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BMS Canada Risk Services launches Lions Gate Underwriting and appoints Shaun Johnston as Managing Director

Vancouver, Canada – BMS Canada Risk Services (“BMS Canada”) the Canadian arm of the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker BMS Group Ltd., today announces the launch of a specialist MGA Lions Gate Underwriting.

Lions Gate will commence underwriting immediately specializing in the following lines:

• Travel Medical Insurance
• Accident & Sickness
• War Risk & Terrorism Insurance
• Construction including annual and project specific coverages
• Professional Liability
• Cyber/Privacy
• Personal Lines
• Commercial General Liability & Umbrella Liability
• Residential and Commercial Property
• Large open-market risks

Lions Gate Underwriting is a leading Lloyd’s coverholder and underwrites on behalf of large A rated global insurers. Our products are distributed through licensed Canadian insurance brokers.

Shaun Johnston, who will be based in the company’s headquarters in Vancouver, has been appointed as Managing Director and holds national responsibility for the MGA including the Ontario presence.

Brian Gomes, CEO of BMS Canada, said:

“I am delighted to announce Shaun’s appointment and the re-launch of our MGA business. When we started looking for a Managing Director to Lions Gate, we knew that we needed someone with experience growing businesses and with an excellent knowledge and perspective on the current marketplace. Shaun’s experience stood out to us immediately and his track record in the provision of advisory, programme design and placement services for large complex projects as well as his market network will prove to be invaluable as we grow Lions Gate across Canada.”

Shaun Johnston, Managing Director of Lions Gate and COO of BMS Canada, said:

“This is a very exciting time for Lions Gate as we invest in key personnel and innovative product development. We are now at the next step in our strategic planning towards becoming the go-to business for specialized industries facing risks that require bespoke insurance solutions. We are better positioned than ever to fully service client requirements and our specialist, dedicated teams are ready to do business across the country. I’m greatly looking forward to announcing the various strategic developments over the coming months.”

BMS Continues customer driven innovation with launch of new iVision Hazard Module

BMS Intermediaries today announces the latest enhancement to iVision, its award winning catastrophe risk management system, that includes a new Hazard Module with storm surge features to support heightened user experience and functionality.

The new Hazard Module consolidates the extensive hazard map layers already available to iVision users with storm surge inundation heights above ground level, as defined by the National Hurricane Center’s Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model for category 1-4 hurricanes. The ability to visualize these storm surge hazard layers benefits users in their portfolio accumulation management, growth strategies, underwriting and rating territory evaluation.

“iVision’s latest enhancements, which were implemented following feedback from our clients, continues to demonstrate our commitment to providing innovation to suit their business requirements. In line with the start of the 2015 hurricane season, the new storm surge and hazard module features empower our clients making them better equipped than ever to prepare for severe weather events.”,

says Julie Serakos, Head of Cat Analytics for BMS Intermediaries, Inc.
iVision, part of a suite of analytical tools and services offered by BMS, is an easy-to-use catastrophe risk management system that is accessed via the internet. Built on the latest GIS technologies, it helps today’s insurance companies reduce cost and increase efficiency when managing their catastrophic risk.

BMS Group Launches Miami hub; Jose Astorqui Named as CEO, BMS Latin America

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the launch of its Miami Hub with the appointment of Jose Astorqui to the newly created role of Chief Executive Officer, BMS Latin America.

The new Miami office is part of BMS’s stated strategy to expand its proposition in selective international markets. BMS sees an attractive opportunity for growth in the region and will use Miami as its base to service business from Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Reporting to Nick Cook, BMS CEO, Jose Astorqui will join BMS from Howden Insurance Brokers later in the year once his contractual obligations to Howden have been fulfilled. Jose has a strong track record of managing a portfolio across the region and has been based in Miami as Howden’s Director of Latin America since 2008.

Nick Cook commented:

“BMS are delighted to have secured a candidate of Jose’s calibre to lead our new Miami office. His experience will help accelerate our presence in the region as we seek to capitalise on Latin America’s rapid economic growth. The opportunities in this region are complementary to our growth strategy and Jose’s appointment is another exciting development for BMS.”

Jose Astorqui added:

“BMS have a compelling vision for growth and I am honoured to have been asked to lead their new venture in the region.”

BMS Capital Advisory, Inc. appoints Bustillo as a principal

New York, NY – BMS Capital Advisory, Inc. has named Andrew Bustillo, President & CEO of BMS Intermediaries, as a Principal of the firm effective immediately. Currently serving as the Chairman of the board of directors of BMS Capital Advisory, Inc., Mr. Bustillo will, in his new leadership role, leverage his extensive network among (re)insurance underwriters, risk distributors and capital providers to originate and execute opportunities in the marketplace.

Together, BMS Capital Advisory and BMS Intermediaries offer clients access to the resources needed to achieve their strategic goals through reinsurance transactions or access to the capital markets. “We firmly believe in providing integrated solutions to our clients within a dynamic insurance marketplace.” Rom Braga, BMS Capital Advisory’s CEO said, “and having an industry veteran like Andrew as a Principal of our firm increases our ability to deliver tangible industry experience on each and every mandate.”

Mr. Bustillo commented: “At BMS, we have embraced the convergence of the (re)insurance and capital markets, and have an unwavering commitment of securing capacity required by our clients and prospects from the most cost-effective source. Operationally, we will continue to promote a disciplined and integrated strategy by breaking down internal silos, facilitating the flow of proprietary intellectual capital, and ultimately delivering the associated benefits and customized solutions to our customers.”

Mr. Bustillo holds an MBA in Finance & International Business from NYU Stern School of Business and graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Economics & Spanish. He is married with three children. He is Chairman of the Board of Covenant House International, the largest privately funded provider of support to homeless and trafficked youth in the Americas.

BMS appoints John Hastings-Bass as Non-Executive Chairman

John Hastings-Bass, former Gallagher Chairman of International Development and JLT Group director, has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman and director of BMS, subject to regulatory approval. He will also chair the BMS Risk and Compliance committee. John has over 35 years’ experience in the insurance and reinsurance sectors.

He succeeds Christopher Hopton who remains Chairman of Minova Insurance Holdings, the London based insurance group that owns BMS Group.

BMS Group CEO, Nick Cook, said:

“John’s appointment to lead our board is another exciting development for BMS. He brings with him extensive industry knowledge, an unmatched level of global market insight and a track record of providing strategic counsel to growing businesses. I look forward to working with him as we make headway into 2015 and have no doubt that he will be instrumental and invaluable in our ongoing strategic planning and development. Everyone at BMS joins me in thanking Christopher Hopton for his support and wise counsel during a period of considerable development for BMS.”

Commenting on his appointment, John Hastings-Bass added:

“ I am very excited about joining this vibrant business. Nick and the BMS team have a clear strategy to take advantage of the significant opportunities in the market place. With the support of our shareholder, Minova Insurance Holdings, we have the financial resources to continue to strengthen BMS in our chosen markets.”

John began his career in Hong Kong with Jardine Matheson in 1976, later moving to London where he was PLC Director, Business Development of Jardine Insurance Brokers (JIB), working with the CEO to develop the corporate strategy that resulted in JIB’s 1997 merger with Lloyd Thompson to form Jardine Lloyd Thompson. In 1997, he became Group Board Director, CEO International Business Group, leading JLT’s strong growth across the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North and Latin American markets.

He joined Arthur J. Gallagher (“AJG”) in 2007, as Chairman, International Development, leading the Asia Pacific business. During his time with AJG, John was Chairman of AJG’s international energy business, Alesco and led the successful restructuring of the company’s Australian business and the creation of a Singapore office. He became MD, Underwriting & Development in 2013 before stepping down from the company at the beginning of 2015.

John remains Non-Executive Chairman of Novae Group plc, the leading property and casualty (re)insurance business operating at Lloyd’s.

BMS Group grows Specialty Reinsurance Division with appointment of Steven Herbert as Director

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the appointment of Steven Herbert as Director of its Specialty Reinsurance division, reporting to Andrew Hitchings, Managing Director.

Steven joins BMS from Cooper Gay & Co Ltd (“Cooper Gay”) where he was a Director of the Reinsurance division as well as Head of LMX and Offshore Energy. He began his career at EW Payne where he held various roles, later becoming Director of the Marine Reinsurance department. He has subsequently held senior positions at AJ Gallagher, the Park Group, and as a Director of AON’s Marine Reinsurance division.

Andrew Hitchings, Managing Director of BMS Specialty Reinsurance, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Steven to the Specialty Reinsurance team. We see enormous potential in the specialty reinsurance market and Steven’s appointment demonstrates our commitment to this sector. His depth of understanding and experience will add value for our clients and play a key part in the division’s ongoing strategic development and growth.”

Assure Holding Corporation Announces Completion of Senior Notes Offering

Vienna, VA – Assure Holding Corporation (“AHC”) today announced the successful completion of a private placement of senior notes with institutional investors. The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to finance future growth. AHC, via its property and casualty insurance subsidiary, Americas Insurance Company, its reinsurance intermediary, Assure Re Intermediaries, and its managing general agency, Assure Underwriting Agency, cultivates relationships with program administrators targeting a particular niche insurance market, class or distribution model.

R. Ray Pate, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of AHC, commented: “The successful closing of this capital transaction provides institutional validation of our operational strategy and vision for the company; AHC’s operating entities have seen tremendous growth over the past three years, and the additional capital will provide our operating subsidiaries with financial flexibility to support our steady, future growth.”

BMS Capital Advisory acted as AHC’s financial advisor and agent for the placement of the senior notes.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the Notes, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

About Assure Holding Corporation 

Assure Holding Corporation (“AHC”) is an insurance holding company that owns a 100% interest in Americas Insurance Company, which is a property and casualty insurance company with licenses in 26 states, and operates as an issuing carrier for personal lines business produced by program administrators. AHC also owns a 100% interest in Assure Re Intermediaries, which specializes in the placement of reinsurance for commercial and personal lines business produced by program administrators. AHC owns a 100% interest in Assure Underwriting Agency, which is a program administrator that manages a book of Louisiana homeowners business.

About BMS Capital Advisory, Inc 

BMS Capital Advisory, a member of the group of companies owned by Minova Insurance Holdings, is a full-service broker-dealer created to expand the group’s operational flexibility and bring alternative capital product offerings to current and prospective customers. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Philadelphia and Minneapolis, BMS Capital Advisory advises insurance underwriters and distributors, private equity funds, and other institutional investors in the execution of select corporate finance engagements, such as mergers & acquisitions mandates and capital raise engagements, and insurance linked securities offerings.

BMS Capital Advisory, Inc. is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA (www.finra.org) and SIPC (www.sipc.org).

BMS Wins ‘Reinsurance Broker of the Year 2014’ Award

BMS has been named as ‘Reinsurance Broker of the Year 2014’, by leading industry publication Insurance Day. The accolade was collected by Jonathan Morris, BMS Group Director of Reinsurance, at the annual awards ceremony held at the Lancaster Hotel in London on December 4th 2014.

The judging panel recognised a number of factors that made BMS’ nomination for Reinsurance Broker of the Year 2014 the stand-out entry. These included:

  • The launch of new integrated systems within the BMS’ award winning analytics software iVision
  • Continued investment in the reinsurance sector
  • The inauguration of broker-dealer affiliate BMS Capital Advisory

Group activity in 2014 has positioned BMS to provide a fully integrated broking and broker-dealer service to clients, while simultaneously remaining true to its entrepreneurial roots and maintaining the flexibility and personability of an independent broking organisation.

Nick Cook, CEO of BMS Group, commented: “Around the globe, BMS prides itself on understanding our clients’ needs and using our full operational capability to achieve the highest quality results. Our dedicated, specialist teams, who take time to understand the details of a client’s business, are the key driving force behind our position as a top broker in the London market. I’m thrilled to see their collective efforts recognised by being chosen as the reinsurance broker of the year 2014.”

Andrew Bustillo, CEO of BMS Intermediaries, added: “From broking and advisory services to analytics, claims handling, capital advisory and beyond, BMS stands out for being consistently insightful, entrepreneurial and ambitious in its approach. The ongoing development of our easy to use analytical software and the creation of BMS Capital Advisory illustrates our dedication to adding value for our clients.”

BMS Group launches Specialty Reinsurance Division with appointment of Andrew Hitchings as Managing Director

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the launch of its Specialty reinsurance division with the appointment of Andrew Hitchings as Managing Director.

Andrew Hitchings joins as Managing Director of BMS’ Specialty reinsurance division with immediate effect, reporting to Nick Cook, CEO.

The new division will initially focus on the addition of new product lines to BMS’ existing Property and Casualty offering, in both reinsurance and retrocession.

Andrew, who joins BMS from Cooper Gay & Co Ltd (“Cooper Gay”), is an accomplished broker with extensive Specialty reinsurance experience. Joining Cooper Gay in 2003 he became Managing Director of the company’s Reinsurance Division in 2007, later assuming responsibility for all classes of reinsurance worldwide as CEO. In this role, Andrew assisted in the creation and development of a global treaty portfolio.

Nick Cook, BMS Group CEO, said: “We see enormous potential in our Specialty reinsurance business. The continued consolidation in the reinsurance market presents BMS with a unique opportunity of offering our clients an independent choice. Andrew will bring with him expertise and leadership in the Specialty reinsurance space. London is still the centre of excellence for Specialty reinsurance and Andrew’s appointment confirms our commitment to this growing sector.”

Andrew Hitchings added: “I am delighted to be joining BMS, whose prominence as an independent and innovative broker provides the perfect platform to create and grow a market leading Specialty reinsurance division.”

Andrew is a member of the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association Reinsurance Committee.

Steve Korducki announced as Executive Vice President of BMS Intermediaries, Inc.

BMS Intermediaries, Inc., the US based reinsurance arm of Minova Insurance Holdings, has appointed Steve Korducki as Executive Vice President.

Industry veteran Steve Korducki joins BMS Intermediaries, Inc. with immediate effect, reporting directly to Andrew Bustillo, Chief Executive Officer. He will also join the Group’s US Executive Committee and be located in Tampa, Florida.

His focus will be on further developing BMS’ Florida initiative, as well as expanding non-traditional catastrophe coverage solutions for BMS clients and prospects.

Andrew Bustillo, CEO of BMS Intermediaries, said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve to BMS Intermediaries. Steve is well respected and well known in the Cat (Re)insurance marketplace. We are fortunate to be able to provide his services to our clients and prospects.”

Steve is currently a director of AAO Insurance Company, RRG, and Coastal American Insurance Holdings, Inc., and is the Principal and Owner of Risk Partners, LLC, a strategic consulting firm. His extensive experience includes leading the underwriting turnaround of a Florida-based property insurer and building a start-up multi-state residential property insurance company writing catastrophe exposed business. He has also held Executive roles with Guy Carpenter, E.W. Blanch Company (where he started Blanch Capital Markets), Booke & Company, and Ernst & Young, LLC.