BPL Global celebrates international trade at 15th anniversary of Paris subsidiary

News | 6 June 2016

BPL Paris web.jpg

“BPL Global does business, not politics,” affirmed Charles Berry, chairman of the credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, as he toasted the 15th anniversary of their Paris subsidiary in the magnificent surroundings of the British Ambassador’s Residence near the Champs- Elysées on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. 

TFR, along with other familiar faces in the trade finance and credit and political risk (CPRI) insurance market raised a glass (or two) to the award-winning brokers as they underlined their commitment to a global market – whether the UK remained inside the EU or voted to leave.

“Our industry is, of course, faced with major political uncertainty in the form of the upcoming UK referendum on whether to remain in the European Union,” continued Berry. “Yet, even if the UK opts out, BPL Global will stay in. I can say that with certainty because our Paris office is an extremely well-established business and a significant part of the market. We will do whatever is necessary to service our clients, not only in France, but also in Germany, Italy and Spain.”

Paul Torrington, président et directeur général of BPL Global’s French subsidiary, had earlier spelt out the growth of the French business since it was founded 15 years ago, reiterating the importance of the French market to the CPRI industry – an importance affirmed by the number of London-based underwriters that made the trip across the channel for the event.

More broadly, the industry also faces uncertainty from a growing anti-trade sentiment both in the US and in pockets of Europe.

“I’ve always believed that the CPRI market’s work oiling the wheels of international trade and development is an unquestioned good,” said Berry. “But we are faced with the reality that not everyone feels that way. There is a growing anti-trade sentiment that we must be conscious of, and fight against. I’d like to take this opportunity to declare that BPL Global will remain loyal to the principles supporting international trade and to support our clients wherever they want to do business.”

Berry added, “As another milestone passes, we look to the future and I have every confidence that we will be doing more and better business for the next 15 years and beyond, not least because of the very successful continuity plans that we have in place. Minor obstacles created by political shifts will not change that.”

The Ambassador’s Residence – or Hotel de Charost as it is known – which, as the Ambassador Sir Julian King explained in his welcome, was bought in 1814 by the Duke of Wellington from Pauline Borghese, the sister of Napoleon. Since then it has been a place where British and French leaders have met to discuss the issues of today and strategise for the future.

The outcome of the referendum, and how the anti-EU movement may play out, remains to be seen. But as the great and the good of the specialist insurance industry left the building, one thing was clear – the CPRI market will, they said, remain steadfast.

See also Clarissa Dann’s editorial on the UK’s Leave or Remain referendum here.

Left to right: Sir Julian King, The British Ambassador to France, Charles Berry, chair, BPL Global, Paul Torrington président et directeur général of BPL Global’s French subsidiary
Anthony Palmer (BPL GLobal deputy chair) with TFR editor-in-chief Clarissa Dann
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