BMS Taps Former PartnerRe CEO Clarke as Chair, Completes Investment From Eurazeo

September 29, 2023

BMS Group, the London-based independent specialty re/insurance broker, announced it has appointed reinsurance executive, Emmanuel Clarke, as chairman, effective Sept. 28, 2023.

Clarke succeeds John Hastings-Bass, who remains with BMS as chairman of its UK and International operations.

Formerly president and CEO of PartnerRe, joins BMS with a proven record of successfully leading and growing the asset value of global and culturally diverse teams by strengthening performance and innovation cultures, BMS said.

BMS also announced the formal completion of the French private equity firm Eurazeo’s investment in the group, first announced in December 2022, following receipt of regulatory approval.

“With the closure of this transaction, we move into 2024 on a wave of momentum with the capital required to further drive our vision of becoming the independent specialty insurance and reinsurance broker of choice,” commented BMS Group CEO Nick Cook.

“This significant investment not only brings new capital and resource to BMS but to our clients and the market as a whole,” he added.

Since the transaction was announced, BMS has continued its expansion and is set to close out 2023 with forecast revenues of £300 million and growth of 30% across its three pillars of Specialty, Reinsurance, and International.

In the past year, BMS also made a further 10 acquisitions, building on the 8 deals made from 2019 to 2022, while staff numbers increased from approximately 400 to more than 1,200 worldwide.

Having seen a compound annual growth rate of more than 20% on organic business over the last three years, BMS now operates in 16 strategically important countries, with 33 offices.

Hastings-Bass has chaired BMS for almost nine years and worked in the insurance industry for more than 35. “[H]is insight and expertise has been fundamental to the success the company enjoys today,” said BMS in a statement. “As the company pursues its global strategy his continued involvement will be vital to the strengthening of its existing operations as well as its expansion overseas.”

Cook went on to welcome Clarke to BMS. “His successful build out of PartnerRe’s global reinsurance business during his 25-year tenure alongside his experience with progressive, data, digital and technology driven financial models will immediately contribute to BMS,” he said. “Similarly, I am delighted that John has agreed to stay with BMS. Under his chairmanship we have seen astonishing growth and I, along with all of BMS, thank him for his indispensable role in our success.”

“Specialty insurance and reinsurance markets are long standing investment themes for Eurazeo’s mid-large buyout strategy. BMS’ entrepreneurial and meritocratic culture and international footprint align well with Eurazeo’s investment approach,” according to Maxime de Bentzmann, co-head mid-large buyout at Paris-based Eurazeo.

“Since signing, the business has continued on its impressive organic and inorganic growth trajectory on which we are committed to support Nick Cook and the management team,” de Bentzmann added. (Eurazeo has a diversified portfolio of €35.2 billion in assets under management, including €25 billion from third parties, with investments in around 600 companies.)

BMS’ existing shareholders – British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (BCI), Preservation Capital Partners (PCP), management and staff – will remain significant investors in the business.

BMS were advised by Evercore, BMS Capital Advisory and Macfarlanes LLP.

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