UK General and PPL rebrand to Bspoke Group
The new Bspoke Group comprises of Bspoke Underwriting (formerly UK General Insurance), Bspoke Lifestyle (formerly Binnacle Insurance Services), Bspoke Commercial (formerly One Commercial), Provego, and One Commercial Specialty under the leadership of Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Smyth, and Chairman Lord Marland.
Bspoke Underwriting will focus on personal lines schemes; Bspoke Lifestyle will specialise in the holiday park industry, and Bspoke Commercial will cover all classes of commercial business including SME, Bspoke Sports & Leisure and Bspoke Private Clients. Provego, which specialises in freight and transport, and One Commercial Specialty, which underwrites Professional Indemnity and D&O, will retain their current branding.
Ryan Gill, previously Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with almost 20 years of experience in the insurance sector, will step up to the role of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of the newly branded Bspoke Group.
Having been instrumental in the management buy-out (MBO) and transformation of the business, Ryan will be responsible for driving the ambitious growth strategy, including M&A, capital management, and capacity placement.
Craig Hunter will continue to drive the operational transformation of the Group as Chief Operating Officer (COO), subject to regulatory approval, with responsibility for IT, Finance, Claims, Customer Relations, Legal, and HR. Both will work closely with CEO Tim Smyth as Executive Group Board Members.
Commenting on the new brand and structure, Tim Smyth said: “We have been working hard since the acquisition to get the Group in the best possible position for substantial and profitable growth. The Group currently underwrites more than £100m GWP with plans to grow both organically and through an acquisition strategy fully supported by our shareholders.
“In the last five months of trading since the business was acquired, our commercial insurance businesses have grown organically by 10% and the pace of this growth is accelerating. The profitability of the schemes business has improved significantly compared with the prior year, with a number of new accounts onboarded and operational efficiencies delivered.
“We have great support from both our investors and our major capacity providers while we complete the transformation of the business to create a secure, stable platform for taking advantage of the many opportunities in the UK insurance market.”
Tim explained that Bspoke Group is targeting growth opportunities in several areas including the niche and specialist schemes market such as lifestyle, mid-net worth (MNW), and sports and leisure. “These are sectors where we can leverage our extensive data and play to our underwriting talent.
He said that the Group has an appetite for growth through acquisition where strategic aims are met, as well as organic growth: “We have been quietly building a pipeline of opportunities; the MGA sector is attractive to acquirers like us who have supportive investors and A-rated capacity. We are also interested in talking to underwriting teams seeking a great platform from which to grow and build their own value.”
Bspoke Group business units will have their own P&L with a lean central function overseeing Compliance, Finance, Business Intelligence, IT, Marketing and HR. “The intention is to provide efficient central services at low cost while providing high-quality support our teams need, to enable them to fully concentrate on building great partnerships with distributors,” Tim said.
Group Chairman Lord Marland commented: “The Bspoke Group of companies has a very exciting future. Our supportive investors have fully bought into our ambitious plans and I am confident that we will provide them with excellent returns.”