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In an exclusive interview with INTO AFRICA, BPL Global Directors, George Bellord and Sam Evans, discuss the impact that the current global political and economic climate is having on the demand for trade credit insurance.

The credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) market is well known for its adaptability and being quick off the mark in order to seize new opportunities. In response to recent demand, insurers are now able to offer cover for non-trade financing, project financing, aviation and real estate. That said, Africa is still seen as an area where the obligors are located – indeed, the continent accounts for over US$9.5billion of exposure in BPL Global’s portfolio.

“The high growth rates of many countries across Africa, such as Ethiopia and the Cote D’Ivoire,” comments Evans, “have meant increased levels of trade, as well as infrastructure projects, ranging from energy to roadway construction.”

As a result, financiers are using credit insurance to leverage their positions in such projects and to mitigate the commercial and political risks that can accompany undertaking business in emerging markets.

“We are living in increasingly uncertain times…businesses are seeking further ways to mitigate increased levels of risk with their trading partners as uncertainty grows,” adds Bellord.

Read the full article here (please turn to page 49).

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BPL Global has been awarded the title “Best Trade Credit and Political Risk Insurance Broker” at Global Trade Review’s (GTR) Leaders in Trade awards, and “Best Insurance Broker” in Trade Finance Analytics’ Awards.

This year marks the ninth in a row that BPL Global has been recognised as the leading CPRI broker in GTR’s annual awards, which recognise excellence in the trade, commodity, supply chain and export finance and fintech markets. Meanwhile, it is the first year the Trade Finance Analytics accolade, which assesses a variety of brokers across different classes, has been awarded to BPL Global.

“These two well-respected awards are a fantastic affirmation of the consistency and quality of our service as we help our multinational banking, trading, exporting and corporate clients manage their risk in today’s ever-changing marketplace,” says Sian Aspinall, Managing Director at BPL Global. “We look forward to continue pushing the envelope on what we can offer to our clients and the wider market.”

A full writeup of GTR’s awards can be found here, and the list of winners of Trade Finance Analytics’ awards can be found here.

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In Insurance Day’s “Big Interview”, our Managing Directors, Sian Aspinall and James Esdaile, discuss how BPL Global is thriving as an independent, monoline broker despite increasing industry consolidation.

“We think the market has the potential to grow exponentially,” says Sian Aspinall. “We are in a very strong position…by having the right people present in the right hubs.”

Download the full article or read online here.

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In the latest issue of Reactions, our Managing Director, Sian Aspinall, discusses how the political risk insurance market performed in 2018 and the current state of play across the wider credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) industry.

“Maximum per-risk capacity available for political risk rose to $3.2bn, representing a $200m increase from 2018 and indicating healthy appetite within the market to write political risk insurance business,” she explained, while also highlighting the attractiveness of CPRI to global insurers looking to maintain a diversified book of business.

Download the full article or read online here.

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BPL Global has today announced the appointment of Donnie DiCarlo as Executive Vice President. DiCarlo, who joins after 10 years as Senior Vice President of Marsh’s Credit Specialties Group, will be based in New York and is charged with expanding BPL Global’s client base in the US and the wider Americas region.

Known primarily for his work developing capital relief-driven solutions, DiCarlo’s industry credentials include helping to spearhead bank use of non-payment insurance after the change in the US Federal Reserve guidelines in 2013. Having previously led Marsh’s Political Risk and Structured Credit Team in Latin America followed by the broker’s Lender’s Solutions Group in the Americas, DiCarlo is a seasoned expert in supply chain financing, handling a significant number of policy placements in the region. He has also worked to cover various loan structures including project finance, revolving credit facilities, multilateral debt and aviation finance.

Sian Aspinall, Managing Director, BPL Global says: “We are delighted to add Donnie to our growing team in New York. His reputation in our market as a leading expert in political risk emanating from Latin America and his exhaustive knowledge of bank-related business means he will undoubtedly be an asset to our operations in the Americas.”

DiCarlo comments: “BPL Global’s market standing and specialist focus were compelling draws for me as a technically-minded CPRI broker and I’m looking forward to lending my expertise to help further and grow our book of business in the region.”

DiCarlo’s appointment is the latest addition to the broker’s operational presence in the Americas, having recently opened an office in New York and having made the executive appointment of CPRI professional, Evan Freely, last month.

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Freely joins Executive Board to help shape the insurance broker’s global strategy, having previously been Global Head of Marsh’s Credit Specialties Group.

BPL Global, the leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, is delighted to announce the appointment of Evan Freely to its Executive Board. Bringing over 25 years of market experience, Freely will work alongside BPL Global’s management team to help shape the strategic direction of the company, while also contributing to product development and providing CPRI expertise to global financial institution and corporate clients. Based out of New York, Freely adds to the company’s growing on-the-ground operational presence in the Americas region.

Freely joins BPL Global following 11 years as Managing Director and Global Practice Leader for Marsh’s Credit Specialties Group, prior to which he spent seven years running Willis’ Financial Solutions division for the Americas, and seven years at FCIA Management Company, a leading US CPRI insurer. Highly experienced and extensively qualified in advising on the full range of products in the CPRI industry, Freely has helped clients manage risk through the 1993 turndown in Venezuela, the 2002 crisis in Argentina and the 2008 global financial crisis.
Charles Berry, Chairman of BPL Global, comments: “Evan’s appointment, together with our new presence in New York, confirms our ambition and ability to provide a seamless global service to our clients across the Americas, EMEA and Asia.”

Freely comments: “BPL Global’s reputation for specialist knowledge, technical expertise and client-centric approach is second-to-none, making it the natural next move for me. Joining an independent broker and having the opportunity to work with many of the most experienced practitioners in the CPRI market is hugely exciting, and I look forward to helping contribute to the company’s continued global growth.”

Freely further enhances BPL Global presence in the US, with the broker having recently opened its office in New York, complementing existing offices in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Geneva. The opening was marked by an event in March, which brought together some of the region’s leading experts to provide their personal insights into the CPRI market claims process from the perspective of clients, loss adjusters, and insurers.

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BPL Global is pleased to announce the release of its latest Market Insight 2019 report.

The new annual market report shows that Spain and Germany ranked sixth and seventh in the top 10 countries for CPRI claims by value from 2016 to 2018. Over the three-year period, the broker collected US$32 million and US$27 million in claims arising from losses in Spain and Germany respectively, on behalf of its clients.

Although reflecting the natural progression of the market as it meets rising demand to cover OECD-located risk, the finding signals a shift in CPRI claim collection trends, where losses in emerging markets have historically accounted for the highest-value claims. This is supported by BPL Global’s enquiry flow over the past six months which shows that, while there was an even distribution of enquiries between continents in terms of risk location, OECD countries played host to one-third of all risk enquiries.

The Market Insight 2019 report, based on market surveys and analysis of BPL Global’s own portfolio, also indicates that, although the CPRI market has seen a slight decline in overall credit capacity, non-trade credit capacity has increased by approximately 15%, with non-payment public obligor and political risk credit capacities also increasing. This increase in supply evidences the market’s swift response to increased client demand, with over one-fifth of all bank client enquiries now relating to non-trade credit capacity.

In addition, the report addresses concerns around Brexit, particularly with respect to the continuity of long-term policy contracts and the prospects for UK and EU insurers. In the broker’s view, the CPRI market is well-positioned to cope with the impact of Brexit-related uncertainty, with insurers already having put contingency plans in place in the event of a “no-deal” scenario.

James Esdaile, Managing Director, BPL Global, comments: “This year’s report builds on the success of our first Market Insight report published in 2018 and addresses what was a standout year for the CPRI market. Despite the numerous challenges that have been facing our industry, we have identified significant growth across key business lines and an agility within the market to adjust to both shifting risk patterns and evolving client demand.”

Last year’s Market Insight 2018 report represented a crucial landmark for the CPRI market in its collation of cross-market data to validate the CPRI product through its claims record since 1983.

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BPL Global, the leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, today announced the appointment of Lucia Petry as Directeur of its French subsidiary, Berry Palmer & Lyle SA. Since joining BPL Paris in 2014, Petry has immersed herself in helping exporters and investors effectively use CPRI products to minimise risks abroad.

In her role as Directeur, Petry will continue to support BPL Paris’ French-based team while expanding her managerial and business development remits. While being focused on French-speaking corporate client business, Petry has played a key role in developing new covers for French investors, offering alternatives to traditional breach of contract policies and MIGA products. As a former lawyer, Petry’s experience in dealing with international contracts has underpinned her proficiency in placing policies for BPL Paris’ clients operating globally.

Petry comments: “This year has been a year of milestones for BPL Global and, now, a personal one for me. I look forward to taking on increased managerial duties alongside day-to-day broking, while assisting in more complex, specialised cases. As demand for longer-term financing in our market increases, I am keen to see how we can develop the CPRI product further in terms of policy tenors and capacity to service this need for our clients.”

Paul Torrington, Président Directeur Général, BPL SA, comments: “Lucia has made a significant contribution to our French operations since her arrival at BPL Global four years ago. Her enthusiastic approach to developing new business and designing new products has impressed many in the French market. I have no doubt she will continue to excel in her new role.”

James Esdaile, Managing Director, adds: “Lucia is an integral part of our BPL Paris team and is highly valued by our exporting clients for her close support and exhaustive knowledge of their sectors. Her appointment to Directeur tells both of this and our belief that she will excel in growing her team, building long-lasting relationships and fostering new client business.”

Petry holds two Master’s degrees; one in Industrial Property Law and the other in Public & Private European and International Law. She is fluent in both English and French and regularly carries out transactions in both languages.

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BPL Global, the leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, has created a team dedicated to excess of loss (XOL) trade credit insurance with a specific focus on the trade finance sector.

XOL traditionally supports strong credit management within large multinational corporates. Recent product and technological developments, coupled with new underwriter entrants, now mean that XOL insurers can provide up to 100% cover for financial institutions purchasing pools of receivables, also enabling them to achieve regulatory capital relief under Basel III.

The team, comprising four experienced brokers, will be headed up by Jonny Carruthers, who has over 13 years of experience broking in the credit insurance industry.

James Esdaile, Managing Director of BPL Global, comments: “We are seeing increased demand from our banking and corporate clients for portfolio credit insurance, which is something that has been successfully used over many years by some of the major commodity traders. Having a specialist and focused team will allow us to broaden use of the product within the market, tailoring the XOL structure to bolster our individual clients’ credit risk management, while developing the programme to deliver further efficiencies to enhance portfolio growth for both new and existing clients.”

Carruthers adds: “We see this as a strong alternative for banks to relying on their clients’ own insurance and a less secure loss-payee position. By having their own insurance policy, banks can obtain regulatory capital relief, eliminate operational risks and improve their advance rate.”

The creation of the team represents the latest milestone for the broker as it celebrates its 35th year in the CPRI industry.

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On Wednesday 4th July, we were delighted to host a reception at the Natural History Museum to celebrate 35 years of BPL Global. From our beginnings in 1983 with four staff, we have grown to become the largest specialist broking team in the credit and political risk insurance market. We could not have done this without our market-leading clients and underwriters. It was a pleasure to celebrate our 35th anniversary with them.