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Besso : Everything you need to know

 Headquarters Address  

8-11 Crescent, London EC3N 2LY, UK


£45 million (according to 2016 annual report)

 Size (employees)


 Global Locations

UK, Brazil, Istanbul

 Underwriting Expertise

Aviation, casualty, property, marine, reinsurance, and professional & financial risks

 Key People

CEO of Besso Group and Besso Limited & Managing Director of Casualty Division: Robert Dowman

CEO of Besso Group and Besso Limited & Managing Director of Property Division: Russ Nichols

About Besso

Besso is a Lloyd’s broker that provides a range of services catering for major industries and business sectors as well as niche markets. It is composed of divisions with teams that handle a wide variety of complex risks by providing detailed sector knowledge and niche expertise:

  • Aviation: It caters to all types of aircraft-related insurance, including extensive liability and personal accident cover for aircrew, operators, and other parties.
  • Casualty: It operates in all main insurance markets and focuses on construction, healthcare, pharmaceutical and neutraceutical, heavy products, large excess programmes, programme and facility business, product recall, discontinued operations, and any complex casualty placement.
  • International: It is the company’s largest division by size and revenue. It offers cover for personal accident, travel and expatriate, kidnap and ransom, and term and group life; group programmes and treaties; fine art collections, museums and exhibitions, and high net worth households; antique fine art dealers, restorers, and framers; jewellers block; directors and officers, errors and omissions, professional indemnity, and public officials; commercial and industrial property packages and goods in transit; commercial and industrial property and liability; public, products, and environmental liability; engineering inspection and insurance; and motor fleet insurance.
  • Marine: It offers specialist cover that matches individual needs, including blue and brown water vessels, passenger ships, and super or mega yachts. It also provides cover for niche areas such as ship repair and towage, fishing, intermodal operations, and salvage and wreck removal.
  • Optex: It developed options contracts on a Lloyd’s index, advised on many Insurance Linked Securities, executed wind volume swaps, and hedged US university revenue loss arising from government actions.
  • Property: It specialises in creating programmes for property-related cover such as small properties, skyscrapers, goods in transit, trucking fleets, high-value houses, and exclusive motor vehicles.
  • Professional and financial risks: It offers cover for commercial, financial institutions, professional indemnity, employment practices liability, and cyber issues.

Besso strives to offer consistent and reliable face-to-face broking skills combined with an innovative and creative approach.

History of Besso

Besso is an established international broker whose roots can be traced back to the Besso family, a well-known name in Italian insurance. It offers specialist access to Lloyd’s and all major insurance markets and embraces wholesale, reinsurance, and retail products. The company mainly operated in North America in the early years until it decided to include treaty and facultative insurance across a wide variety of business lines worldwide.

In 2017, American global financial services company BGC Partners acquired Besso for £70.5 million through a mix of cash and stock. As part of the deal, BGC executive Christopher Smith joined Besso’s board of directors to drive the company’s strategic growth plan.

Leadership at Besso

Robert Dowman – Managing Director of Casualty Division & CEO
Dowman is the CEO of both Besso Group and Besso Limited. He has been serving as the managing director of Besso Limited’s global casualty division since 2017.

Russ Nichols – Managing Director of Property Division & CEO
Nichols is the CEO of both Besso Group and Besso Limited. He joined the company in 1999 as a divisional director and joined the Besso board of directors in 2001.

Culture at Besso

Besso focuses on integrity, leadership, adaptability, strength, tradition, and innovation to improve its work ethics and corporate style.

As an international company, Besso strives to reinforce its reputation for leadership and loyalty by ensuring that each division and business line draws on the best talent available in the marketplace. The company also promotes diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace by embracing talented people irrespective of their background, race, gender, or beliefs.

Besso : In the news