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BMS continues US reinsurance expansion with the appointment of Jani Kohonen as senior vice president

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the appointment of Jani Kohonen as senior vice president and Atlanta branch manager, effective on 29 January 2020. He will be based in Atlanta and reports to Pete Chandler, president & CEO of BMS Re US.

Kohonen has over 15 years’ experience in the insurance and risk market. Before joining BMS, he was vice president at StarStone Insurance in Atlanta, overseeing its ILS initiatives and underwriting strategy in the US E&S property space. Kohonen also worked at Aspen Insurance Group in New York between 2007 and 2017, where he held a number of senior roles, with a particular focus on catastrophe risk management. Kohonen began his career at Arch Insurance Group in 2005.

Chandler said: “We have seen an increase in demand for the type of tailored insurance solutions and personalised advice that BMS is renowned for among our client base and beyond. We are therefore committed to expanding our team and further increasing our presence in the US throughout 2020.

With market leaders like Jani joining BMS, we look forward to building out our product offering and strengthening our US reinsurance operations. Jani’s specialised knowledge in catastrophe risk and market relationships will be an invaluable asset to the team and we would therefore like to welcome him warmly to BMS.”

BMS reorganises US reinsurance management team as expansion continues

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced a series of management changes within its US reinsurance team as the intermediary continues its significant US expansion. This follows the completion in October of a large-scale investment into BMS by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and Preservation Capital Partners (“PCP”).

The following appointments have been made:

  • Pete Chandler has been appointed as CEO of BMS Re US, effective on December 9 and reporting to BMS Group CEO Nick Cook. He will oversee the overall operations of BMS Re US and focus on its strategic development. Chandler joined the team as President in May this year and is based in San Francisco.
  • Steve Korducki, currently CEO of BMS Re US, will transition to the role of CFO, based in Minneapolis. Korducki’s experience has been invaluable to BMS over the past year and, as a former CEO of P&C insurance companies, he will have a crucial role in managing the enlarged BMS reinsurance platform.
  • Andrew Bustillo, currently executive managing director of origination for BMS Re US, is also taking on the role of vice chairman, having previously held the CEO position. He will continue to drive production efforts and will be based in New York.

Nick Cook, CEO of BMS Group, said: “BMS Re US is primed for growth. With the backing of BCI and PCP, we are ready to fulfil our role as the independent reinsurance alternative to the big three. We have already made a number of significant appointments in the US and London, with many more hires of the industry’s top-tier talent planned.”

Chandler added: “BMS Re US has the best talent in the business, financial backing that is the envy of the industry and a client-centric, independent ethos that has consistently demonstrated it adds value to our clients, as they define it. With Steve and the executive team, I am very excited to take on the reins as we build out this business and create the best and largest independent reinsurance broker in the US.”

BMS launches Private Equity, M&A and Tax Insurance division with senior appointment

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the launch of a Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Tax Insurance division, which will begin operating in the new year. Tan Pawar has been appointed Managing Director of the new team and will report to Ian Gormley, Managing Director of BMS Global Risks. Pawar will join BMS upon completion of contractual obligations.

Pawar’s appointment is the latest in a series of senior hires as BMS continues its expansion drive following the completion of substantial investment by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and Preservation Capital Partners (“PCP”).

Pawar most recently served as Senior Vice President at Paragon International Insurance Brokers Ltd, where he co-formed the M&A Insurance division in 2014. Prior to that, he was Divisional Director, International M&A & Transaction Services at Willis since 2011. A qualified corporate and M&A solicitor, Pawar has extensive experience in the space and will be tasked with developing BMS’s presence in the M&A insurance sector.

Gormley said: “BMS is growing at pace: we have the capital backing, global platform and broking talent to be the world’s leading independent insurance and reinsurance broker. We have identified a significant gap in the market to provide tailored products for corporate M&A transactions and will be expanding significantly in this space.”

Pawar added: “I am delighted to be joining BMS, a leading independent global broker backed by long term capital, at this exciting time in the Company’s development. There is significant need in the M&A insurance space for more bespoke and innovative solutions and BMS has the scale and firepower to deliver this to the M&A and Private Equity community.”

BMS appoints Jeff Irvan as chief property officer, US reinsurance

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the appointment of Jeff Irvan as chief property officer, US reinsurance, reporting to BMS US reinsurance president Pete Chandler. The appointment is effective immediately.

Irvan is the latest in a series of senior hires in BMS’s US reinsurance division, which include US reinsurance president Pete Chandler and chief strategy officer Gregg Holtmeier, as the company continues its expansion drive.

Irvan joins BMS with more than twenty years’ experience in property reinsurance broking, having first started his career in 1997 at Sedgwick Re. In 1998, he moved to Willis Re, where he has held a number of leadership roles over the course of the past twenty years and has focussed on property E&S. Most recently, he led Willis Re’s Atlanta office.

Korducki said: “With the recent completion of a significant long-term investment in BMS by BCI and PCP, we are well placed to take advantage of the current market to significantly expand our reinsurance practice. Combined with our market-leading analytics capabilities, the growing talent within our team means we our poised to become the leading independent reinsurance broker in North America. I would therefore like to welcome Jeff to BMS.”

Irvan added: “BMS’s culture of client service and analytical excellence distinguishes it from the rest of the market and I am excited to be part of the next phase of the company’s expansion.”

BMS announces completion of BCI and PCP investment

BMS Group, (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the completion of the significant equity investment by affiliates of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and Preservation Capital Partners (“PCP”) first announced in June. All required regulatory approvals have been secured.

Management and staff of BMS maintain a significant shareholding in the company and CEO Nick Cook and the executive management team remain unchanged. Representatives from BCI and PCP have now joined the BMS board.

BMS has continued to expand its capabilities, with over 140  significant broking, analytical and actuarial hires in the past 18 months including: Nick Moss (Global FD, JLT Re); Pete Chandler (Deputy CEO US reinsurance, JLT Re); James Chicken (director, Price Forbes & Partners); Gregg Holtmeier (managing director North American casualty, Guy Carpenter); Neil Prior (Chief Executive, Priority Underwriting); and Clare Whitlam (senior vice president, actuary, JLT Re). This expansion is set to gather pace following completion.

Nick Cook commented: “With BMS’s long-term future as an independent broker secured, BMS is poised for strong profitable growth. With the capital strength of BCI and PCP behind us, we are expanding in the North American reinsurance market and other high growth specialty and emerging risk lines that consistently generate strong performance. BMS has become the alternative broker of choice, with a full suite of analytical and actuarial capabilities to rival and, in some areas, exceed those of the world’s biggest broking firms, making it an attractive home for the industry’s leading talent.

“This major investment is a ringing endorsement of the London market and its continued leading role in the world’s insurance markets. I am convinced that our strategic partnership with BCI and PCP will be the gold standard for long-term investment in global wholesale and reinsurance broking for years to come.”

BMS were advised by Canaccord Genuity.

About BMS

BMS Group is a leading independent specialist insurance broker with teams of experts in the fields of reinsurance, wholesale and direct insurance. For 38 years, BMS has provided comprehensive, customised solutions in the fields of wholesale, reinsurance and direct insurance, and capital advisory. Today, this experience and expertise, served with a spirit of creativity, allows BMS to offer a full range of integrated services. Designing individual, tailored solutions makes BMS the risk and capital management advisor clients want to work with time and again.

For more information about BMS please visit

About BCI

With C$153.4 billion of managed assets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) is a leading provider of investment management services to British Columbia’s public sector and one of Canada’s largest asset managers. We generate the investment returns that help our institutional clients build a financially secure future. With our global outlook, we seek investment opportunities that convert savings into productive capital that will meet our clients’ risk/return requirements over time. We invest across a range of asset classes: fixed income; mortgages; public and private equity; real estate; infrastructure; and renewable resources.

For more information about BCI, please visit

About PCP

Preservation Capital Partners (PCP) is a private equity firm specialising in the financial services sector. It focuses on partnering with market-leading companies with proven and resilient business models that have demonstrated strong growth. PCP has been one of the most active investors in the specialty insurance distribution market over the last few years having made investments in Ascent Underwriting, Cove Program and Bay Risk Services.

For more information about PCP, please visit

BMS reorganises US analytics and actuarial management team as investment continues

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced a series of management changes within its US reinsurance actuarial and analytics team.

  • Kirk Conrad has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Analytics Officer at BMS and will oversee BMS’s US reinsurance catastrophe analytics and actuarial divisions. He joined the Group as Chief Strategy Officer in 2016 through BMS’s acquisition of Advocate Re.
  • Dave Spiegler, Chief Actuary, is retiring after a long and distinguished career at the end of the year. He will remain with BMS in a consultative role after his retirement.
  • BMS’s actuarial team will now report to Kurt Johnson, Executive Vice President. Johnson is currently based in the Group’s Minneapolis office.

Steve Korducki, BMS US CEO, said: “At BMS, analytical and actuarial capabilities are core to our strategy. We invest in the tools, talent and technology necessary to provide bespoke analysis and solutions that provide real value to clients, as our Catastrophe Analytics division did during the recent cat events. I am looking forward to continuing building out BMS’s analytics platform with Kirk, Kurt and Julie Serakos, who leads our Catastrophe Analytics team.”

“I would also like to thank Dave Spiegler for his dedicated service. Our actuarial team has grown to what it is today under his leadership and I am pleased he will be working with us in a consulting capacity for some time to come.”

BMS appoints Neil Prior as Director in the Global Risks division

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the appointment of Neil Prior as Director in BMS’s Global Risks division, reporting to Ian Gormley, Managing Director at BMS. The appointment is effective on September 16.

Prior will support the Global Risks division by developing market relationships and exploring new distribution channels.

Prior joins BMS with over 33 years’ broking, underwriting and MGA experience in the London insurance market. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive at Priority Underwriting, which he co-founded. Prior has also held senior roles at Sciemus Power, Ace Global Markets (now Chubb), JLT Group and Marsh Global Broking.

Gormley said: “Neil is a recognised leader in both underwriting and broking, with a deep understanding of the needs of clients and markets alike. I am excited that BMS continues to attract talent like Neil and welcome him to BMS.

Prior added: “BMS’s Global Risks division is a fast-growing team within the Group and the industry. Its employee-owned structure and notable track record of consistently bringing new risks to the market has attracted great broking talent. I look forward to joining the team and helping grow the business.”

BMS appoints Gregg Holtmeier as chief strategy officer

BMS Group (“BMS”), the independent specialist (re)insurance broker, today announced the appointment of Gregg Holtmeier as chief strategy officer of BMS’s US reinsurance operations, reporting to Steve Korducki, US reinsurance CEO. The appointment is effective immediately. Holtmeier will join the BMS US Management Committee and will be based in San Francisco.

The appointment is the latest in a series of high-profile hires at BMS and follows the announcement of a substantial investment in the business by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and Preservation Capital Partners (“PCP”) in June.

With over 20 years’ experience in the reinsurance markets, Holtmeier joins from Guy Carpenter, where he was most recently managing director for North American casualty. He served as head of casualty for North America at JLT Re prior to the acquisition of JLT by Marsh & McLennan Companies. In the course of his distinguished career, he has held a number of senior roles, including SVP at Aon Benfield.

Korducki said: “BMS’s resolute independence and relentlessly client-centric approach has driven its success over the past years. With the long-term investment from BCI and PCP, we are well-placed to continue as the leading independent broker with global reach in the market and to attract the very finest talent.

”Entrepreneurial, experienced individuals like Gregg will contribute to our strategic expansion in North America and I am excited to welcome him to BMS.”

Holtmeier said: “BMS is uniquely positioned to differentiate itself through its culture and robust analytic platforms. I am very pleased to be joining BMS as they are clearly positioned as the independent reinsurance broker of choice.”

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.”