BPL Global has established, via its French subsidiary BPL S.A., a branch office in Geneva. The new Geneva branch will focus on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients, as well as being a local point of contact for the broker’s existing clients. Philippine de Villèle joins from UBS to head the office.

Villèle previously spent two years from 2011 in BPL Global’s Paris office, working with commodity traders and key French banking clients on trade, structured, project and export finance. She rejoins from UBS, where she was head of its CPRI team within its Commodity Trade Finance department for five years. At UBS, she established the CPRI product, and was in charge of on-boarding and managing relationships with insurers, promoting CPRI insurance within UBS, and developing the bank’s insurance portfolio. She has previously worked for AIG and JLT.

James Esdaile, Managing Director of BPL Global, comments: “We provide tailored insurance solutions to some of the world’s largest commodity traders, across energy, metals and soft commodities, and support all aspects of their activity. Given that Geneva continues to be an incredibly important trading hub, it is only natural that we seized the opportunity to open an office to support our clients locally, and we are delighted to have Philippine, with all her experience of the market, back on board. Geneva is also one of the foremost world banking centres for trade finance – presenting a great opportunity for us to further grow our client base.”

Villèle adds: “We are entering a new cycle for commodities, across all sectors, characterised by either recovered prices or increased trading volumes. So, while the trading environment remains challenging, the outlook is more positive in comparison to the past few years, with increasing market opportunities. As such, this represents a suitable time to open in Geneva, which provides proximity to existing clients to better understand their changing needs, while also allowing us to explore the potential with other industry players and Swiss-based exporters and investors. BPL Global has grown significantly since I left five years ago but – supported by its systems, organisation and management – its excellent client-focused service and the quality of its team remain the same. I could not imagine returning to the insurance market anywhere else.”

The opening takes BPL Global’s network of offices conducting insurance business to six – including those in London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.