2 May 2023Analysis

BMS expands in Australia

Specialist insurance and reinsurance broker BMS Group has acquired GARD Insurance Pty which includes ALE underwriting.

The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

GARD was founded in 2015 and provides public and products liability and associated professional indemnity insurance to a diverse range of businesses from small to medium enterprises (SMEs) through to multinational businesses. It has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane where it provides its products to all licensed brokers.

ALE is the leading MGA for hospitality in Australia. Its primary focus is property and casualty covers for hotels and pubs, licensed clubs, bars, restaurants, caravan parks, alpine accommodation, backpackers, modern short-term accommodation, boarding houses and one-off events. ALE’s unique and bespoke IT platform is offered exclusively to select brokers.

GARD non-executive chairman Craig Patterson will join BMS as executive chairman of GARD, with a remit to grow and expand the acquired business. Patterson is an industry veteran with a wealth of valuable experience gained from senior roles at Austagencies, AON Benfield, Aviva in the UK and CGU/NZI.

“Buying an MGA in Australia is aligned with our global strategy to diversify our international retail operations,” said Andrew Godden, chief executive of BMS’ Australian business. “Both GARD and ALE have excellent underwriting capabilities and a stellar leadership team in Craig Patterson, Craig Walker, Dean Fiddes and Janelle Cox. We share the same vision on growth, and I am excited to work with them to take our business to the next level.”

Patterson said: “ALE and GARD share similar cultural DNA with BMS, which is what makes this an exciting milestone. We look forward to being part of a global speciality organisation with extensive risk expertise and market knowledge, and to the added capital that will allow us to expand into more technical, niche segments that complement our current offering.”