BMS Group (BMS) the independent specialty insurance and reinsurance broker, today announces the formal completion of the French private equity firm Eurazeo’s investment in the group. Completion of the transaction follows receipt of regulatory approval. Additionally, its completion coincides with the appointment of Emmanuel Clarke as chairman.
First announced in December 2022, the new investment signals BMS’ commitment to further accelerating growth across its trading divisions; enhancing its digital, analytics and modelling capabilities, and further reinforcing its ability to deliver exceptional client solutions.
Since the transaction was announced, BMS has continued its rapid expansion and is set to close out another strong year of growth with forecast revenues of £300m and growth of 30% across its three pillars of Specialty, Reinsurance, and International. In the past year, BMS also made a further ten acquisitions, building on the eight made in the period 2019 to 2022, and saw staff numbers increasing from c.400 to more than 1,200 worldwide. Having seen a compound annual growth rate of more than 20% on organic business over the last three years BMS now operates in 16 strategically important countries, with 33 offices. The investment will support BMS as it strengthens its client focused propositions with the attraction of further exceptional talent and through the ongoing M&A pipeline.
With effect from 28 September 2023, Emmanuel Clarke will become BMS Group chairman, taking over from John Hastings-Bass. Formerly president and CEO of PartnerRe, Clarke has had a long and successful career in the insurance industry. Having held several board positions during his career he joins with a proven record of successfully leading and growing the asset value of global and culturally diverse teams by strengthening performance and innovation cultures.
John Hastings-Bass will remain with BMS as chair of its UK and International operations. Having chaired BMS for almost nine years and worked in the insurance industry for more than 35 his insight and expertise has been fundamental to the success the company enjoys today. As the company pursues its global strategy his continued involvement will be vital to the strengthening of its existing operations as well as its expansion overseas.
BMS Group CEO Nick Cook said: “With the closure of this transaction, we move into 2024 on a wave of momentum with the capital required to further drive our vision of becoming the independent specialty insurance and reinsurance broker of choice.
“Our people are quite exceptional, and as we mark this critical juncture in BMS’ growth, I owe them a special thanks for their dedication and commitment to delivering extraordinary service to our clients.
“This significant investment not only brings new capital and resource to BMS but to our clients and the market as a whole. We will continue to bolster our reputation as the clear and natural home for entrepreneurial, client focused talent who want to be fully empowered and rewarded by an innovative and high-growth culture.
“I also welcome Emmanuel to BMS. His successful build out of PartnerRe’s global reinsurance business during his 25-year tenure alongside his experience with progressive, data, digital and technology driven financial models will immediately contribute to BMS. Similarly, I am delighted that John has agreed to stay with BMS. Under his chairmanship we have seen astonishing growth and I, along with all of BMS, thank him for his indispensable role in our success.”
Maxime de Bentzmann, co-head mid-large buyout at Eurazeo, added: “Specialty insurance and reinsurance markets are long standing investment themes for Eurazeo’s mid-large buyout strategy. BMS’ entrepreneurial and meritocratic culture and international footprint align well with Eurazeo’s investment approach. Since signing, the business has continued on its impressive organic and inorganic growth trajectory on which we are committed to support Nick Cook and the management team.”
BMS’s existing shareholders British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), Preservation Capital Partners (PCP), management and staff remain significant investors in the business.
BMS were advised by Evercore, BMS Capital Advisory and Macfarlanes LLP.