Barrie & Hibbert Limited ("B&H" or the "Company"), the leading provider of asset modelling and associated consulting services to the European insurance, pensions and fund management industries, today announces the launch of the next phase in its development.
As part of the ongoing programme of initiatives, the international investment bank, Goldman Sachs, has invested in a 34.8% stake in the Company. A key strategic requirement for B&H's founders, Andrew Barrie and John Hibbert, has been to ensure that they retain majority control of the Company as well as maintaining its operational independence. The remainder of the Company's equity is held by staff.
Since 2001, building on a strong reputation in asset-liability and capital management advice, the firm has established itself as the dominant provider of asset modelling software to both UK and European insurance firms. More than 70% of major UK insurers and 60% of major European insurers now use the B&H Economic Scenario Generator (ESG) as part of their regulatory or economic capital management. The models continue to provide a foundation for B&H's advisory work in insurance risk and capital management, pensions asset-liability management (ALM), product design and the development of on-line financial planning tools for financial advisers.
The growth in B&H's business has been driven by the increasingly sophisticated approach adopted by its clients to market risk management in response to changing regulatory requirements and evolving best industry practice. The Goldman Sachs investment will allow the Company to further strengthen its products, advisory and support capabilities through a number of initiatives:
- To maintain and extend the Company's R&D programme, consolidating its position as a recognised thought leader in market risk management and to ensure that B&H's core ESG software product maintains its market-leading position.
- To strengthen the Company's product portfolio and software development infrastructure.
- To continue to build the support infrastructure to service an evolving global customer base.
- The creation of a Technical Advisory Panel, drawing upon the expertise of independent market participants, to maintain the Company's leadership and independence in modelling technology and model calibration.
In addition, the firms have established a separate agreement whereby B&H's risk advisory team will assist Goldman Sachs in developing structured ALM solutions for insurance and pension clients, combining the respective risk management, risk modelling and product structuring skills of each party to deliver tailored solutions that meet clients' most complex strategic ALM challenges.
Andrew Barrie, Chief Executive of Barrie & Hibbert, said: "After a period of consultation and review of our options we have decided that these initiatives outlined today present us with the optimal route to take the Company and our services onto the next phase of development. We know how important our products are to our customers. This new investment will allow us to continue enhancing and developing these products and our support infrastructure in order to meet growing and sophisticated demands from our clients."
Tim Bunting, Advisory Director at Goldman Sachs, said: "This is an exciting investment for Goldman Sachs. Barrie & Hibbert is unique in the services it provides. It has significant global aspirations and the resources we can put at their management's disposal will support these objectives."