BMS – strategic communications designed to support long-term growth

BMS – strategic communications designed to support long-term growth 1100 534 Haggie Partners
The brief

Haggie Partners began working with BMS Group in 2014 to support the first stage of the company’s build out, in anticipation of a significant capital investment associated with the creation of holding company Minova Group. BMS, founded in 1980, had an established position as a primarily London and North American independent broker, with capabilities across specialty lines and a focus on North American property reinsurance.

BMS was poised to take advantage of dislocation and consolidation at the top end of the insurance distribution sector, with the Big Three, soon to become Big Two, achieving a dominant position in wholesale, specialty and reinsurance broking. Haggie Partners provided public relations support as BMS embarked on a large scale expansion to become the leading independent insurance and reinsurance broker. Haggie Partners was engaged to assist in that expansion in the medium and long term.

The campaign

In the first years of the campaign, Haggie worked to create media understanding of BMS’s new capital structure and to publicise the broker’s expansion into new territories and business lines. Working in English and Spanish, Haggie helped launch BMS’s Miami office and BMS’s Spanish operation as well as promoting the arrival of key teams and senior executives in London and the US.

Haggie Partners developed BMS’s relationships with key industry publications in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America, producing thought leadership content and building the profile of BMS CEO Nick Cook alongside other key executives. Haggie Partners also worked closely with Minova and BMS as BMS made its first significant M&A transaction under Nick Cook, the acquisition of Advocate Reinsurance Partners, and created an Australian and Canadian operation.

This process culminated in the 2019 investment in BMS by Canadian pension fund British Columbia Investment and private equity firm PCP, which injected further capital for growth to BMS and dissolved Minova Group. Haggie Partners provided public relations support for the transaction and promoted it in the business and insurance trade press, in a deal still widely referred to as a “blow-out valuation”.

Since then, Haggie Partners has provided support for BMS’s accelerated build-out, with 40 senior appointment press releases in 2020. Haggie Partners also promoted the launch of BMS Asia in Hong Kong and Singapore, working, using in-house capabilities, in Traditional and Simplified Chinese. We also worked to achieve coverage in the Iberian press for the acquisition of Spanish broker Montymarq and a preferred partnership with Portuguese broker Tagus.

In 2020 and 2021, Haggie Partners created sophisticated thought leadership content for BMS, ranging from expansive pieces on diversity and inclusion from BMS’s CEO to arranging deep dive podcasts into the company’s business model to profile interviews in print and video in Middle Eastern and Asian business titles.

Haggie Partners has drafted multiple award entries for BMS, which has, since the start of the contract, won Broker of the Year, Transaction of the Year and Broking Innovation of the Year at the industry’s most prestigious awards, the Insider Honours.

The result

BMS is recognised in the insurance trade press as a leading independent broker, with titles like The Insurer and Insurance Insider regularly referring to the business as “expansive” and including tables of the dozens of recent senior hires. BMS is featured in pieces on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion, to how to create a welcoming office culture, to how to embrace new technology in broking.

Media and market perceptions of the company have moved from established, specialist firm to leading global independent wholesale, insurance and reinsurance broking business, with the talent as well as the technical, analytical and actuarial capabilities to rival the Big Two. BMS’s M&A transactions were widely covered and its growth around the world has attracted attention from international and local press. CEO Nick Cook and other senior leaders have become established market commentators.

In short, Haggie Partners’ work with BMS demonstrates how a long-term, strategic, business-to-business public relations campaign can help build a global institution in just a few years.