19 August 2013News

BMS appoints new group CEO

Bermuda-domiciled BMS, a specialist broking and underwriting player, has appointed Dane Douetil as its new group CEO.

The company has indicated that Douetil will head-up the second stage of the company’s strategic development, with the first stage having seen revenues at BMS grow by 27 percent since 2010 largely thanks to its pioneer underwriting platform.

Commenting on his appointment Douetil said: “Leading a company of the calibre and scope of BMS is a very exciting prospect.  BMS is an intriguing and compelling proposition with significant growth potential. It will be refreshing to return to my roots as a broker and combine this with my underwriting experience in a leadership role here at BMS. This is a rare opportunity in the market and one that is a great marriage of my experience and BMS’s strategy of developing both its broking and underwriting platforms.”

Bermuda Re spoke with Christopher Hopton, chairman of BMS Associates about the company’s ambitions:

How will the second stage of BMS' development differ from the first?

In the first phase of our strategy we created the building blocks on which to base BMS’ future. We invested to strengthen our broking platform. For example in our US reinsurance business we hired talented new producers, actuaries, modellers and client servicing specialists into our offices in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. In London we hired a new risk solutions team and a professional and financial services team to work alongside our existing wholesale teams. We also successfully established Pioneer Underwriting our managing general agent business.

In the second phase we will look to grow all our businesses, but in particular to take advantage of the synergies available between them.

Where does BMS see the most significant opportunities for its operations at present?

We see particular opportunities:

- To continue the growth of Pioneer Underwriting as we build on our disciplined underwriting approach and expand the number of risk classes we write

- To expand the geographic reach of our broking activities. Our current focus is US and Canada and sub-Saharan Africa. We see significant potential to source business from Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Caribbean

- To hire further teams into our US reinsurance platform

How do BMS' underwriting and broking platforms co-exist and deliver synergy?

Our broking and underwriting platforms are managed independently with strict rules in place to identify and manage conflicts of interest. However, there are several benefits which flow from operating our broking business alongside Pioneer Underwriting.

- Broking teams introduce new underwriting teams to Pioneer and identify sources of capacity for those teams in an MGA structure

- Pioneer can offer dedicated capacity to BMS brokers and underwrites risks that meet its risk appetite for BMS clients on a follow market basis

- The broker has the ability to distribute new products, developed by the underwriter, to its current agency network.