castro for what he did because we would never have achieved what we did if we had stayed in Cuba.”

Prado argued that the loss of Bacardi’s Hatuey brewery in Cuba, a source of ready cash because beer was a lot easier to make than rum and needed no expensive aging, had forced the firm to concentrate on its spirits production, which propelled it to new heights. But the company might not have come to Bermuda at all.

Carlos Bosch, who died in Bermuda earlier this year aged 91, recalled his struggle with his father, the formidable Jose´ “Pepin” Bosch, who headed the company in Cuba and in exile for many years, to move the firm to Bermuda at a party to mark its 50 years on the island in 2015.

Mr Bosch, who retired from the company in 1975, said: “We got the authorisation – but I had to convince my father. It took two years to convince him.”

A handful of staff arrived on the island and started to rebuild the company, which had already expanded its operations outside Cuba to Puerto Rico and Brazil while corrupt Cuban military dictator Fulgencio Batista, toppled by Castro, was still in power.

Mr Bosch said: “Somehow, the small team we had gelled and it just worked.”

Eduardo Cutillas, who retired in 1998 and died last year aged 81, was also among the team that rebuilt the brand from Bermuda. Mr Cutillas said at the 50thanniversary celebration that “closest to our hearts are the people of Bermuda who welcomed us with such warmth”. He added: “I’m very happy we’re here and we are staying here. We’re not going back to Cuba. Bermuda is our home now.”

But the firm is not just known for its success in the spirits business – it has built a global empire with a social conscience carried on from its early days in Cuba, where its workers were well-treated and well-paid in comparison to most. Bacardi was named as one of the most reputable brands earlier this year for the sixth year in a row.

It ranked 89thin the the annual Global RepTrak list 100 list compled by the Reputation Institute and published in Forbes magazine. Companies were assessed on ethical behaviour, fairness, product value and transparency, as well as their reputation as an employer, based on more than 230,000 individual ratings.

Mahesh Madhavan, chief executive of Bacardi, said at the time: “To be ranked six years in a row is an honour and a reflection of not only our portfolio of premium spirits but especially our thousands of dedicated employees around the world who embody the entrepreneurial spirit and values of family-owned Bacardi.”

The firm has also pioneered green technology to cut down on pollution in its operations around the world and is a major contributor to charity and the community in Bermuda. When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, where most of the firm’s rum is now made, last year, Bacardi mobilised its staff to set up “stop and go” aid centres and donated millions of dollars towards rebuilding the shattered island.

In Bermuda, the company earlier this year won the annual corporate blood donor campaign for the second year in a row. The company is also the long-time main sponsor of  the “Let us Drive”  service run by anti-substance abuse charity CADA in Bermuda, designed to get people home safe after a night out in Hamilton. Bacardi pledged half a million dollars over five years to the Bermuda Hospital Charitable Trust in 2014, to be used to help redevelop the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

And Bacardi donated $600,000 to the hospital in 2005 to buy a new state-of-the-art X-ray machine.

The company also used a tanker – normally used to transport rum – during a serious drought in the early 1980s, loading it with water in Canada and transporting it to Dockyard. Bacardi is also a major sponsor of the arts, including the Bermuda Festival, as well as a backer of sailing and fishing events.

Douglas Mello, the Bermudian global vice-president of corporate strategy at Bacardi, who is responsible for the operation of the headquarters, said both Bermuda and Bacardi had both benefited from their half-century plus relationship. He explained: “Bacardi found a welcoming new home with a stable political and economic environment and a world class infrastructure that was crucial for its global expansion.

“Bermuda found a solid family-owned company that not only put the island on the international business map but also has helped to enhance the community for more than 50 years.”

Mr Mello said:  “We are forging the future through a world-class finance function which is based in Bermuda.

“Many of our senior leaders have moved to the island with their families, much like the early leaders of the company did in the 1960s.”

He added: “We believe that Bacardi and its employees benefit through a greater connection with Bermuda’s worthy charities and a sense of fulfillment in the community where we live and work.”

Mr Mello said: “Today, staying in Bermuda makes perfect sense. As one of the highest profile companies on the island, we appreciate the Bermudian business community and the Government for continuing to support and welcome us.”

He added: “We have a building, we have a vibrant staff of eighty people in Bermuda, including top management of the company, we have great infrastructure to leverage and we are totally committed to giving a helping hand to our community.

“We are here to stay.”

A further symbol of the company’s commitment to the island came when it celebrated the 150thanniversary of its foundation. Bacardi commissioned a special time capsule encased in granite and cement and placed it at its headquarters on Pitts Bay Road. The time capsule will not be opened until the company’s 200thanniversary in 2062. And it’s an odds on bet a new generation of the family will be there to open it.

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Some Perspective on Bermuda’s PIPA – Why Does it Matter? http://rgmags.com/2018/12/bermudas-pipa-why-does-it-matter/ http://rgmags.com/2018/12/bermudas-pipa-why-does-it-matter/#respond Wed, 19 Dec 2018 17:38:48 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7841 George Thomas is Senior Advisor of Consulting at PwC Bermuda. Operating in Bermuda, an international financial centre, forces business people to remain abreast of the constantly changing landscape of global regulations. These regulations, almost invariably, are condensed into acronyms, drowning us in a sea of alphabet soup: AML…KYC…ATF…FATCA….BEPS…CFATF…CRS…and the list goes on. Of course, who could [...]

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George Thomas is Senior Advisor of Consulting at PwC Bermuda.

Operating in Bermuda, an international financial centre, forces business people to remain abreast of the constantly changing landscape of global regulations. These regulations, almost invariably, are condensed into acronyms, drowning us in a sea of alphabet soup: AML…KYC…ATF…FATCA….BEPS…CFATF…CRS…and the list goes on. Of course, who could ever forget the most dreaded acronym in recent memory that consumed extensive resources and time: Y2K?

Two new acronyms entered our regulatory lexicon in the past two years: GDPR and PIPA. These regulations both address the need to protect the privacy of individuals in the age of the internet and the constant flow of digital information.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR ) was adopted by the European Union (EU) and came into force on May 25, 2018. The GDPR protects EU citizens by giving individuals more control over how companies use their personal data, usually referred to as “PII” or Personally Identifiable Information.

How many readers started receiving interesting emails from online companies disclosing their privacy policies in April and May 2018? How many have been suddenly forced to review and acknowledge privacy policies in pop-up windows before being able to proceed with normal browsing? These actions by companies were directly related to GDPR and the potential risk of significant fines for noncompliance: the greater of 20,000,000 Euros or 4 percent of worldwide revenue.

A look at Bermuda’s PIPA

Bermuda created our own Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of 2016 to establish local legislation and regulations, essentially to meet EU data privacy standards. PIPA received Royal Assent on July 27, 2016 and is expected to go into force once an independent Privacy Commissioner is appointed to ensure the aims of PIPA are being met and oversee compliance. Once the Privacy Commissioner is appointed it is expected that there will be a period of consultation with industry in advance of final implementation or any enforcement action.

Why are these regulations so important? Globally recognized companies have been hacked leaving millions of records of PII compromised including Equifax (146 million records) Under Armour (150 million) and Yahoo! (three billion records). While these numbers may seem high on initial glance, we need only reflect on our daily activity and how we communicate with each other. We are constantly on devices connected to the internet, generating and sharing information, leaving a digital footprint. This graphic shows the staggering amount of data that is generated each minute on the internet.

In this day and age, every organization needs to understand the information that drives the components of its business model; the organization’s information lifecycle.

PriceWaterHouseCoopers graphic on information life cycleThis lifecycle starts with the creation and/or acquisition of information. Organisations must understand what data is being collected and created, who it is from, how it is obtained, and through what channels? Next, the organization needs to understand where data is stored – both within and outside the company, and in which systems, including paper-based filing systems?

The organization then needs to develop a complete picture of how the data is being used, what it is being used for, and who is using it? Data is frequently in motion or transmission, being shared – inside and outside the company, sometimes across multiple jurisdictions. Last, but certainly not least, the organization needs to decide on options for archiving and ultimately disposing of data. How is data retained – both by the company and by third parties, for how long, and how is it destroyed?

Policies, procedures, and controls provide the framework for effectively implementing the elements of an organization’s information lifecycle. Policies are created to meet the organization’s legal and regulatory obligations. Procedures describe step-by-step processes that enable the firm to carry out workflows in a manner that is consistent with the policies. Controls are designed and tested to provide evidence and comfort to management and the board of directors that the policies are, in fact, being followed in a consistent manner.

 Limit, protect and respect!

There are three principles to apply when dealing with personal data: limit, protect and respect.PriceWaterHouseCoopers graphic on guiding principles for handling personal data

Limit the personal data you collect to include only what you need to perform services. Be diligent and judicious about what you collect and make sure you only use that information for the designated business purpose.

Protect the data that you collect through effective procedures and controls. Access should be restricted to only those who need the information. Flexible and remote working on laptops, tablets, phones, and reading printed materials on airplanes or in transit create potential exposure of sensitive information.

Respect the rights of the individuals whose personal data you collect, store and share. GDPR requires transparency, the ability for individuals to opt in or not, and providing individuals the right to be forgotten.

Board governance

Ultimately, the board of directors and executive management of each organization must understand and embrace the dynamics of privacy in the age of GDPR and PIPA. Data privacy is a critical element of risk that must be incorporated in the Enterprise Risk Management framework for every organization.

Oversight of information technology and digital assets is a growing focus for boards and with the pressures of GDPR expectations for director performance are increasing. According to PwC’s 2018 Annual Corporate Directors Survey, more than four out of five directors (83 percent) say their board is very or moderately involved in monitoring the status of major IT projects. Close to 75 percent say the same about the company’s digital strategy.

With the major security breaches involving data privacy, and new governmental regulations — many more directors also say they are engaged with overseeing or understanding big data. The percentage of directors saying their boards are at least moderately involved jumped to 65 percent from 51 percent in 2016. Directors also report being much more involved in overseeing how their company leverages and monitors social media. Both of these areas have shown substantial increases since 2016.

The principles for handling personal data in a prudent manner provide guidance to organizations. The board and executive team must give clear direction and set the tone regarding the importance of data privacy and establish an appropriate operational framework, including appointing a data privacy officer (DPO). Effective policies and procedures, tested on a consistent basis through well-designed controls, can ensure that the organization is meeting global standards.

 

 

 

 

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Sir John Swan talks to us about Leadership http://rgmags.com/2018/12/john-sawn-leadership/ http://rgmags.com/2018/12/john-sawn-leadership/#respond Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:54:07 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7820 Sir John Swan is a former premier of Bermuda, a real estate mogul, has sat on many boards and guided many organisations and individuals to success. He sat down with RG Business to share his thoughts on Bermuda’s future in leadership.   Kristen Scott Ndiaye: We wanted to talk to you about this because even though [...]

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Sir John Swan is a former premier of Bermuda, a real estate mogul, has sat on many boards and guided many organisations and individuals to success. He sat down with RG Business to share his thoughts on Bermuda’s future in leadership.  

Kristen Scott Ndiaye: We wanted to talk to you about this because even though you’re not in politics, necessarily, I would imagine that you – your brand, and your actions – still have a responsibility of a leader in Bermuda. What do you think?

Sir John Swan:Anyone who’s been given the privilege that I’ve been given – I had parents who had confidence in me as a young person, forced me to go abroad to get an education and, though I had dyslexia, had the word “failure” taken completely out of my lexicon. I should feel responsible for helping Bermuda to achieve its goals. Though not political, I feel intellectually responsible for making sure that Bermuda is headed in the right direction.

KSN: Right. Now, you didn’t start out as a leader. You’ve described your playground as Pembroke Marsh and just shared that you had your share of hardships – dyslexia, visual impairments. From there, what has been your journey to leadership?

JS:After school, I came back to start a business that, for 10 years, built 40 percent of the homes on this island. I belonged to organizations and served on many boards, both locally and internationally, which gave me a broad view of Bermuda and the rest of the world. This led me to become premier, where my job was to make Bermuda as viable and as functional as possible through policies and programmes. I was physically responsible for the country, but at the same time expected to act with a social conscience.

KSN: I find it interesting that that social conscience has stuck with you after so many years; and after so many years, you seem to have stayed relevant in business. What’s your secret?

JS:Well I try to remain relevant, not only in business, but in all sorts of other activities that affect Bermuda. It requires a lot of reading, a lot of studying and staying on top of what’s happening locally and internationally, and learning to change with the times.

KSN: Of course, and we know that it’s important in business, and in life, to be able to pivot. How do you do this?

JS: Every ten years I would reassess my business and decide whether it needed to be changed. In order to pivot, you have to learn to remake yourself both physically and mentally. The world of change is speeding up. The intellectual process includes 1) your ideals – what you stand for; 2) your ideas– which come to mind from your ideals; 3) things – which are what you create from your ideas; and 4) people – those who use the things that you create. If these don’t line up, then it’s time to change.

KSN: How can other leaders do that?

JS:I’d say pay attention to your instincts, pay attention to what other people are saying to you, and learn to listen. Most people fail because they fail to listen. I’ve tried to be very sensitive about other people’s feelings and views, and they’ve helped me with the things that I’ve been able to achieve.

KSN: So, you would say that success is not gained alone. Would you say that seclusion is the enemy of creativity?

JS:It’s a tough question, because there are a lot of people that do a lot of productive thinking in seclusion. You have to find a balance. I call it the “Iceberg Effect”: 9/10 preparation and 1/10 effect. Anytime I give in my career, I make sure it’s something worthy. There’s a lot of research that goes into my speeches and my articles. If I don’t plan in seclusion, it makes for an uncomfortable outcome.

KSN: More on those uncomfortable places in leadership: what advice do you have for those moments?

JS:To that I say do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. Everybody knows that I’ve been in some uncomfortable situations. Leadership is about raising people up. Sincerity, integrity, forthrightness are all very important qualities in a leadership role. Be prepared to stand behind anything that you say and take the consequences for it.

KSN: When you say things like that, I have to say that you’re an inspiration to many young people on the island. Are you aware of how your image drives young men, especially, to get into business?

JS:I’ve always had a good relationship with young males in Bermuda. I think that comes from trying to fulfill the image that I give off, and leading not from policies, but from setting a standard – a standard in what you say, in how you look, how you conduct yourself in a particular set of circumstances. When people see me, there’s a consistency. They know who I am. They know that we can have a two-way conversation about whatever they need to be a leader in the community – that doesn’t necessarily mean government, it could mean at a school or on a football field.

KSN: What advice do you give them?

JS:Many people want to receive and don’t understand that it’s when you give, that you get back the encouragement to succeed. I say, give your honest opinion, and not the one that you think you’re supposed to give. From a young man in board rooms, I was invited to be a part of the Young Presidents’ Organization; because I said what I thought. You want to make people re-evaluate their thoughts. But don’t be forceful, that’s how people shut down.

KSN: That’s true because some people who experience the great success in leadership, find that it brings out the worst part of their personalities. What do think about that?

JS:Sometimes people get caught up in their egos and they believe that they know everything. I think it’s the biggest mistake that people make. It’s important to be humble; and to work together with others to find your potential and vice versa. If you think that your leadership or your success is based solely on you, then you are doomed to fail.

KSN: What does Innovation in leadership look like?

JS:The world is going through a very uncertain period as a result of the technological revolution in the past 25 years, forcing us to redefine the norms.  We went from the whole world sending messages at 780 miles an hour – the speed of sound – to sending messages at 196,000 miles per second – the speed of light. That’s how information is flowing. Everyone has access to information; but some are trying to hold on to the old world.

Innovation in leadership looks like bringing energy back to Bermuda. Right now, Bermudians are going away to school – London, Toronto, New York – and coming back saying, “What am I doing here?” They have to feel like they can continue their education, and contribute. Some young Bermudians are just staying away because there’s nothing here for them. Leadership looks like asking Bermudians about what they want, and facilitating it, not dictating it. It’s a commitment to making Bermuda a viable place for everyone – even if it means bringing people in to get the job done. We have to step on new ground.

I think blockchain is very important, but it can’t be just about that. When you sit down to a meal, you want to have potatoes on the plate and vegetables on the plate, but you want to have meat on the plate, too (smile).

KSN: What is your vision for our island in the future?

JS:Whether you are a corporation or an individual in the leadership role, make Bermuda a place that everyone feels proud to participate in. There’s been a withdrawal, and a fear in people that if they say something there will be grave consequences. There is nothing more damaging than fear. I hold the leaders responsible not to inject the fear in others. Let’s reconstruct Bermuda.

KSN:Thank you so much for sitting with me.

 

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Give Back Games 2018 http://rgmags.com/2018/10/give-back-games-2018/ http://rgmags.com/2018/10/give-back-games-2018/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 12:29:19 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7332 The Centre on Philanthropy successfully hosted the 10th Anniversary of the Give Back Games. This beach- style Olympics was held at Horseshoe Bay on Friday, September 21st. The event saw 12 leading international companies compete to raise money for 12 of their chosen local charities. It was a fun-filled day of team building for the [...]

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The Centre on Philanthropy successfully hosted the 10th Anniversary of the Give Back Games. This beach- style Olympics was held at Horseshoe Bay on Friday, September 21st. The event saw 12 leading international companies compete to raise money for 12 of their chosen local charities. It was a fun-filled day of team building for the companies who competed in games such as Ball Crawl, Blindfolded Water Relay, Flipper Relay, a Sand Sculpting Competition and other intensely fun games!

Tokio Millennium Re Ltd. won 1st place with a prize of $10,000 for their chosen charity Family Centre. Chubb won 2nd place with a prize of $8,500 for their charity Big Brothers Big Sisters as well as a $500 prize for winning the Sand Sculpting Competition. First time participant, Oil Management Group won 3rd prize of $7,000 for their charity SCARS. The Give Back Games, Facebook Challenge was held from September 11 until September 20, the winner of that competition was Arch Re who was awarded $500 for their charity Teen Services. Every charity left the beach a winner with all charities not placing in the top 3 receiving $4,300.

Appleby (Bermuda) Ltd. – The Reading Clinic

Arch Reinsurance Ltd. – Teen Services

Argo Group – Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies

Athene – Bermuda Sloop Foundation

AXA XL – The Friends of Hope Academy

CHUBB Tempest Re – Big Brothers Big Sisters

Guy Carpenter – YouthNet

Hamilton Re Ltd. – Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre

OIL Management – SCARS

Tokio Millennium Re – The Family Centre

Validus Group – Bermuda Stroke and Family Support Association

Zurich Bermuda – Action on Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The 10th Anniversary is a grand achievement! Over the past ten years 24 companies have participated with 38 nonprofits sharing a grand pot of $627,000 over the years! Danielle Riviere, Executive Director spoke aboutthe event, “It’s amazing to think a fun idea created ten years ago has been able to raise more than half a million dollars for the sector! We are thankful to the companies who participate and hope to see the eventgrow even more over the next ten years.”

The Centre would like to thank event sponsors, Dunkley’s and Discovery Wine, all the volunteers who cameout to help and all the corporate and nonprofit representatives who participated!

If anyone is interested in learning more about the 2019 Give Back Games please email info@centreonphilanthropy.org for more information.

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Managing intelligence: an update on business vs robot http://rgmags.com/2018/10/managing-intelligence-an-update-on-business-vs-robot/ http://rgmags.com/2018/10/managing-intelligence-an-update-on-business-vs-robot/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 04:10:41 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7325 by Jonathan Kent The rapid and accelerating pace of technological advance means that, for many businesses, change has become a constant rather than occasional survival requirement, with disruption ever looming. The flip-side is that technology also provides more powerful tools than ever for the drill-down analysis necessary to enable informed and timely decisions that can [...]

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by Jonathan Kent

The rapid and accelerating pace of technological advance means that, for many businesses, change has become a constant rather than occasional survival requirement, with disruption ever looming.

The flip-side is that technology also provides more powerful tools than ever for the drill-down analysis necessary to enable informed and timely decisions that can keep an organisation moving in the right direction.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, has huge potential to help managers make better decisions. But the power of AI has to be handled with care so it can empower rather than threaten people, and to ensure that rich new data do not lead managers to leap to faulty conclusions based on perceived correlations and causalities that might not exist.

Unease is clearly widespread among the working population, as AI becomes more pervasive. However, a report by PwC in July this year suggested that the robots are not going to take all of our jobs, after all. AI will create as many jobs as it displaces, PwC’s analysts concluded, because of the economic growth it will stimulate.

People will indeed continue to matter in organisations. As Professor Tomo Noda of Shizenkan University, remarked at a conference on the future of management in Barcelona in April this year: “Planning, budgeting, and organising can be done by AI. But establishing vision, aligning people, and motivating people requires people”.

This fluid environment may prompt many managers to seek a fresh approach. The concept of “intelligent management”, although based on a set of ideas that have been around for decades, may appeal to some as being potentially well-suited to today’s complex and challenging conditions.

The Intelligent Management (IM) website, www.intelligentmanagement.ws, describes a systemic approach as to how organisations are understood and managed. Under the concept’s paradigm shift, the hierarchies and artificially created silos of prevailing management convention are transformed into a singular focus on system optimisation.

IM’s founder, Domenico Lepore, believes that the management of an organisation as a system, as proposed by W. Edwards Deming as far back as the 1950s, could be optimised by the identification of its “constraint”, as proposed by Eliyahu Goldratt. The constraint is the element that, more than any other, determines the pace at which an organisation achieves units of its goal, such as products, ideas or money. A constraint could be anything from production capacity to employee behaviours or company policies. The theory is that an overarching focus on managing this constraint can generate serious improvements in output.

During the 1990s, Dr Leopore, working with Oded Cohen, merged Deming’s and Goldratt’s ideas into “The Decalogue”, a series of ten steps designed to help organisations apply these philosophies and manage systemically.

IM’s website explains: “At Intelligent Management, we guide organisations to understand operationally that they are not made up of disconnected pieces. Rather, they are a network of interdependent components with one shared goal.”

Essential to making this work would clearly be ensuring that employees are engaged and think like managers. Such a corporate culture is difficult to achieve, but once in place, it would make the process of constant change management a whole lot easier.

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Risks of a connected world: Is Bermuda cybersecure? http://rgmags.com/2018/10/risks-of-a-connected-world-is-bermuda-cybersecure/ http://rgmags.com/2018/10/risks-of-a-connected-world-is-bermuda-cybersecure/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 04:03:37 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7321 by Johannes Eulen Those of us who are above a certain age can remember a time in which, apart from the telegraph and telephone, a connection had to made physically in some way; or someone had to go from point A to point B in person. Now, as the late Stephen Hawking said: “We are [...]

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by Johannes Eulen

Those of us who are above a certain age can remember a time in which, apart from the telegraph and telephone, a connection had to made physically in some way; or someone had to go from point A to point B in person. Now, as the late Stephen Hawking said: “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain”. This may still be an exaggeration for effect, but it edges ever closer to being the truth.

In a world in which people can be killed remotely by those thousands of miles away, your fridge can tell you that you are out of milk, or your exercise habits can be plotted in real time, the concept of connection has moved from the realm of the metaphysical to an ever-expanding reality.

Undoubtedly, the level and diversity of available connectivity have brought many benefits and enriched lives, and there is clearly no going back. However, a connected world is, in many ways, a more dangerous one, in which scope for creating mayhem increases all the time.

It is “old news” that, for example, power grids can be hacked and disabled; and any government with any foresight (including Bermuda’s) has compiled a list of critical infrastructures and is trying to “harden” it against those with malicious intent. But what if connectivity means that the definition of “critical” is greatly underestimated?

Consider some scenarios.

Autonomous cars become prevalent on the roads, and are convoyed to improve efficient use of road space. But what if the front vehicle, to which all the others are connected, is suddenly seized remotely and stalls? What if the entire network created to enable such traffic management is hacked, and all the autonomous vehicles it controls are disabled, or re-purposed as weapons?

Or imagine that you are the general contractor on a major building site, who has improved your business’s capital efficiency by dispensing with human drivers and operators, and is now using remotely controlled machinery such as excavators, borers and robotic crews. What if the network which controls it all is hacked and the equipment runs amok in a crowded city?

Perhaps you rely, as much of modern life does, on the continuing existence of a reliable GPS network of satellites. What if, rather than being taken out, the system is subtly re-programmed to be slightly “off”. The potential consequences will give a whole new meaning to off-kilter.

Of course, by then you will have all “mod cons” in your home (apart from the seemingly telepathic fridge) –– the electronic access system; the Nest “smart” thermostat; your friend “Alexa”; and that wonderful Roomba. Ironically, the so-called Internet of Things is, in reality, a system of networks and connections. That is what ultimately makes it both powerful and very dangerous.

Next, your hospital is so advanced, with the latest in AI-based diagnostic systems and remote-operated access to the world’s best surgeons. Would you rather have a false positive or a false negative when the system is hacked? Will the theatre nurses realise quickly enough that something is wrong with the surgical procedure under way before you are maimed, disfigured or dead?

Bear in mind that these are all scenarios that one can imagine now, and many, if not most, already carry an inherent threat.

Looking at the issues from a business viewpoint, risk managers are going to have to step up their game when it comes to formulating and evaluating “emerging” risks or threats, many of which will be potentially existential; and, as with existing cyber risks, there is going to be an escalating battle between the black and the white hats- and we should all hope that the white hats and the counter-cyber experts are better and better-resourced than their opponents, many of whom will be state actors, or those backed by states but allowing plausible deniability. If they are not, the consequences will be unpleasant.

Our society is now advanced, complex and inter-connected. In reality, it is not that far from chaos and disorder. What if some malevolent actor persistently hacks into the navigation systems of the container ships which act as Bermuda’s lifeline so that they steam around in circles, unable to deliver essential supplies? Someone would have to mount the Bermuda Airlift, at least for a time. Dystopian, yes. Fantasy? Perhaps. Impossible? No.

We are quite sure that the (re)insurance companies, whose presence underpins much of Bermuda’s economy, are already employing their best minds on understanding the impact of “connectivity” in order, firstly, to assess what is insurable; secondly, how it impacts their existing policy design; and, thirdly, how to design an effective way to map and aggregate the outcomes of a vast range of potential scenarios.

Bermudians are unusually well-adapted to the idea of withstanding natural risks; but are they sufficiently aware of the fact that connectivity brings harm as well as opportunity?

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Bermuda on its mark for innovation sprint http://rgmags.com/2018/10/bermuda-on-its-mark-for-innovation-sprint/ http://rgmags.com/2018/10/bermuda-on-its-mark-for-innovation-sprint/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 21:49:46 +0000 http://rgmags.com/?p=7317 By Scott Neil, Assistant Business Editor, Royal Gazette What has been hailed as a world-first for Bermuda gets under way today with the start of the Bermuda Innovation Sprint. During the next two weeks a number of activities will take place on the island featuring innovators and leaders working in the fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency [...]

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By Scott Neil, Assistant Business Editor, Royal Gazette

What has been hailed as a world-first for Bermuda gets under way today with the start of the Bermuda Innovation Sprint.

During the next two weeks a number of activities will take place on the island featuring innovators and leaders working in the fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

Expected to take part are representatives from Ripple, one of the world’s top three cryptocurrencies, and AlphaPoint, which runs trading infrastructure for some of the biggest digital exchanges in the world.

Stan Stalnaker, founder of Hub Culture, which is hosting the event, said: “This is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. No one has done an innovation sprint with a country before.

“The idea comes from the technology world where you have developers who do a sprint, where they code really hardcore for a couple of weeks and then they build something really amazing.

“These sprints are like a very furious and intense activity and out of it comes something really valuable and real. So it’s not just talk, it’s about how do we get the work done to create something new?”

Everyone is invited to attend the events. A key highlight will be the Liquidity Summit on October 18 and 19, featuring a number of international speakers. The admission price is being kept low to ensure it is accessible to many.

Bermudian-based Hub Culture launched Ven, the world’s first digital currency, in 2007. Last year it held a three-month innovation campus and beach club at Ariel Sands, bringing to the leading innovators and influencers to the island.

While Hub Culture is driving Innovation Sprint, the collection of events includes some staged by other organisations, such as AM Best’s insurance market briefing on October 16, and the Bermuda’s Insurance Market Conference on Thursday.

Innovation Sprint gets under way today with a drop-in welcome centre based out of Utopia — formerly Muse — opposite the ferry terminal on Front Street, from 11am to 5pm. Mr Stalnaker said: “It’s very casual. People can stop by to ask questions or find out how to launch an event and about the events they can attend.”

A warm-up networking event will be held at the same venue on Wednesday evening.

Elsewhere there will be a meditation workshop, hackathons, a digital identity event, and an “unconference”. Explaining the latter, Mr Stalnaker said of the Ven World conference: “We start the day with a blank sheet and build a whole conference where people suggest projects and topics for the day.

“It’s a blank sheet for innovation to talk about what can be done. People will organise around topics.”

David Burt, the Premier, has been invited to cohost the community event.

Mr Stalnaker said many of the fintech and blockchain-related companies that are coming to Bermuda will gather around the Innovation Sprint events.

“It will be first time since the innovation campus that we have had a lot of these companies on island and looking at it as a place to invest or do business.”

When asked about the impetus for the activities, Mr Stalnaker said: “We were trying to build ecosystem in Bermuda. Last year’s innovation campus was very successful and was the spark that created the fire and catapulted Bermuda to having global recognition for its leadership in the digital space and fintech.

“We have developed Ultra, which is our digital asset exchange, based in Bermuda, and that was an idea that came out of the Bermuda innovation campus.

“So we thought, how can we bring everybody into the conversation where everybody can create — not just us?”

He said having an ecosystem for new technologies and innovation was important, adding: “If you don’t have a vibrant ecosystem in Bermuda then it is really difficult to be successful. And we need these companies collaborating and working together to scale opportunities.”

The spirit of collaboration is at the heart of the innovation sprint, and the door is open to others to get involved and stage events and gatherings.

“Anyone can launch an event into the sprint. It is co-ordinated [under one umbrella] so that if you are coming to Bermuda you know it is going to be worthwhile because there are all these things going on, and all the right people to connect with and meet.”

Certain days have also been set aside to allow business meetings to be scheduled, where new deals may be struck.

A beach bonfire is also planned at Ariel Sands next week, ahead of the Liquidity Summit at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. That conference will feature Kahina Van Dyke, senior vice-president of business and corporate development for Ripple, and Ted Pendleton, senior vice-president of business development with AlphaPoint. Among the other speakers are executives from Shyft, Hannover Re (Bermuda), iCash, Coala Foundation, and Athena Bitcoin.

Loretta Joseph, blockchain adviser at the OECD, and Lydia Dickens, adviser to the Bermuda Government, are expected to feature at the conference.

Innovation Sprint is being held in partnership with the Bermuda Business Development Agency, AlphaPoint, Ven and blockchain-backed loan provider Salt.

Mr Stalnaker said: “It is not just one conference or one hackathon, it’s a whole sprint of activities. We will see amazing things come out of it; big ideas, new thinking, new excitement about Bermuda as a place for innovation.

“We’re thrilled that everyone is working together. This isn’t about us, it’s about open collaboration and getting people focused on the big picture and what is possible.

“It’s not just a conference. The conference is important, but what is going to be really great is everybody mingling, mixing and meeting. It’s like the whole of Bermuda becomes the office.”

For more details about the events, visit https://bermudasprint.com/

This was originally posted on royalgazette.com on October 8, 2018.

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