BMS Tops 2013 List of Best Places to Work in Reinsurance

BMS, the specialist independent broking and underwriting group, has been selected as one of the 2013 Best Places to Work in Insurance, ranking 8th in the top 10 small companies category (25-249 U.S. employees), and winning the Reinsurance Broker category in the 5th annual survey organised by US publication Business Insurance Magazine and Best Companies Group.

This marks the second year in a row BMS has received the designation. The award was collected at the October 15 award recognition luncheon in Chicago by a delegation of BMS employees who were instrumental in encouraging employee engagement.

Dane Douetil, BMS Group CEO, said:

We are extremely proud of this accomplishment; it demonstrates the commitment our staff has to the company and reflects the genuine passion everyone at BMS has for delivering outstanding client service in a creative and entrepreneurial way. In the reinsurance brokerage world, standing out is no easy task, and this award highlights that BMS has something special to offer.”

James Hartley, BMS Group HR Director, said:

This award recognises that creating the right environment, hiring talented people and placing personal development and empowerment at the heart of your culture does work. By finding innovative ways to communicate to staff, BMS have more engaged responsive employees who can offer a better overall customer experience.”

BMS has more than 30 years of growth and a balanced portfolio of business. It has made significant investments in expanding its US platform, with offices in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Santa Monica and Minneapolis. Alongside exceptional brokers, BMS has augmented its client offering by appointing industry-respected actuaries, catastrophe modelers, claims and contracts experts. BMS also operates an underwriting business, Pioneer Underwriting, which offers a variety of risk-bearing platforms that give clients a wide range of underwriting vehicles.

 

 

 

Kurt Johnson Joins BMS Intermediaries as Executive Vice President

BMS Intermediaries has hired Kurt Johnson as Executive Vice President. Johnson will be responsible for providing actuarial support and related services for BMS’ client base. Johnson brings more than 25 years of industry expertise, primarily in the area of reinsurance, to BMS. He has extensive experience in ratemaking, loss reserves, commutations, capital modeling and management reports.

Johnson joins BMS on the heels of a two-year stint at Christopher Gross Consulting, where he provided clients with a broad scope of actuarial consulting services. Prior to that, he spent 11 years at Guy Carpenter, as Managing Director and Regional Manager of the Minneapolis office. He was responsible for all analytical functions for the mid-American region, including actuarial, cat modeling, financial modeling and capital modeling. He was a member of Guy Carpenter’s Actuarial Best Practice committee, which was responsible for setting worldwide actuarial standards.

Before joining Guy Carpenter, Johnson served as a Senior Vice President at E.W. Blanch, where he provided analysis for reinsurance pricing, reinsurance structure analysis, and commutations. He spent the first 10 years of his career at General Reinsurance, attaining the title of Second Vice President. In this role he was responsible for a variety of functions, including loss reserving, IBNR reporting, financial reporting, commutations and reinsurance pricing.

Kurt brings tremendous experience and a well-deserved reputation for his expertise within both the reinsurance and the actuarial communities to BMS. With his background, we expect him to be able to hit the ground running in support of our existing clients and production efforts,”

said David Spiegler, Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary at BMS.

Johnson has a B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from St. Olaf College, and has completed the coursework for a Master’s in Statistics from the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA).

BMS appoints Dane Douetil as new Group Chief Executive Officer

BMS Associates, the specialist independent broking and underwriting group, has appointed Dane Douetil as its new Group Chief Executive Officer.

BMS Associates is the parent company of BMS Group Limited, its UK broking entity; of BMS Intermediaries Inc., its US broking arm; and of Pioneer Underwriting Limited, its underwriting platform.

Mr Douetil, who is expected to commence his role in early September, will lead the company in the second phase of its development strategy, which has seen BMS revenues grow by 27% since 2010 as it has taken advantage of global opportunities and established its fast-growing Pioneer Underwriting platform.

Mr Douetil, previously Chief Executive Officer of Brit Insurance Holdings NV, has more than 30 years of industry experience, covering broking and underwriting in insurance and reinsurance as well as in retail and wholesale environments. Prior to restructuring Benfield Re, which became Brit Insurance, Mr Douetil was a founding shareholder and director of specialist insurance broker Special Risk Services Limited, a business which was successfully transformed from a start-up to a highly profitable enterprise and sold to Minets (now AON).

Mr Douetil, who began his career at Willis, has deep roots in Lloyd’s and the London markets, having previously been Chairman of the Lloyd’s Market Association and of the London Market Reform Group. In 2007, Mr Douetil was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of the reform work undertaken in the UK insurance market.

Christopher Hopton, Chairman of BMS Associates, said:

We are delighted to welcome Dane into his leadership role with us. He will build on the strong foundations already in place at BMS, leading the growth of our broking platform and the further development of Pioneer Underwriting. Dane’s experience as a leader in both broking and underwriting will be great assets for BMS. With his entrepreneurial track record of building successful businesses and his reputation, particularly in Lloyd’s and internationally, Dane’s appointment shows that we are determined to carry through our growth plans to success, and continue to deliver outstanding service to our clients.”

Mr Douetil said:

Leading a company of the calibre and scope of BMS is a very exciting prospect. BMS is an intriguing and compelling proposition with significant growth potential. It will be refreshing to return to my roots as a broker and combine this with my underwriting experience in a leadership role here at BMS. This is a rare opportunity in the market and one that is a great marriage of my experience and BMS’s strategy of developing both its broking and underwriting platforms.”

Mr Hopton added:

BMS is building an exciting market proposition and Dane’s track record of innovation in transforming businesses will be of enormous value.”

BMS also announced that Nick Cook has been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer of BMS Group Limited, its regulated UK broking entity, having successfully fulfilled the role on an interim basis since April this year. Mr Cook has been with BMS since 2010, and was previously Chief Executive Officer of Glencairn Group Limited. He is an executive director on the board of BMS Group Limited and BMS Associates Limited.

Commenting on the appointment of Nick Cook, Christopher Hopton said:

Nick has built-out the wholesale platform at BMS, posting encouraging growth and winning new business. He has increasingly taken on additional responsibilities, including our UK reinsurance strategy. With his experience in building successful businesses and his strong network in the markets, he is very well positioned to lead our UK broking activities.”

Mr Cook said:

I am proud to lead our broking business in the second phase of our strategic plan. I look forward to working closely with Dane in continuing to build our business and drive our international development. These are very exciting times for BMS and our clients.”

Nick Cook and Darren Doherty, Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer Underwriting, along with other members of the company’s Executive Committee, will report to Mr Douetil. The search for a CEO of BMS Intermediaries, its US broking arm, continues, and the successful candidate will also report to Mr Douetil.

Mr Douetil’s and Mr Cook’s appointments are subject to approval by the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.

BMS Receives Special Achievement Award for Exceptional Application of Geospatial Technology

BMS Group received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) award at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California held July 10, 2013. This award acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work and innovative use of Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology.

BMS uses the Esri ArcGIS platform to provide a robust base and flexible architecture to support the customized solutions in its proprietary iVision™ product – a premier catastrophe risk assessment application that’s revolutionizing how insurance carriers understand and underwrite their risk, as well as how they respond to catastrophic events. BMS partnered with GeoDecisions, a global leader in the information technology industry specializing in geospatial solutions, in developing the solution.

About iVision:

The goal of iVision is to provide an easy to use catastrophe risk management system that clients can access online. iVision analytical features include weather analytics for claims response, BMS’ proprietary ScenarioView™ for stress test analysis, and RiskReveal™ location modeling for underwriting. These features allow carriers to reduce claims handling expense, manage large loss exposures and understand a policy’s portfolio loss correlation before it is bound.

Most spatial analytical products are built to be used by expert data analysts who understand how to navigate complex data systems. For insurance carriers, often it is the divisional or executive management teams who benefit most from these emerging tools, yet find them to be too cumbersome and complex to use. Often they aren’t able to dedicate the staff and resources needed to learn and understand the systems, and because the portfolio management features aren’t interlinked, users have an incomplete view of risk. “Competitive products are under-utilized because they can be difficult to navigate,” says Debra Grubb, Senior Vice President, Catastrophe Analytics at BMS. “Plus, iVision is a highly customizable solution, offering more useful information specific to our individual clients’ needs along with improved ease of use.”

“BMS’ iVision is part of a suite of analytical tools and services BMS offers clients,” says Julie Serakos, Executive Vice President at BMS and head of Catastrophe Analytics. “It is built on the latest technologies – including Esri ArcGIS – and is the kind of product insurance companies need today, to increase efficiency and effectiveness in managing their catastrophic risk.”

About the Esri UC

The Esri UC honors organizations from around the world that span industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications and utilities.

“The SAG Awards identify the organizations and people who are using the power of geography to improve our world and drive change,” says Esri President Jack Dangermond. “At Esri, we are always deeply inspired by the passion and innovation of our users. They deserve recognition for both solving their communities’ greatest challenges and for their invaluable contributions to the continued evolution of geographic science.”

For more information about the 2013 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, visit esri.com/sag

For more information regarding BMS iVision click here

 

BMS Group Appoints U.S. Chief Operations Officer

BMS Group, independent specialist broker, announced today it has promoted Kristine (Kris) Westall, formerly EVP of BMS Reinsurance Operations, to a newly created role as Chief Operations Officer.

In this position, Kris will oversee all U.S. operations and is specifically responsible for the development and implementation of the BMS strategy in North America, reporting to interim US CEO Roger Cooper. She will focus on providing creative solutions that enhance client service, and procedures that improve consistency and efficiency. She will continue to manage client service operations – including reinsurance accounting, claims, contracts, broker operations and office services.

Kris joined BMS in January 2011 as Senior Vice President, Reinsurance Operations Officer in charge of the firm’s U.S. platform. Previously, Kris spent more than 20 years in the Minneapolis office of Benfield, where she served as SVP, Reinsurance Accounting and Claims. Earlier in her career, as SVP of Brokerage Operations for John B. Collins Associates, Kris managed accounting, claims, IT, contracts, compliance and office services.

Christopher Hopton, Chairman BMS Group, commented,

This promotion reflects how tirelessly Kris has worked to develop the BMS operations platform, successfully building it out into one of the finest in the business. It also demonstrates how committed we are at BMS to our growth strategy in the U.S. reinsurance market. We will continue, with Kris’ excellent support, to invest in the best servicing and client operation in the business.”

 

Westall said:

Since 2011 my focus has been to enhance the reinsurance servicing platform for BMS clients, I am proud to say we have been very successful at creating unique global teams of brokering, analytics, contracts and claims experts. This ‘single-team’ approach makes us operationally efficient and extremely adaptable to the needs of each client. I am excited to be a part of BMS’ continuing growth.”

 

BMS opens Ottawa office

BMS Group announced today that is continuing its expansion with the opening of its second Canadian office. The office, which will be located in Ottawa, will be the headquarters of its newly formed Healthcare Professionals Insurance Alliance and Group Program portfolio business. The Canadian operation will be lead by industry expert Brian Gomes.

Gomes, formerly a Vice President within Aon Canada’s affinity practice and more recently the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Chief Operating Officer, is an expert in the area of health care professional liability and group risk structures, frequently consulted by stakeholders across the country to discuss and present on the topic.

The Speciality group, headquartered in Ottawa, will provide unparalleled risk management and brokerage services offering a range of products and resources to clients. It will focus on specialized segment expertise providing group and commercial risk solutions to organizations, professionals, groups and associations.

Brian commented:

I am thrilled to join BMS and lead this unique operation in Canada. With executive risk, health care and other regulated professionals requiring expanding liability and practice risk needs, we see a tremendous opportunity to partner with many of Canada’s leading associations in designing programs for members, by members. Our suite of services will focus on delivering insurance and risk management resources, along with tailored structures and products designed to be most advantageous for our clients. We continue to assemble a tremendous team of specialists in this segment and are excited to share how our model and commitment to this sector will be unlike any other in the industry.”

Paul Daly, Managing Director BMS Specialty Risk, commented:

Brian brings tremendous experience to BMS. Over the past few years, Brian has worked with many of Canada’s largest member association insurance programs, making him the perfect candidate to lead this new alliance. He has over a decade of understanding of the industry and first-hand experience designing and managing successful retention and insurance program models. We are delighted to have him on board.”

 

Please click here to visit the HPIA page and learn more about our unique proposition.

 


BMS Group Announces New Retrocessional Hire

BMS Group announced today it has appointed a new retrocessional expert to build out its existing BMS Re team, as part of its on-going growth strategy.

Glyn Hall, a former partner at Millers Insurance Services, will join BMS as Divisional Director of the BMS Re unit as soon as he is free of any contractual obligations. He will be based in the BMS London headquarters office.

Jonathan Morris, Managing Director, BMS Re, commented:

Glyn brings with him an impressive skill set and long-standing involvement in the retrocession market. We are delighted to welcome him to BMS and with his input we see the business going from strength to strength. His appointment reflects BMS’ continued commitment to investing in the best talent and willingness to capitalize on development opportunities in the market.”

BMS launches new Lloyd’s Market Global Miscellaneous Professional Liability Lineslip

BMS Group, the independent global broker, today announces it is launching a Lloyd’s Market Global Miscellaneous Professional Liability Lineslip, the largest the London Market has seen to date. The lineslip will assist Lloyd’s brokers marketing initiatives in providing a framework to access London-based and subscription market-focused insurer capacity. The security behind the facility is 100% Lloyd’s capacity.

The lineslip targets mid and large-sized professional firms with a predominantly US-based exposure profile and offers brokers fixed pre-determined markets for specific classes of business. It offers limits up to the following:

• USA: Up to US$25mn any one claim including costs and expenses / up to US$50mn in the aggregate including costs and expenses

• UK: Up to £15mn any one claim including costs and expenses / up to £30mn in the aggregate including costs and expenses

• Rest of the World: Up to £15mn any one claim and including costs and expenses (or currency equivalent) / up to £30mn in the aggregate including costs and expenses (or currency equivalent)

The jurisdiction is worldwide and can accept up to 100% exposure in the United States.

Alasdair Ritchie, Managing Director at BMS, commented:

BMS Wholesale is dedicated to providing the best access to the Lloyd’s market for our partners globally. This new lineslip is another tool to make that access easier reiterating our position as broker of choice for our clients.”

BMS Opens Sydney Office

BMS Group, the leading independent global broker, today announced the opening of its Sydney office. This marks another significant strategic goal for the group, with its first office in the Asia-Pacific region.

The office will be led by respected Australia-based facultative broker, Glenn Kerr. Kerr, formerly of Aon Benfield, joins the BMS Wholesale team led by Chief Executive Nick Cook. He is tasked with leading the continued growth of BMS’ wholesale and facultative business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chief Executive Nick Cook said:

The opening of our Sydney office demonstrates BMS’ commitment to expanding the global wholesale division and further enhances our product offering to our clients. Strategically Asia Pacific is fundamental to our growth plan and under Glenn’s leadership we look forward to building our platform in the region.”

BMS – 2012 Best Places to Work in Insurance

BMS has been selected as one of the 2012 Best Places to Work in Insurance and Winner in the Reinsurance Broker category, in the 4th annual survey organized by US publication Business Insurance Magazine and Best Companies Group. The survey was open to all US team members.

BMS CEO, Carl Beardmore said:

I am incredibly proud of this achievement. This marks another strategic goal for BMS as we continue towards our stated vision of being the broker of choice and best place to work.

We will continue to grow BMS by optimising our people and attracting the best that the insurance market can offer – fostering an environment where people can thrive and develop their careers in a flexible, innovative environment. We view this award as a first step towards being seen as the place to work in the industry and look forward to the group winning many more in the future.”

BMS has made significant investments over the last 18 months in expanding its US platform with new offices in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Santa Monica and Minneapolis. It has increased its headcount in the US considerably, with more than 70 new team members joining in the last 18 months. Alongside best-in-class brokers, BMS’ focus has been on attracting industry-respected actuaries, catastrophe modelers, claims and contracts experts, to augment its client offering.

As an employee-owned company, BMS has the freedom to shape its proposition around its people and clients. The ethos is one where the staff manage the culture and environment, built around team member engagement and staff communities that feed into and work closely with the leadership team. Free from administrative disadvantages and red tape when implementing innovation or change, the operational infrastructure and expertise is in place to invest in progressive ideas and really maximize potential.