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Leading specialist CPRI broker BPL Global has today published its annual Market Insight report revealing a snapshot of claims, emerging areas of demand and appetite and how the industry has fared over the past twelve months.

Given its 20% share of the brokered market, BPL Global delves into its own portfolio statistics in the report to evidence trends in the wider CPRI industry. This year’s report focuses in particular on the Project Finance (PF) and Infrastructure space, where enquiry levels have remained stable and comparable to 2019, reflecting the long-term nature of PF business.

The power sector represented the largest proportion (at a third) of all PF enquiries that BPL Global received in 2020, up from 28% in the previous year. Of these enquiries, two-thirds related to renewable energy deals, with particularly noteworthy demand for coverage for onshore and offshore wind farm projects in Vietnam and Taiwan. In the OECD, the CPRI market has seen strong PF demand for onshore and offshore wind in northern and western Europe, and for solar projects in Australia, the US, Chile and parts of southern Europe.

This year’s report also analyses CPRI demand trends in Africa, which continues to attract interest from clients and insurers alike, and represents BPL Global’s largest regional exposure. In addition, it highlights an increased number of enquiries for lenders’ Political Risk Insurance (PRI) from European investment funds and Independent Power Producers for African solar projects, which have attracted strong interest from CPRI underwriters.

Commenting on the findings, James Esdaile, Managing Director, BPL Global, said: “New patterns of demand have developed in recent years in the project finance arena, particularly for renewable energy projects for which we have witnessed increased interest, as reflected in this year’s report. We attribute this to banks allocating more liquidity to renewables projects, and we expect this trend to continue.

He added: “Though there have been, of course, winners and losers in our market from the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we still await the full claims impact, we can report relative stability overall. Indeed, across an insurance industry already hardening pre-COVID, the pandemic has merely accelerated that market trend.”

“And as a result of this and rising geopolitical instability, we are also registering growing interest in political violence insurance (PV), which looks to plug exclusions in general property insurance policies and cover politically-instigated property damage and consequent business interruption for corporates.”

The report also updates on the current claims landscape, and includes the very latest market-wide CPRI claims statistics for banks and financial institutions which were published this week. In the period between 2007 and 2020, the CPRI market as a whole settled US$3.7 billion of claims to banks and financial institutions, with BPL Global handling a quarter of these claims. 100% of claims made by such entities in 2018, 2019 and 2020 were paid in full, and across the whole period only 3% were compromised claims.

Finally, the report unveils the results of the broker’s annual market-wide capacity survey. The headline figures reveal resilience in the market in 2020, with the aggregate capacity of the CPRI insurers remaining stable compared to the previous two years. Maximum capacity for some lines has, in fact, marginally increased, such as political risk insurance (PRI) and non-payment private obligor risk (CR), with similar levels of capacity for the latter still available for tenors of seven and 10 years as per last year’s survey.

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The current CEO of BPL Singapore, Harry McIndoe, is set to return to London to take on a new management role within the BPL Global Group following nine years in Asia, with Hayley Ek assuming responsibility over the coming months.

McIndoe helped establish BPL’s Singapore office in 2012 and has been instrumental in both growing the client base and building one of the largest specialist teams in the region. McIndoe will remain a Board Member of BPL Singapore and continue to be involved with the firm’s strategy in the region while supporting Ek in her new role alongside BPL Global’s Head of Asia Pacific, Peter Gilbert, who remains in Singapore.

Ek has been with the firm for eight years. She will report directly to BPL Global’s Managing Directors, James Esdaile and Sian Aspinall, who are based in the broker’s headquarters in London.

James Esdaile said: “We are very grateful for Harry’s service in Singapore over the past nine years which has helped us establish a leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker platform in Asia. Moreover, we are delighted to give Hayley the opportunity to take on the role of CEO of BPL Singapore. Hayley has long been a key member of the Singapore office and is more than ready to take on this new challenge.

McIndoe said: “I am hugely proud of what we have achieved as a team in Singapore over the past nine years and I am very excited to pass on the reins to Hayley. She is well known in the CPRI market for her expertise and client-centric approach, and will do a fantastic job of both running the team and achieving our strategic goals. We have come a long way since our inception in 2012, with the BPL Global brand now firmly established with many of the region’s leading banks and corporates. I have every confidence that Hayley will help steer the business to new heights as we approach our second decade in the region.

Ek said: “I am humbled by this opportunity to lead the BPL Singapore team and am grateful for the faith that BPL Global has shown in me. In addition to assuming my new responsibilities, I will remain closely involved in servicing my existing portfolio of loyal clients and helping to grow their use of the CPRI market. I am very excited about the role and look forward to contributing to the Singapore team’s continued success.

In tandem with these developments, BPL Singapore has also made a new hire who will be joining the team in early May.

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With BPL New York LLC now established as one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, BPL Global – the leading CPRI broker – is delighted to announce the appointment of Gabe Mansky and Andrea Friedman. Mansky and Friedman, who both join BPL New York from Arthur J. Gallagher, will be primarily focused on Israeli-based corporations and banks, as well as their US affiliates.

A well-known CPRI broker in both the US and Israeli markets, Mansky held the position of Executive Vice President at Gallagher for 12 years. He previously spent 11 years at Acordia/Wells Fargo Insurance and began his career in CPRI with Credit International Associates, now Aon Trade Credit.

Friedman was a member of Mansky’s team for two and a half years at Wells Fargo and at Gallagher for the past 12 years, where she served as a Client Relationship Manager. She will continue to work as a Client Relationship Manager within Mansky’s team at BPL Global.

BPL Global has also announced the signing of a partnership with TCS – Trade Credit Solutions. TCS, the first and leading brokerage firm exclusively focusing on Israeli trade credit and political risks, was founded in 2010 by Muki Sharir. The TCS team has gained the reputation as the premier CPRI broker in Israel, providing tailored solutions to its clients – banks and financial institutions, leading global corporates and multinationals with subsidiaries around the globe, as well as public and private corporates, exporters, and domestic market players.

James Esdaile, Managing Director, BPL Global, said: “We’re excited to add such experienced talent to the BPL Global team in New York and equally pleased to enter into a partnership with TCS, which will allow us to support and develop its well-established franchise in Israel.”

Mansky said: “Joining BPL Global, continuing the partnership with TCS, and focusing on
the Israeli marketplace culminates in a winning combination. BPL Global’s position as the world’s leading CPRI broker, the reputation of TCS as the premier CPRI broker in Israel, and Israel’s exporting economy all make this so. That said, we will not forgo any non-Israeli opportunity.”

Muki Sharir, Founder, TCS said: “We are delighted to partner with BPL Global, a specialist CPRI broker which shares our commitment to providing the industry’s highest level of product expertise and client service. The partnership will allow us to further strengthen our capabilities and lead the Israeli CPRI brokerage industry.”

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BPL Global and EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation (EQUA) have today announced that they have signed a partnership agreement, effective immediately. Based in Canada, EQUA is a risk management and insurance brokerage firm offering customized solutions for specialty lines and will bolster specialist credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker BPL Global’s worldwide reach and largest broking team in the market.

The exclusive partnership will ensure both an enhanced presence in North America and a seamless service for the brokers’ clients operating in and out of Canada. Under the agreement, the brokers will coordinate to access regional markets, provide expertise on policy wordings in line with Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) guidelines, and offer capital relief solutions for banking and large corporate clients across the region.

Evan Freely, Director and Head of the Americas, BPL Global, said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with EQUA to service the increasing demand for CPRI in Canada, particularly within growing areas such as renewable energy. As highly respected experts in our market who are similarly committed to their independence, EQUA were the obvious partner for us to take this ambition forward and strengthen our foothold in North America.”

Dave Richards, CEO and Founder, EQUA, said: “We are honoured to partner with BPL Global, an industry leader whose expertise enhances the Canadian CPRI landscape. This strategic development is a testament to our shared specialty broker culture and commitment to aligning with the very best global talent to support our clients’ needs.”

The move is the latest in BPL Global’s expansion into the North American region, following the opening of its New York office in April 2019.

About EQUA

EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation (EQUA) is a specialty risk insurance brokerage with highly customized solutions, a client-first approach, and a bold company culture. Founded in January of 2020 by industry veterans with deep-rooted networks and a drive to offer insurance and risks solutions in a new way, EQUA has quickly grown to become a team of more than thirty employees with offices in Toronto, Calgary, and Regina. Learn more at equaspecialty.com.

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Now that just over two months have passed since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, we have produced an analysis of how the crisis is affecting credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) and the response of our market thus far. Read it here.

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BPL Global has today published its annual Market Insight report revealing that the oil, mining, metals and extractive industries continue to make up the largest proportion of demand for CPRI coverage.

Around a third of all BPL Global’s 2019 enquiries related to these sectors – of which around half were bank-financed deals.

Commenting on the findings, Sian Aspinall, Managing Director, BPL Global, says: “With many insurers now closed to any coal-related risk, and enquiries for renewables increasing, it will be interesting to see how this trend develops over the next few years. Certainly, we can expect the CPRI market to continue to diversify into new areas over the medium-to-long term.”

According to the report, the risks faced by CPRI insurers also continue to evolve, exemplified by civil unrest in robust economies such as Hong Kong and Chile. The Market Insight report shows increasing enquiries to cover risk located in OECD countries – a continuing development from historical demand for CPRI to cover emerging market risk. This demand accounted for approximately 25% of the broker’s enquiry flow in 2019, with over 10% relating to deals where the US, UK or France were the underlying country of risk.

Moreover, an analysis of the broker’s live policies shows a 46% increase in its exposure to North America in 2019, which has nearly doubled since January 2018 when it stood at US$1.35bn. Likewise, its exposure to Europe has increased to US$6.47bn – up by 75% compared to January 2018 when it stood at US$3.65bn. On the other hand, the broker’s exposure to Russia has decreased by approximately a third since January 2018 when it was US$1.13bn, reflecting the increasing impact of international sanctions on the market.

The report also reveals the findings of its annual CPRI market capacity survey. While Lloyd’s focus on the “Decile 10” of the least well-performing syndicates and challenging broader market conditions have led to a handful of insurers exiting the CPRI market, there remains strong capital support for this class of business, and overall maximum per risk capacity has remained stable in 2020 compared to the two previous years with the trend towards more medium-term capacity continuing.

Banks and financial institutions continue to represent the bulk of claims collections since the 2008 global financial crisis. Across the market as a whole, just over US$3bn across 486 claims were settled to such entities between 2007–2018, with BPL Global collecting approximately a third of these claims.

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BPL Global has today announced the appointment of Anna Morgan as its new Legal Director to support and advise on legal matters across all product lines and client bases. Anna will work closely with the claims department, as well as advising on regulatory matters and policy wordings.

A qualified lawyer, with a background in finance law, Anna joins from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), bringing over eight years of in-house banking experience.

Anna comments: “I am very excited to be joining BPL Global at a time of increasing focus on legal issues from those on the frontline of developing the CPRI product. After working with BPL Global in the past, I’ve always been impressed by their professionalism and expertise. Having seen first-hand the benefits the CPRI product can bring to banks, in terms of enabling business as well as the capital relief advantages, I am pleased to be able to lend my perspective and knowledge to help develop it further.”

James Esdaile, Managing Director, BPL Global, comments: “As an accomplished legal expert with both in-house banking experience and familiarity with the CPRI market, Anna will be an invaluable resource for the BPL Global team, and instrumental in our ongoing effort to optimise the CPRI product for clients. We warmly welcome her to the team.”

Anna joined MUFG’s legal department in 2011, supporting its structured finance and corporate lending activities across EMEA. Working closely with the Credit Exposure Solutions team, Anna was heavily involved in developing the bank’s understanding and usage of the product, including helping to establish the bank’s template policy wording. In 2018, Anna moved across to MUFG’s Credit Portfolio Management team where she continued working with the product, as well as advising on risk mitigation strategies more generally.

Prior to MUFG, Anna worked for over six years at international law firm, Reed Smith (formerly Richards Butler) in its banking and finance department and took secondments to Barclays Commercial Bank and RBS.

Anna is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales and graduated in Modern European Languages (French and German) from the University of Durham.

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BPL Global has opened a UK Branch of its French subsidiary, Berry Palmer & Lyle SAS, to service its existing European Economic Area (EEA) business and be fully ready for Brexit, whatever final form it takes.

Based in Paris, Berry Palmer & Lyle SAS has been serving the needs of French banking, exporter and corporate clients since 2001. The newly-formed UK Branch will operate under its management and control.

Sian Aspinall, Managing Director, BPL Global comments: “Servicing European-based clients has always been a vital part of our business and Brexit has in no way diminished this. Following a year’s worth of careful preparation, the establishment of a new UK Branch of our French company will ensure continuity and minimal disruption for our European clients post-Brexit. Amid the delays and uncertainty, we have taken the decision to open the UK Branch now, so that we are ready for whatever form Brexit may ultimately take.”

While new and existing EEA business will be serviced by the new UK Branch from 1st November 2019, BPL Global’s UK entity, Berry Palmer & Lyle Ltd, will continue to handle all UK and non-EEA based business as usual.

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BPL Global’s Chairman, Charles Berry, has been appointed as the President of the Insurance Institute of London (IIL).  Berry, who succeeds Nicolas Aubert, CEO, Willis Towers Watson GB, will serve in office for the 2019-20 term alongside new Deputy President Anthony Baldwin, CEO and Board Director, AIG UK.

Delivering his first presidential address at the IIL’s AGM on 30th September, Berry said: “It is a great honour to serve the Institute as President, but somewhat daunting as I have big shoes to fill. I will do my very best to represent all sectors of the market and build upon the increasing momentum and hard work that has been the hallmark of Nicolas’s leadership in the past 12 months.”

He continued: “My theme for the year – ‘Who do you act for?’ – stems from my belief that trust in financial markets depends on market professionals being transparent as to who they act for: buyer or seller; client or capital provider. I look forward to developing this theme during a year full of challenges, but also one promising opportunity for all.”

A Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, Berry has long been acknowledged as a leading industry expert, speaker and lecturer, educating on a range of topics including the use of credit insurance for banks, broader political violence cover post-9/11 and, more recently, a proper market for “war risks on land”.

On 1st October, Berry gave his first lecture in his capacity as IIL President at Lloyd’s, where he outlined the capabilities and activities of today’s credit and political risk insurance market, and the importance of London market professionals being clear about the interests they seek to serve.

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