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BMS Expands Bermuda Operation

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the build out of its Bermuda market operation with the hiring of George Bowring from Price Forbes and Kian Wookey from JLT.

The build out in Bermuda will focus on North American liability and property respectively.

Bowring joins BMS from Price Forbes, where he originally started seven years ago in the US Non Marine team. For the past three years, he has worked as a casualty producer and placing broker for the Bermudian market specialising in complex large risks.

Wookey has seventeen years’ experience in the US property and energy markets, working with a large network of US retail brokers. He most recently served as the head of property at JLT Bermuda, having moved to Bermuda from Lloyd and Partners in 2011.

Ian Gormley, director of BMS Group, said:

“BMS has a long history with the Bermuda market; we first opened on the island back in 2002. This latest build out enhances our ability to offer choice and local market knowledge on the island rather than remotely.

George Bowring’s experience and relationships will bring an extra dimension to the BMS Energy platform given Bermuda is a critical market for this sector.

With London market capacity tightening in the property space, Kian’s track record of success in the Bermudian market will be a timely addition to our placement capabilities, benefiting existing clients and creating new opportunity.”

BMS makes senior energy hire

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the hire of Duncan Hayward as a Director in its Energy division. Hayward, who joins in 2019, will lead the casualty initiative within the Energy division.

Hayward joins with 14 years’ experience in the insurance market, most recently serving as a Divisional Director at Price Forbes. Prior to that, he served as an associate at JLT, having begun his insurance career as an Oil and Gas Broker at Agnew Higgins Pickering.

Ian Gormley, Director, BMS Group, said:

“Our London Wholesale platform has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with market-beating growth. We place exceptional value in our people and work hard to attract the very best talent in the market. Our client-centric and flexible model of broking, combined with our employee-ownership structure, lies at the heart of our success. We are very pleased that it continues to draw the best and brightest individuals from across the market and I would therefore like to welcome Duncan to our team.”

BMS expands in Australia with Senior Hires

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces that two senior leaders, Stuart Davies and Samantha Ford, have joined BMS Australia, effective immediately and reporting to BMS Australia CEO Andrew Godden.

Davies joins as a director with 25 years of industry experience in the UK and Australia, having most recently served as state manager for New South Wales at Gallagher. He has previously held senior roles at Aon and JLT, having begun his career as a sales executive at Hill House Hammond. At BMS, he will specialise in all aspects of corporate risks, including D&O and PI, as well as advising on placements across key emerging risk areas such as cyber, litigation risk (adverse costs), warranty and indemnity insurance and reputational risk.

Ford joins as a corporate broker with 15 years’ industry experience at Lloyd’s and in the Australian market. She began her career as an office administrator at Lloyd’s underwriting agency Booker International, before moving to Newline Group as syndicate administrator. She then moved to Marsh’s Australian division as an assistant account executive in 2006, before finally serving in a variety of senior roles at Gallagher’s Australian unit since 2008.

Andrew Godden said:

“At BMS we are always looking for the best and the brightest to join our team. We are a different kind of broker, client-centric, flexible and innovative. Our employee-ownership model means that our brokers are engaged and singularly focused on delivering market-beating client outcomes. Stuart and Samantha are fantastic additions to the team and will form part of our continuing strategic build-out in the region. I am therefore very pleased to welcome them to BMS Australia.”

BMS Group appoints Simon Kemp as group chief legal counsel

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces that Simon Kemp has been appointed group chief legal counsel, effective 1st November. Simon will be based in London and reports to Nick Cook, BMS Group CEO. He joins from Clyde & Co, where he is a partner, once he has joined BMS he will continue part-time at Clyde & Co as a Consultant.

Simon has practiced in the London market since 1984. His specialisms include coverage disputes with an international element, regulatory issues for businesses and individuals and employment law. He is also currently the joint editor of Thomson Reuters’ “Law of Insurance Broking”.

BMS Group CEO Nick Cook said:

“As BMS continues on a path of strategic growth and attracts talent in both established and emerging markets, the expertise and experience of individuals such as Simon becomes invaluable. We have ambitious plans, both internationally and in the London market, and, with Simon in place, we are confident in the knowledge that we have one of the leading legal lights in the sector. I would like to warmly welcome Simon to BMS and look forward to working with him.”

Simon Kemp said:

“BMS Group is a dynamic, growing and entrepreneurial business, one of the outstanding brokers in the market. There is huge ambition and appetite for growth, and I am very much looking forward to working with Nick and the team to take these plans forward.”

BMS Group’s Australian wholesale operation rebrands as Lions Gate Placement Services

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces that its Australian wholesale broking operation has rebranded to Lions Gate Placement Services (“Lions Gate”), to mirror BMS Group’s wholesale underwriting agency Lions Gate Underwriting.

Lions Gate is led by Brett Field and will maintain its distinct character as a wholesale broking operation, operationally and structurally separate from the niche specialist broker BMS Australia, led by Andrew Godden. Lions Gate’s core business will continue to be Lloyd’s-supported liability and property placements, particularly in the construction, sport and hospitality areas as well as hard to place business.

Brett Field, managing director, Lions Gate, said:

“We are very pleased to announce the rebrand to Lions Gate, which will retain focus on our independent retail broking and underwriting agency partners. Our wholesale operation in Australia has earned a terrific reputation, combining local service, product innovation and expertise with direct access to Lloyd’s and the London market. We have ambitious growth plans in the sector and look forward to growing our partnerships in the region.”

BMS continues Australia expansion with senior broking hire

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces that Danny Gluszkiewicz is joining the growing BMS Australia team as a Director of the Australian operations, effective August 2018. Based in Brisbane, he will form an integral part of BMS Australia’s national team and report to Andrew Godden, BMS Australia CEO.

Gluszkiewicz joins with nineteen years’ experience in the insurance industry, having begun his career as an account executive at QBE in 1999. He subsequently held a succession of senior roles at InterRISK Australia, building a vast array of expertise in client solutions and advocacy, before becoming managing director of InterRISK Queensland in 2009.

BMS Australia CEO Andrew Godden said:

“Danny is an exceptional insurance professional with a longstanding track record of leadership and building businesses in the Australian market. There is huge demand in Australia for BMS’s signature offering as an independent, flexible and client-centric broker, and Danny will play a key role in our ongoing expansion. Our Brisbane office is growing and always on the lookout for new talent to drive growth. I am therefore very pleased to welcome him to BMS Australia and look forward to working with him to build out our entrepreneurial team.”

For further information on joining BMS’s Brisbane team please contact Andrew Godden at or 0432 805 729.

BMS announces a tied representative agreement with Turkish insurance and reinsurance broker Rönesans

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces it has entered into a tied representative agreement with Turkish specialist (re)insurance broker Rönesans Reasürans ve Sigorta Brokerlik A.Ş. (“Rönesans”).

As part of the agreement, Rönesans and BMS will develop a joint marketing plan for Turkey and offer jointly-branded products to clients in Turkey. As a result of the agreement, Rönesans will facilitate BMS’s access to Turkey and neighbouring countries, while BMS will provide mutual clients with know-how and expertise developed during their 30 years as a wholesale reinsurance and insurance broker. BMS will also offer Rönesans clients access to Lloyd’s and the London market. The agreement will form a model for similar arrangements between BMS Group and select brokers in target geographies.

Selva Eren, majority partner and managing director of Rönesans Reasürans ve Sigorta Brokerlik A.Ş, said:

“Over the past two years, Rönesans and BMS have worked closely together.  We realised there was an exciting opportunity to cement our ties to the benefit of BMS, Rönesans and our insureds.  Our clients deserve the very best in service and the most comprehensive product offering available. Through this partnership with BMS, we can improve our service and provide just that.”

David Battman, head of international at BMS Group, said:

“As part of our longstanding international strategy, BMS has been looking to expand into key financial centres in a range of markets across the globe, either directly or through close partnerships and joint ventures.  From these hubs, we can better access business in neighbouring countries.  We identified Turkey as a target for our ongoing expansion and have been working with Rönesans to provide our signature independent, high-quality service.

This agreement further strengthens our relationship with Rönesans and directly provides clients with the excellent service quality and knowledge offered by both our teams, particularly in the energy and construction sectors.”

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:

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:
  • 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:
  • A Video News Release (VNR) is also available and the rushes can be downloaded upon request