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Emma Ashworth joins as a company Director, having spent the past 29 years at Willis, with 16 of those years as an Executive Director in its Credit and Political Risks division.

London, 8th November 2016. Market-leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, BPL Global, has hired Emma Ashworth as a Director. Ashworth has 29 years’ experience at Willis, most recently as Executive Director in its Credit and Political Risks division. She will work alongside the other directors to set BPL Global’s future strategy; with a focus on cementing the company’s leading position in its specialist market and exploring new business, especially with financial institutions.

As Executive Director at Willis, Ashworth was responsible for the CPRI department’s largest client, a major investment bank, as well as broking new business and managing the existing portfolio. She was previously Divisional Director in International Property Reinsurance and before that managed Willis Hungary, a newly established affiliate office.

Sian Aspinall, Managing Director at BPL Global, comments: “Historically, we have made very few external hires at senior level, yet we were delighted with the opportunity to hire someone of Emma’s calibre and market reputation. Emma is highly-regarded within the industry by clients, underwriters and peers alike, and her experience will be vital as we continue to seek to meet the growing demand for CPRI globally.”

Ashworth comments: “I am excited to be joining BPL Global. They are a highly respected company and I welcome this new challenge with such a distinguished team.”

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Writing for the Berne Union’s 2016 Yearbook, Charles Berry, Chairman of BPL Global, discusses the increasing competition between government export credit agencies (ECAs) and the specialist credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) market. In the article, Berry suggests that such competition is inevitable and appropriate given that both now often cover the same type of risks, and should be welcomed as it offers choice for exporters and financiers.

Berry writes that such competition must be fair, however, requiring ECAs to comply with the OECD Arrangement with its minimum premium rates, and a level playing field on premium taxes. There is also the issue of ECA beginning to compete with their clients. Indeed, when an ECA approaches the CPRI market for facultative reinsurance, simultaneously as its client approaches the same insurers for cover on the same transaction, the ECA and client find themselves in competition for the same private market capacity. This brings the need for safeguards to ensure that when pursuing reinsurance, ECAs do not restrict client choice.

Berry concludes that, by abiding by the OECD Arrangement and following sensible policies, the ECAs can provide a haven of consistency, stability and capacity around which the CPRI market can ebb and flow, guided by a normal market process of client choice.

Read the full article here

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BPL Global and EIA Global have made significant hires in response to increased demand for credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) from clients engaged in international trade, investment and lending.

US-based EIA Global has announced that John Lavelle will join as Senior Managing Director for Trade Credit, Structured Trade and Political Risk Insurance.

Al Giandomenico, President of EIA Global, praised Mr. Lavelle, noting that “John has over 30 years of experience in the trade credit, political risk and trade finance arenas and a level of expertise and professionalism that sets him apart from his peers. He is highly accomplished and well-regarded by clients and underwriters alike and adds significant breadth and depth to the expertise of EIA Global’s professional staff.”

The hire of Mr. Lavelle by EIA Global comes on the heels of an impressive year of expansion for BPL Global, which has increased its workforce by over 10% in the past 12 months, taking the total to over 80 members of staff. The hires have ranged from senior appointments – including James Reynolds and Jonny Carruthers, both Assistant Directors in the London office – to trainee brokers and IT/business analysts in London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

James Esdaile, Managing Director of BPL Global, comments: “Globally we are witnessing a jump in demand for CPRI; indeed, last year we transacted approximately USD350M of premium. In response, we are tooling up in London, Asia and the Middle East – while our partner does the same in the US. We are the largest single team in the market with significant capacity to adequately service the increased interest from multinational corporations, banks and financial institutions.”

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BPL Global reiterated its commitment to serving the French market as it celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of its French subsidiary at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Paris.

“Our industry is, of course, faced with major political uncertainty in the form of the upcoming UK referendum on whether to remain in the European Union,” said Charles Berry, Chairman of BPL Global. “Yet, even if the UK opts out, BPL Global will stay in. I can say that with certainty because our Paris office is an extremely well-established business and a significant part of the market. We will do whatever is necessary to service our clients, not only in France, but also in Germany, Italy and Spain.”

The event was covered in depth by leading trade magazine Trade & Forfaiting Review.

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We have today announced the appointment of James Esdaile and Sian Aspinall as Joint Managing Directors of Berry Palmer & Lyle Limited. They succeed Robin Harper, who continues as a director of the BPL group after 20 years as Managing Director.

James joined BPL Global in 1997 as a graduate trainee, while Sian returned to the company in 2014 after working as a senior political risk underwriter for AIG and Zurich.

Tim Cullis also joins as Chief Financial Officer. Tim was previously CFO and CRO of Amlin Investment Management Limited.

BPL Global Chairman, Charles Berry, says: “We are indebted to Robin Harper for his role in BPL Global’s development since its early years, and for securing these latest steps in our succession plans. This signals continuity for our clients, employees and the market.”

James’ and Sian’s role will combine responsibility for service standards with business development and client relations.

Esdaile comments: “We remain committed to being an independent, employee-owned broker and, while steering the company’s future course is clearly a huge responsibility for Sian and me, we look forward to the challenge with great enthusiasm.”

Aspinall adds: “BPL Global’s approach has always been to place our clients’ needs at the heart of everything we do. We are determined to continue that approach, in the face of a changing business environment for specialty insurance classes like ours.”

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BPL Global has opened a representative office in Dubai. The opening takes the number of BPL Global offices to five.

The office, based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is headed up by Harriet Smith. Smith joined BPL Global in February 2011 and in recent years has focused mainly on medium- and long-term business for European corporate and banking clients.

Press release

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Peter Gilbert has been confirmed as the new chief executive of BPL Global’s Singapore subsidiary, while Margaret Ho has been appointed chief executive of its Hong Kong branch.

Anthony Palmer will relocate to the UK and will remain responsible for BPL Global’s activities throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Press release

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BPL Global is delighted to announce the appointment of Sian Aspinall as Development and Technical Director. Sian, a leading political risk industry figure with over 20 years of experience, joins the board of directors to help define the strategic direction of the company and its line of specialist products.

Sian previously provided consultancy services to insurers, loss adjusters, brokers and law firms, following a successful underwriting career initially with AIG and subsequently as Senior Vice President, Trade Credit and Political Risk at Zurich. At Zurich, Aspinall was responsible for establishing the company in the London market. She started her career as a political risk broker in 1990 and was at BPL Global from 1992 to 1994.

Commenting on the hire, James Esdaile, Director, says: “For the past 30 years BPL Global has been synonymous with the development of the PRI market, and we believe that Sian’s appointment significantly strengthens us at board level and will ensure that we continue to lead the way in technical expertise, for which we are renowned.”

Full press release available here.

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BPL Global is delighted to announce the appointment of Margaret Ho as a Senior Broker to help the company’s continued expansion in Asia. Margaret joins BPL Global after 14 years with JLT in Hong Kong, where she most recently held the position of Divisional Director of the Credit, Political and Security Risks Division. She will report to Peter Gilbert, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong branch.

The appointment signals the next step in BPL Global’s Asian expansion and follows the opening of its Singapore subsidiary in July 2012, headed up by founding partner Anthony Palmer.

Palmer says: “We are delighted to welcome Margaret on board and her appointment significantly strengthens our team in Asia Pacific, underlining both the importance of the region to our global growth aspirations and our commitment to build upon last year’s success. Margaret is a highly-regarded insurance market professional, and we are confident that she will help us continue the successful development of our Hong Kong business both with local and international clients.”

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Speaking at Trade & Forfaiting Review’s annual insurance round-table event, Charles Berry, Chairman, BPL Global, discussed a host of issues concerning the political risk insurance market with peers from Marsh, Coface, Aon, Dentons and Beazley.

Commenting on the PRI market’s risk appetite, Berry said: “The market is happy to write business in countries like Vietnam and Mongolia, where it makes sense. The market is open. Elsewhere, we cover a lot of risks in difficult markets. The insurance industry, of which credit and political risk insurance is a small part, can take these risks; it is in robust shape and has been functioning perfectly normally throughout the financial crisis. Furthermore, it has been dealing routinely with losses arising from natural catastrophes measured in billions.”

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