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BMS builds its Australian operation as Andrew Godden starts as CEO and Dylan Wilkinson is appointed COO

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces that Andrew Godden has taken up his role as CEO of Australia. Based in Sydney, he reports directly to Nick Cook, CEO of BMS Group. Dylan Wilkinson has been appointed as COO of BMS Australia reporting to Godden.

Godden has spent 30+ years in the insurance industry and has an established, outstanding reputation in local markets, based on an entrepreneurial track record of building insurance businesses. Most notably, in 2003, he co-founded Specialist Broking Associates. Since its 2010 purchase by Arthur J. Gallagher, Mr Godden was CEO of Australia for the combined business.

Wilkinson was latterly Director of Operations at The Corporate Playground, having previous held similar senior roles with wealth manager AMP.

Godden’s appointment will further enhance the significant reach BMS has already developed in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region. The addition of Dylan Wilkinson demonstrates the commitment BMS has to building a formidable organisation able to offer outstanding client service.

Andrew Godden, CEO of BMS Australia, said:

“Clients in the Australian and Asia Pacific markets have long needed a broker that can provide a full suite of risk products while retaining the distinctiveness of an independent, entrepreneurial business. BMS recognised early on the attractiveness of its commitment to offering its clients an individually focused level of service and tailored products, and has been developing its regional network. We see a fantastic opportunity here for BMS to grow, and I am therefore ready and excited to begin our work with Nick and the team.”

Nick Cook, CEO of BMS Group, said:

“BMS has been building its reputation in Australia and Asia Pacific as an independent, employee-owned broker that provides an outstanding level of tailored services to clients. That an individual of Andrew’s calibre has joined our efforts is testament to BMS’s success. BMS is absolutely committed to developing an impressive client led operation throughout the region and we are demonstrating this with our investment in an operational leader of Dylan’s experience. I am very pleased to welcome both Andrew and Dylan to BMS and look forward to continuing our successful build-out together.”

BMS continues energy expansion with senior hires

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the appointment of Kristina Juul and Richard Force as divisional directors in BMS’s growing energy division. Both will report to James Chicken, newly-appointed managing director, energy, who joins BMS in August, following completion of contractual obligations.

Kristina Juul will work closely with Charles Bowring, chairman of energy at BMS, on the servicing and placement of energy liability accounts once Bowring is in post, also following completion of contractual obligations. She joins BMS from i4Intelligence Limited, where she provided advice on the insurance market to H5, an AI and data analytics service. Prior to that, she was vice president in the Global Energy division and leader of the energy liability team at Lockton. She joined Lockton from Alesco, where she was an energy broker and risk analyst.

Richard Force joins from Price Forbes, where he served for 14 years, most recently as senior account executive in the energy division. He will provide senior technical resource to the downstream property team at BMS, as well as placing renewable energy business.

Ian Gormley, director of BMS Group said:

“The establishment of an energy division is a key plank of our growth strategy at BMS. We have identified substantial opportunities in the sector, as demand from clients grows for a broker that will provide sharp, tailored and focused solutions to the risks they face. We are assembling a growing team of recognised market leaders as part of our expansion into the energy sector, and I am delighted that such high-calibre individuals as Kristina and Richard will form part of our expert team. I would therefore like to welcome them to BMS.”

Everest in the Alps challenge set to raise £1million

The epic expedition took place over four days at the end of February, raising vital funds for research into paediatric brain tumours

Along with 30 other intrepid challengers, Phil Spencer, the Channel 4 presenter of Location, Location, Location and Love it or List It joined The Charity’s epic ski tour in Verbier, Switzerland.

Phil said:

“It was a personal Everest for everyone. It was simply incredible and something I would never have thought I would have been able to achieve. It was the epic challenge of my life!”

In 2015, Rob and 13 of his friends and family travelled to the Swiss village of Verbier where they took on the very first Everest in the Alps – by ski-touring a gruelling 8,848 metres uphill, the height of Everest.

The group raised an incredible £3million, helping fund the creation of The Everest Centre for research in Germany – a leading research centre into paediatric low grade tumours which opened in June 2017.

Everest in the Alps: The Second Ascent, was inspired by Rob and is a demanding challenge that reflects the mountain his son, 10-year-old Toby, still has to climb in his fight against the disease.

The expedition saw teams from Smith & Williamson, Barclays, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and global insurance broker, BMS.

Rob said:

“Everyone has their own Everest.

“It appeals on many levels. A lot of good people came together from all different walks of life and ultimately we’ve raised a lot of money for research that’s been so underfunded.”

Phil said: “Something that really resonates with me is talking about Toby’s Everest and the challenges he faces. For us, this is our big challenge. I know I will never take part in such a physical challenge as big as this, so it’s my personal Everest.

“It was unique. When you tell people they’re immediately curious, not that they can really picture what 5.5 miles vertical actually looks like, or indeed might feel like, to try and climb.”

The four-day challenge tested all skiers to their limits. They ascended up to 2,500 metres a day to reach their target, burning off the equivalent calories of running several back-to-back marathons on each of the four days.

Everest in the Alps: The Second Ascent expedition video: https://youtu.be/byTG0GfdB_4

Training was tough in itself. The vertical nature of the challenge presented everyone with their biggest problem. It’s just not something most people were even remotely used to, explained Rob.

Rob said:

When we had low moments, we talked about Toby, and reminded ourselves why we’re here.”

Phil said:

“The changing weather patterns made the expedition incredibly hard. The legs and body worked well but it was the relentlessness of the challenge that got to us.

“It was every single minute, from the moment you woke up until you went to sleep.”

Along the route, the teams spent the nights in mountain huts, giving them a basic but well-earned rest and a chance to gather their strength and a short respite from temperatures as low as -30°C. Long days meant that they had to be back on the slopes as early as 5:30am each morning.

IFMGA Mountain Guide, Harry Taylor, was the lead guide for the challenge. He has climbed on Everest nine times, and is the second British man to have reached the summit without oxygen.

He explained the severity of the conditions the team’s faced in Verbier:

“This was planned to be a physical event, and a great fundraising event, but the temperatures we are experiencing today are not a million miles from the -36°C temperatures I experienced on my summit day [on Everest].

“It’s a very real test, and a very real experience for the teams that I’m sure they’ll remember for a long time.”

Phil said:

“Hitting the summit happened very quickly. The last day was a really early start. I was tired and a few things went wrong in the first 20 mins of that day and I was out of sorts. It took me a while to find my rhythm, to get my positive head on.

“I felt like I was letting people down and realised I needed to stop panicking, that I needed to wake up and focus. Then we hit blizzard conditions for three hours with no communication and not really able to look around. It was a surreal ‘heads down’ kind of state.

“After a few hours, I had no idea we had climbed so far and then the call came down the line that we only had 250 metres to go. It was a shock to be honest. Then the smiles came out for everyone and the high spirits soared for the last hour.

“It was the ultimate elation; everyone was tired, happy, emotional – you name it. It was a wonderful feeling, finally finishing such a remarkable challenge.”

Key to the challenge’s success was Secret Compass, an expedition and adventure travel company at the forefront of project planning and risk management in remote and extreme environments.

Tom Bodkin, managing director of Secret Compass, said:

“It was a privilege to be able to support Rob and his family with Everest in the Alps, and take part in the challenge for the second time.

“The Second Ascent has not only proved the concept of the challenge, it has once again been a highly successful fundraiser for a cause in desperate need of more funding.”

Funds raised by all the teams will go to The Everest Centre, financed by The Brain Tumour Charity with a global remit to research new treatments. The expedition is on course to raise £1million.

The centre will fund several vital research projects that will help us understand more about low grade paediatric brain tumours and trial new treatments.

Globally over 26,000 children have a low grade paediatric brain tumour and every year in the UK another 500 children are diagnosed. The location of low grade tumours in the brain often make them only partially operable. Consequently children often have to go through multiple rounds of invasive treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and relapse is a constant fear.

Phil said:

“Everest in the Alps will make a difference for The Everest Centre and for vital research that just wasn’t there before.”

Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said:

“We are immensely proud and humbled to support everything that Rob, his family and the teams have done with Everest in the Alps. “The Second Ascent saw an incredible success; the raising of vital funds, nearly £1million, that will fund vital research at The Everest Centre, driving change for so many children affected, like Toby, with this devastating disease.

“This will make a real difference to the lives of children everywhere affected by a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment.

“This is an incredible undertaking by any stretch of the imagination and from all of us here at The Charity we’re incredibly grateful and inspired by their achievement.

“Every year, 500 children and young people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour and they are the biggest cancer killer of children and young people in the UK.

“We are committed to fighting for all those people whose lives are turned upside down by this devastating disease. With the help of Phil, Rob, and all the teams that took part in Everest in the Alps, we will change these shocking statistics.”

  • Read more from Phil’s Everest In the Alps blog: http://bit.ly/PhilSpencerEIA
  • View image highlights of the trip which can be downloaded and used for editorial use with the caption reading: © Tom McShane, Adventure In Focus / Everest in the Alps
  • For more information, or to register your interest for the 2019 challenge contact Secret Compass: https://www.secretcompass.com/
  • A Video News Release (VNR) is also available and the rushes can be downloaded upon request

BMS makes trio of senior hires to form new energy division

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the formation of a new energy division with the appointment of three senior energy brokers.

Leading industry figures James Chicken and Charlie Bowring become managing director and chairman of the new division respectively, and Sebastian Graham joins as a director.

James Chicken joins from Price Forbes where, as a director, he has spent the last 15 years specialising in power & utilities. He is a proven leader and producer with extensive experience in the global energy market. As leader of Price Forbes’ downstream energy, power and renewables practice he developed and managed a global wholesale account heavily focussed on the US. In recent years Chicken expanded the geographic footprint of the account beyond the US to EMEA and Asia Pacific markets.

Charlie Bowring has been in the insurance markets for over 40 years and has, for the last 20, specialised in the downstream energy and power markets. He began his career as a broker with CT Bowring Reinsurance Brokers, worked in London and New York with Marsh McLennan, was a founder member of Agnew, Higgins & Pickering and has, since 2010, been a director of Price Forbes.

Sebastian Graham gained his master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2009 and joins from Miller Insurance Services where he specialised in power & utilities, renewable energy, midstream and downstream energy.

The division will report to Ian Gormley, board director of BMS Group and the three appointees will join upon completion of contractual obligations.

Ian Gormley, director of BMS Group said:

“BMS has an established presence in the energy reinsurance market and we have had ambitions to make the logical step towards the direct energy markets for some time, but were determined to do so only with the right people. BMS’s reputation for independence has been a key factor in our ability to attract three of the market’s most respected professionals to our team. I look forward to welcoming them and working together as we build this new division, which will be heavily focussed on US and international growth.”

Nick Cook, chief executive officer of BMS Group added:

“The development of a new energy division led by some of the market’s leading practitioners is a strategic investment for BMS as we continue to achieve significant growth in our core markets in the US and internationally. We fully expect the division to expand in the relatively near term as we invest further to bring additional expertise on board for the benefit of our growing client base.”

BMS senior hires boost analytical and technological expansion

BMS Re US (“BMS”), the independent specialist reinsurance broker, today announces two appointments to the team. The new hires support BMS’ continued commitment to incorporate actuarial and technological expertise into the business as technological disruption permeates the industry.

To support this, BMS has formed a Solutions Group to identify business trends and develop solutions tailored to each client’s goals by leveraging its analytical and (re)insurance expertise. The Solutions Group will be led by Kirk Conrad, Chief Strategy Officer at BMS Re US.

Chang Liu joins as Director of Catastrophe Analytics Technical Development. Most recently he served as Director of Catastrophe Risk Modelling and Research at XL Catlin, having previously held a number of senior roles at ACE, Tokio Marine Technologies and RMS. He began his career as a Project Manager at Dames & Moore in 1996.

Bradley Parent, an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society, joins as Assistant Vice President / Actuary from the Christopher Gross Consulting Group. He brings a strong actuarial background to BMS in all aspects of P&C insurance, including reserving, pricing, reinsurance, predictive modeling, and software development.

Kirk Conrad, Chief Strategy Officer and leader of BMS’ Solutions Group, says:

“Our focus always has and always will be on delivering solutions and advice that helps our clients meet their goals. BMS has made significant investments in technology, including the award winning spatial application, BMS iVision™, in addition to developing a robust catastrophe analytics and actuarial tool suite. Our history of investment in technology and highly skilled people, such as Brad and Chang, coupled with our ability to act quickly, allows BMS to offer the right solutions for our clients. I am pleased to welcome them to our team and look forward to working with them as I lead the Solutions Group.”

Andrew Bustillo, CEO of BMS Re US, said:

“The creation of our Solutions Group and our continued investment in talent and technology will allow BMS to more effectively drive solutions to ensure our clients stay ahead of the curve in this changing landscape.”

BMS launches BMS Iberia

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the launch of a new European venture, BMS Iberia. The operation will be spearheaded by recently-appointed directors Fernando Claro in Madrid and Domingo Albi in Seville, and will report to BMS M.D. & Head of International, David Battman.

Fernando Claro has twenty years’ experience in the Spanish insurance market, having held a succession of senior roles at Marsh Spain, most recently as head of Financial & Professional Lines (FinPro) and M&A at Marsh Spain. Albi joins BMS Iberia with nearly twenty years’ experience and is a recognised market leader in arranging insurance for sports associations and professional colleges, previously at Aon and Marsh.

The launch of BMS Iberia is consistent with BMS’s global integrated hub-and-spoke strategy and will complement its existing international operations, focusing at the outset on a core product offering of financial and professional lines, affinity and reinsurance. It will work closely with broking teams in London and Miami to place inbound reinsurance from Latin America and the Caribbean, plus reinsurance and retrocession from Madrid into London. BMS Iberia will also help expand the work of BMS’s global practice group for affinity.

The new venture will provide BMS with a long-term solution for accessing business in the European Union post-Brexit.

David Battman commented: “Our aim is to bring something new to the Spanish and Portuguese markets. We believe that our target client base – corporations, independent retail brokers, professional and sports associations, MGAs and insurers – is seeking a new type of broker that simultaneously offers real expertise, focusing on the customer through personal service and the use of technology.”

“As BMS expands, we see our entrepreneurial culture attracting the very best talent in the market, and expect to make further hires from a variety of sources in the near future.”

BMS Capital Advisory sole investment banker in Coverys’

New York, NY – BMS Capital Advisory (“BMS CA”) today announced it acted as sole investment banker to Coverys in its intended acquisition of R&Q Managing Agency Limited (“RQMA”), a fully authorized Lloyd’s third party managing agency. RQMA is part of Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings (R&Q), a non-life insurance investor, underwriting manager, captive manager and service provider.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by Lloyd’s and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Gregg Hanson, CEO and president of Coverys, said: “This acquisition shows our determination to further strengthen our client offerings, and we are delighted to have achieved this milestone with help of expert advice from our partners at BMS CA.”

Romulo Braga, CEO of BMS CA, said: “This transaction highlights the continued attractiveness of Lloyd’s to capital investors. Assisting Coverys in establishing its London market presence is a high-profile achievement for our advisory business, and we are therefore very pleased to be able to demonstrate our firm’s ability to deliver cross-border, integrated advice and institutional knowledge. ”

BMS Group partners with The Brain Tumour Charity

We are pleased to announce that we are supporting The Brain Tumour Charity throughout 2017 and 2018.

As well as organising a host of fundraising events and initiatives, we have deployed a team of intrepid colleagues to take on the Everest in the Alps challenge in February 2018 – an incredible test of stamina, both physically and mentally.

Nick Cook, CEO of BMS Group said: “We decided to work with The Brain Tumour Charity as for many of us at BMS, it is a subject that is close to our hearts. With 30 people in the UK diagnosed with a brain tumour every day, the statistics are truly astonishing. We are delighted to support such an important cause and look forward to helping increase the profile of this great charity and raise as much money as possible”.

Geraldine Pipping, Director of Fundraiser at The Brain Tumour Charity said: “Despite brain tumours being the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, survival rates have improved very little over the last 40 years.

We receive no government funding, so we rely 100 per cent on fundraising, donations and gifts in wills. It’s only through the efforts of people and companies like BMS, that we can change those shocking statistics and bring hope to the 10,600 people who are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year”.

Support us
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About The Brain Tumour Charity
The Brain Tumour Charity is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain tumours, making a difference every day to the lives of people with a brain tumour and their families. It funds pioneering research to increase survival, raise awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours and provide support for everyone affected to improve quality of life. Click here to find out more.

BMS Hires Andrew Godden as CEO of Australia

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the appointment of Andrew Godden as CEO of Australia. He will report directly to Nick Cook, CEO of BMS and be based in Sydney.

Andrew has established an outstanding reputation during his 30+ years in the insurance industry, based on his strong entrepreneurial approach to building insurance businesses. Most notably in 2003 he co-founded Specialist Broking Associates. Since its 2010 purchase by Arthur J. Gallagher, Mr Godden has been CEO of Australia for the combined business.

Andrew’s appointment will further enhance the significant reach BMS has been developing in Australia and across the Asia Pacific region, which is based on its commitment to offering its clients an individually focused level of service.

Nick Cook, CEO of BMS, commented: “BMS has been building its reputation in Australia and the wider Asia Pacific and I’m delighted that the entrepreneurial culture we have created has allowed us to attract an individual of Andrew Godden’s calibre. Andrew shares our belief in an employee-owned business with an absolute focus on high quality customer service, which will be invaluable as we expand our reach right across the region.”
Andrew’s appointment will take effect upon the expiration of his contractual obligations to Arthur J. Gallagher.

BMS Group Limited appoints John Hoare as Managing Director, BMS Harris & Dixon Marine

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the appointment of John Hoare as Managing Director of BMS Harris & Dixon Marine, BMS’s specialty marine division with immediate effect. John succeeds current Managing Director Tony Pryce, who will remain Chairman of the business. John and Tony will work closely together on developing the expanding portfolio of BMS Harris & Dixon Marine.

John brings 32 years of experience in the marine insurance industry. He most recently served as International Marine Director at H. W. Wood Limited, having joined H. W. Wood from Heath Lambert. He began his career in the insurance industry at Sedgwick in 1985.

Tony said: “John’s appointment comes at a vital moment for BMS Harris & Dixon Marine. We have been steadily growing our book of business, and John will play a crucial role in the continued build-out of our capabilities. It has been a privilege to lead the BMS Harris & Dixon Marine division for almost thirty years, and it is now time for an orderly and managed transition to a new generation of leadership. John embodies the values of client service we hold so dear at BMS, and I therefore look forward to working with him to ensure the continued success of the business.”
John said: “BMS Harris & Dixon Marine has an unparalleled reputation in the marine market and has gone from strength to strength in recent years since its integration into the BMS Group. With ambitious plans and an expanding portfolio, BMS Harris & Dixon Marine will be an absolute pleasure to lead. I am delighted to be joining BMS Harris & Dixon Marine and working with as experienced a figure as Tony.”