B.P. Marsh & Partners PLC
27 March 2006
Date: 27th March 2006
On behalf of: B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc
For immediate release
B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc
Investee Company Raises £6m
B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc, a venture capital provider to early stage financial
services businesses (AIM: BPM), today announces that one of its investee
companies, Besso Holdings Limited ('Besso'), a Lloyd's insurance broking group,
has successfully raised £6m through the issuance of preference shares.
The new money will principally be employed to repay debt and to provide
Current directors and employees, and other existing shareholders, have agreed to
subscribe for approx £1m of the said £6m of preference shares. BP Marsh and a
subsidiary of Wachovia Corporation, a significant existing investor in Besso,
have agreed to subscribe for the difference on a 40/60 basis reflecting the
relative sizes of their existing shareholdings. BP Marsh maintains a 24.7%
shareholding in Besso.
Besso was established in February 1995, with the assistance of BP Marsh, by a
specialist team departing from Jardine Lloyd Thompson. The company originally
specialised in insurance broking for the North American P & C wholesale market
but, through acquisitions of businesses and teams, is now a multi-niche Lloyd's
Broker with an anticipated turnover this year of more than £30m.
Commenting on the investment, Brian Marsh OBE, Chairman of BP Marsh, said:
'We are delighted to participate in this fundraising package which we believe
will enable Besso to achieve its medium to long term ambitions and which, at the
same time, will provide share incentives to attract and retain the stars that
will be key to achieving those ambitions.'
Colin Bird, Chief Executive Officer of Besso, added:
'It is clear that our shareholders have considerable faith in our ability to
grow our business during the coming years and that this faith has been reflected
by the amount of new money that we have raised, particularly from the existing
team. We now feel able to take full advantage of the exciting opportunities that
we see before us in our rapidly changing marketplace.'
The investment is the second made by BP Marsh since its flotation on AIM in
- ends -
For further information:
B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc www.bpmarsh.co.uk
Brian Marsh OBE +44 (0)20 7730 2626
Redleaf Communications (PR to BP Marsh)
Emma Kane +44 (0)20 7955 1410
Rob Bain +44 (0)20 7955 1410
Notes to Editors:
Additional information about BP Marsh and its management:
BP Marsh's current portfolio contains nine companies. More detailed descriptions
of the portfolio can be found at www.bpmarsh.co.uk.
Over the past 16 years, the Company has assembled a management team with
considerable experience both in the financial services sector and in managing
private equity investments. Many of the directors have worked with each other in
previous roles, and all have worked with each other for at least three and a
Prior to Brian Marsh's involvement in the Company, he spent many years in
insurance broking and underwriting in Lloyd's as well as the London and overseas
market. He has over 30 years' experience in building, buying and selling
financial services businesses, particularly in the insurance sector.
Managing Director, Natasha Dunbar, has over 10 years' experience in the
financial services industry. Having joined the Company in 1994 she was made
managing director in March 2002. Natasha is responsible for the day to day
running of all operational aspects of the business and works closely with Brian
Marsh in defining the strategic development of the Company.
Investment Director Stephen Crowther joined the Company in 1998. He has over 27
years' experience in the London insurance market, in both broking and
underwriting. He researches potential investments, advises investee businesses
and monitors their progress.
Francis de Zulueta is the Company's Development Director. With a wide-ranging
knowledge of the financial services market, he seeks out, researches and
evaluates potential new investments for BP Marsh. Following a 23-year broking
career with Willis Faber and Aon, among others, he took an active interest in
the mergers, acquisitions and venture capital business of Marsh McLennan.
• Besso was founded in 1967 but was bought by Colin Bird and his colleagues
in 1985. After building up the business they sold it to Jardine Insurance
Brokers but then bought it back in 1995 with financial backing from BP Marsh;
• Besso employs more than 200 staff. The Group has global capabilities in most
classes of insurance. Its most recent areas of expansion include Worldwide
Reinsurance (Besso Re), and Captive Management and related products
• Besso's goal is to offer clients the full breadth and depth of expertise they
have the right to expect of a first-class Lloyd's broker but with the added
benefit of the close personal attention that has long been Besso's hallmark;
• In 2003, Besso was ranked as the 20th fastest profit-growth firm in the UK
in The Sunday Times Profit 100 Survey; it was ranked 52nd fastest growing in
the same survey in 2004; in 2005, it was ranked 13th in the Top City Brokers
by Post Magazine.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange