Legal Director, Anna Morgan, talks about her role and discusses how an in-depth understanding of the underlying finance documents, as well as the policy wording, is essential in assisting clients to benefit from Credit and Political Risk Insurance (“CPRI”)
Anna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a foreign languages (French and German) graduate and an English-qualified solicitor with over 15 years’ post-qualification experience. I started my professional life in a City law firm and since then have worked in global banks, in the legal team and also the Credit Portfolio Management (“CPM”) team, purchasing and managing CPRI on behalf of the bank.
Outside of work, and when my family allow, I enjoy travelling and sport, particularly tennis. I’m currently trying to figure out how to improve my game to compensate for steadily declining levels of fitness!
What drew you to Credit and Political Risk Insurance?
Before joining BPL Global, I spent over 8 years at MUFG. I started in the legal team, providing advice and support for the deal teams across a range of lending transactions. Through my knowledge of the lending structures and associated risks, I became increasingly involved in advising on the use and implementation of credit mitigation techniques for different types of exposure. So much so that I ultimately moved across to sit as part of the CPM team.
I was particularly drawn by the unique partnership that exists between insureds and the insurers – which is quite different from the other types of solutions used by banks. It was a particularly exciting time with the introduction of the Insurance Act 2015 as well as what seemed to be the increasing sophistication and breadth of insurance solutions available. I felt I could put my legal and banking experience to good use.
Importantly for me, I liked and respected the people I worked with and met in the industry.
At what point in the client relationship do you come in?
At BPL Global, I have a broad remit which means I can get involved in any matter with legal implications – which, as you can imagine, is quite far reaching.
The nature of my work means that I can enter at any point in the process, from initial product explanations to adapting policy wordings right through to the final claim payment and allocation of final recoveries. Where possible, I like to be involved as early as possible in the client relationship as it helps me understand the particular priorities of each client and enables me to focus support accordingly.
What is your core focus currently?
We are continually looking to improve and refine operations, and to support best client experience as well as market development, which means there is always lots going on! For example, we are developing new master policy wordings that will cover a full range of lending structures with a view to increasing consistency and minimising the scope for operational error. Equally, we have been developing new policy wordings to best cater for bank exposures beyond traditional lending, such as derivatives, as well as wordings to correctly provide for more bespoke types of cover.
What makes the BPL Legal team different from other brokers?
BPL Global is a specialist CPRI broker, which means the organisation as a whole benefits from specialist and in-depth market knowledge and experience. From our clients’ perspective, I like to think that my previous experience as a purchaser of CPRI in a bank can prove very helpful as I have first-hand experience of the internal processes and challenges associated with the role. I think this is something that you can only truly appreciate by working on the client side.
I also like to think that my years (and too many late nights...) spent drafting and negotiating finance documents means I have a good understanding of the underlying transactions and am well positioned to assist in tailoring insurance policies to work for each particular structure and risk.
How do you collaborate with the other teams?
As with all work at BPL Global, teamwork and collaboration are paramount. Regardless of level, we are always encouraged to share expertise and knowledge to everyone across the teams and offices.
I am fortunate to be able to work with all the broking and client teams and will often provide support behind the scenes. In addition, I work closely with our Claims Manager, Liam Feeney, and am on hand to assist when more legal support may be required in the claims process. This can vary from the drafting of release agreements to more in-depth legal analysis.
I am also fortunate to be able to draw on the expertise of our Compliance team with respect to more regulatory issues that may arise. Sanctions-related work is a recent example of this!
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety, the people and continued learning opportunities! I enjoy the team ethos at BPL Global and find it motivating to work with people who are really driven to deliver the best results for our clients and for the market as a whole. There’s always space to brainstorm novel ways to bring value to clients and refine our own business operations.
I find it rewarding passing on my knowledge and experience to more junior brokers and at the same time having the opportunity to learn from the many years of experience of my colleagues. Through BPL Global’s internal education programmes, all members of staff are encouraged to share their knowledge, pick up new skills or pursue further education and expand their horizons, which I think is incredibly valuable both for each individual as well as the company as a whole.