BGL Group News
Matthew Donaldson, Chief Operating Officer
Matthew has twenty years' experience in financial services and holds an MBA. Prior to joining the Group, Matthew held a number of senior posts in retail financial services and general insurance distribution, joining the Group in 1999 following the acquisition of a high street broker chain. In 2004, as Managing Director of BRL, Matthew also led the development and execution of the Group's e-commerce entry strategy, resulting in the exponential growth of the existing intermediary businesses and the creation of comparethemarket.com. In 2005, Matthew was appointed as Group Director to manage a portfolio of existing and emerging businesses, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Over this period, he has led the growth of the commercial operations within the Group and enjoys responsibility for all of the Group's UK trading entities, Group HR, LesFurets.com (France) and Verzekeringssite.nl (Holland). Matthew is also a Non-Executive Director of Cambridge Building Society and freemarketFX.
Kal Atwal, Group Director, Brand-led Businesses
Kal joined the BGL Group more than 10 years ago – initially as a Senior Marketing Manager for Bennetts, before progressing to Managing Director during a highly successful period for the brand. In July 2007, Kal was appointed Managing Director of comparethemarket.com, which has become one of the UK's leading price comparison sites under her leadership. Kal now holds Board responsibility for Beagle Street, the newly launched online life insurance proposition; LesFurets.com, BGL's French aggregator business; and BGL's latest aggregator acquisition Verzekeringssite.nl which is based in the Netherlands. She also leads new business ventures and has retained strategic marketing oversight for comparethemarket.com.
Prior to BGL, Kal's roles included Marketing Analyst for Northcliffe Newspapers and promoting Inner City regeneration at the Derby Chamber of Commerce. Kal also spent a year in Madrid working for Ernst and Young Accountants.
In recognition for her services to business, Kal was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University, where she studied International Business and Spanish.
Peter Thompson, Group Director, Intermediated Businesses
Peter joined BGL as Managing Director of Junction, the business-to-business arm of the Group in January 2008. Since then, he grew Junction's customer base to over 1.8 million and secured a number of significant deals, positioning the business as the most successful affinity outsourcing intermediary in the UK. Peter was appointed to the role of Group Director, Intermediated Businesses in March 2013.
Peter has spent 25 years working in the UK insurance industry, in both commercial and personal lines; two years in broking and 16 years at Royal and SunAlliance where he was responsible for non-motor personal lines corporate partnerships. A business-to-business specialist, Peter joined HBOS in 2003 as Head of Commercial Insurance and in 2005 became Managing Director of Partnerships for the Group, responsible for the profitable growth of multi product joint ventures and all intermediated insurance distribution. Throughout his time at HBOS he served on the General Insurance Management Board and through his Group Partnerships role undertook a number of Non-Executive posts.
David Downie, Group Director - Legal Services
David joined BGL Group as Group Director for Intermediated Businesses in May 2012, before being appointed to the role of Group Director - Legal Services in March 2013.
David joined BGL from HSS, where he was Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all aspects of UK Field Sales and Operations, Property, Commercial, Logistics, HR and Customer Service. David was previously at the 4 U Group (formerly known as the Caudwell Group) which he joined in 2005 as Managing Director for Caudwell Communications with a brief to prepare the company for sale. Through a restructuring programme he returned the company to profit, and it was sold to Pipex in March 2006. David then became Managing Director of Phones 4 U Retail Division and again helped to restructure the Group.
David began his career at ASDA, joining in 1988 as a graduate trainee and quickly rising through the ranks to become Retail and later Logistics Director on the executive board.
David graduated from Newcastle Upon Tyne University with a BSc Hons in Agriculture, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Paul Galligan, Managing Director, comparethemarket.com
Paul joined the Group in August 2008 as Director of Bennetts. During his tenure, Paul drove significant growth, delivering record levels of sales and renewals in order to enhance Bennetts' position as the leading brand in motorbike insurance.
Paul became Managing Director of comparethemarket.com in Sept 2011, where he has played a leading role in building upon its market leading position. Today, comparethemarket.com enjoys a 35-40% market share of the insurance and price comparison market, which has increased as a result of an outstanding customer proposition.
Paul started his career with Capital Bank before moving to HBOS, working in the Partnerships division, where he led a number of affinity relationships and joint ventures with some of the UK's leading brands. He then went on to be Head of Products for Sainsbury's Bank where he was responsible for the sales and profitability of its Lending, Savings and Insurance products.
Alasdair Lenman, Deputy Chief Financial Officer
Alasdair joined the Group in September 2012 as Deputy Chief Financial Officer; a new position within the Group.
Alasdair joined BGL from Lloyds Banking Group, where he was Finance Director, Retail Products and Intermediaries. As part of the leadership team, Alasdair held joint responsibility for the financial and commercial development of all retail banking products. During his time at Lloyds, Alasdair led a number of programmes including the establishment of BGL's motor insurance contract with Lloyds via Junction, the Group's partnerships business.
Alasdair's past positions include Deputy Chairman of Sainsbury's Bank and Chairman of the Audit Committee, Director of Cheltenham & Gloucester plc, as well as Directorships for a number of other financial entities.
Catherine Lynch, Group HR Director
Catherine joined BGL as Group HR Director in January 2013, bringing vast human resources experience to the role.
Previously, Catherine spent two years with Barclays as Head of HR Barclaycard Europe & HR Operations, providing strategic HR leadership to its senior teams in the UK and in Europe. As part of that role, she implemented an operations centralisation project to help transform the HR approach at Barclays. She also facilitated a series of leadership and talent events focusing on effectiveness and behaviours.
Over the prior seven years, Catherine held HR Director roles at Santander, working across various divisions and leading a team of HR professionals to support the transformation agenda. Having started her career in retail management at Tesco, Catherine went on to join Sainsbury's. It was during this time that Catherine completed her MSc in Human Resources Management and also a CIPD at Buckingham Chilterns University.