Celebrating Forty
Years of ‘Firsts’

INSURING A BETTER BAHAMAS - Founding Officers and Directors of Bahamas First General Insurance Co. Ltd. pictured above at the inaugural Board Meeting: (Back row from left) Fane Solomon, director; Tony R. Walker, managing director and treasurer; Robert H. Symonette, president; Quentin S. Chisnall, director; and Michael I. Gourlay, technical manager and director. (Front row from left) Pamela Stuart, secretary; Judy V.C Munroe, Carleton W. Williams and Warren L. Rolle, directors. The remaining director not appearing in this picture is Brian H. Stott of Royal Insurance Group, London.

Forty Years of ‘Firsts’


Bahamas First General Insurance Company Limited (“BFG”) is incorporated in September, driven by the visionary leadership of Robert H. “Bobby” Symonette.


BFG becomes the first ever Bahamian-owned general insurance company to begin transacting business in The Bahamas.

By the end of the year, the company has 20,000 policyholders and insures one fifth of all motor vehicles in The Bahamas.


BFG net earnings pass the million-dollar mark.

BFG purchases a lot of land on Collins Avenue for $200,000 as a site for future accommodations for the company.


BFG embarks on the construction of its new office building in July.


In May, BFG officially opens its new purpose-built company owned home – the RH Bobby Symonette Building.


Bahamas First Holdings Limited is formed, incorporating the shareholding base of Bahamas First General and its affiliate Nassau Underwriters Agency (NUA) Ltd. (“NUAL”) – an amalgamation of the insurance interests of Solomon Brothers Ltd., Sir George Roberts, and Sir Stafford Sands – as wholly owned subsidiaries of BFH.


In March, Founding President and Chairman, Robert H. “Bobby” Symonette passes away.

The Board welcomes Patrick G. Ward as President & Managing Director.


BFG becomes the first Bahamian Property & Casualty company to have its financial strength and ability to pay claims assigned a rating by AM Best. The company has maintained its initial A- (Excellent) rating ever since.

Chairman and founding director Carleton Williams retires. He is succeeded by financial services veteran Ian Fair as chair.


BFG breaks ground for the construction of its new home on the brow of the hill of Collins Avenue.


The 26,000 sq-ft Bahamas First Centre, the second purpose-built home of BFG, is officially opened in January and permits BFG and Home Office staff to be housed together for the first time.


BFH sells a 20% stake to Economical Insurance Group (“EIG”), Canada’s fourth largest insurance company, netting a welcome infusion of cash and expanded technical expertise. The company declares its largest final divided in its history to date.

BFG launches First Response, which provides on-location assistance from the moment of a motor vehicle accident through the claim and repair process. It is the first programme of its kind in The Bahamas and is offered at no cost to drivers whose vehicles are insured through authorized agents of BFG.


BFG celebrates its silver anniversary.


BFH acquires the majority equity interest in a Cayman based insurance company, which was subsequently rebranded as Cayman First Insurance Company Limited (“CFI”).


BFH launches its Innovation Centre to institutionalize the core value of Innovation throughout the Group using Business Process Management best practices to support business strategy.


BFH is added to the Official Roster of companies listed on the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (“BISX”).


BFG launches First Online, a new online insurance portal that allows customers to get instant quotes, pay premiums, submit claims and download important documents all in one place. It is the first full-service insurance portal in The Bahamas.


BFH launches its Group Analytics Unit, charged with mining market-differentiating insights and business intelligence for the Group’s subsidiaries in The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The unit is the first of its kind in The Bahamas’ P&C sector.


BFG celebrates its 40th anniversary of operations in The Bahamas.