Investment in Sterling Insurance Pty Limited

Released : 05 Jun 2013 12:15

RNS Number : 3634G
B.P. Marsh & Partners PLC
05 June 2013

Date:                            5th June 2013

On behalf of:                 B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc ("B.P. Marsh", "the Company" or "the Group")


Immediate release


B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc

Investment in Sterling Insurance Pty Limited



B. P. Marsh & Partners Plc (AIM: BPM), the niche venture capital provider to early stage financial services businesses, is pleased to announce that through a joint venture enterprise alongside Besso Insurance Group Limited ("Besso") it has acquired an effective 19.7% stake in Sterling Insurance Pty Ltd ("Sterling"), a specialist underwriting agency offering a range of insurance solutions within the Liability sector specialising in niche markets including hard-to-place and complex risks.


Sterling's core management team operated as Sterling Insurance Brokers in the 1980's & early 1990's before being acquired by Heath Lambert. The team continued to operate under Heath Lambert, joining the IUS Group in 2003 then conducting an MBO in 2008 to become an independent entity with offices in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Besso has had a commercial relationship with Sterling since 2004.


Since its MBO from IUS in 2008, Sterling has grown revenues from AU$2,727,053 to AU$5,799,832 and operating profit of AU$458,940 to a post-tax profit of AU$1,222,608 as at its year-end position at 31st December 2012.


Neutral Bay Investments Limited ("Neutral Bay"), the joint venture entity (of which the Group owns 49.9%, the remaining majority stake owned by Besso) purchased a 39.47% shareholding in Sterling from Sterling's founder George Condell for AU$6,159,571, with George Condell retaining a reduced stake going forwards. Daniel Topping has been appointed to the boards of both Neutral Bay and Sterling, as B.P. Marsh's nominee director.


As per its ongoing pledge to support Besso in its expansion plans, the Group has funded Besso's proportion of this investment by way of a secured £2,000,000 loan facility, repayable over the next four years. Both this investment into the Australian market, and Besso's recent acquisition of HSB Sigorta (announced on 3rd June 2013) are in line with Besso's ambitions to expand internationally and acquire businesses which are complementary to Besso's growth strategy, and the Group is pleased that it is able to assist in making this possible by providing additional investment capital commitments.


Commenting on the transaction Brian Marsh Chairman of the Group stated:


"I am pleased that we have been able to create a partnership vehicle alongside one of our most longstanding investee companies with which we can pursue this interesting opportunity in Sydney. Australasia is a market which the Group has flagged in the past as one in which it wished to increase its involvement."


Commenting on the investment Colin Bird, CEO and Chairman of Besso said:

This is another step forward for our growth strategy. Besso continues to look at value generating acquisition opportunities in the UK and Overseas.


Sterling Insurance has an enviable reputation in their markets and we are extremely pleased to be cementing our relationship with this investment. "


For further information:


B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc                                                               

Brian Marsh OBE                                                                                             +44 (0)20 7233 3112


Nominated Adviser & Broker

Panmure Gordon

Hugh Morgan / Fred Walsh                                                                              +44 (0)20 7886 2500



Notes to Editors:


About B.P. Marsh & Partners Plc


B.P. Marsh's current portfolio contains ten companies. More detailed descriptions of the portfolio can be found at


Since formation over 20 years ago, 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 four years.


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.


Jonathan Newman is a Chartered Management Accountant and is the Group Director of Finance and has over 15 years' experience in the financial services industry. Jonathan advises investee companies through three non-executive board appointments and evaluates new investment opportunities.


Daniel Topping is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (MCSI) and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ACIS), having graduated from the University of Durham in 2005. Dan joined B.P. Marsh in February 2007 having started his career at an accountancy firm. In 2011 he was appointed as a director of B.P. Marsh and currently has a number of non-executive appointments over four investee companies and evaluates new investment opportunities.


Camilla Kenyon was appointed as Head of Investor Relations at B.P. Marsh in February 2009, having four years' prior experience with the Company. Camilla holds two non-executive appointments, is Chair of the New Business Committee and is a Member of the Investor Relations Society.


Natasha Dunbar has over 18 years' experience in the financial services industry. Having joined the Company in 1994 she was made managing director in March 2002, subsequently becoming a non-executive director of the Company in 2008, a position she held for five years. Natasha was reappointed as a Director in February 2013 and holds non-executive appointments at three of the Group's investee companies.


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