BGL Group News
Peter Winslow CBE FCA, Group Chief Executive
Peter Winslow has led the BGL Group since 1995, developing it from a direct insurer operating a single motor insurance brand to a Group of companies responsible for some of the best known names in financial services. In 2011/2012 the Group delivered an annual profit of £88 million.
Under Peter's leadership the Group has grown rapidly and successfully diversified into new areas. In 1999 the Budget brand expanded into home insurance. October 2001 saw the company move into motorcycle insurance with the acquisition of Coventry-based Dial Direct and Bennetts. The following year, the Group launched its affinity business, Junction, which now enables some of the UK's best known brands to offer insurance products to their customers. ACM, the accident claims management arm of the Group, was launched in 2000 and the Group created a price comparison site, comparethemarket.com, in 2006. In 2010, BGL acquired its first non-UK business, Courtanet, a French price comparison operation, which is now known as LesFurets.com.
Peter began his career in accountancy before joining a specialist publishing business, which was later acquired by Harper Collins. He became Finance Director of Harper Collins in 1989 and subsequently held the role of Chief Executive from 1990 to 1994, before joining the BGL Group as Deputy CEO.
Peter was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours List, in recognition of his contribution to Financial Services.
Ian Leech, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Group Chief Executive
Ian, a Chartered Accountant, is currently CFO and Deputy Chief Executive of BGL Group, which he joined in 1997. Prior to joining BGL Group, Ian held a number of senior positions within Forward Trust Group, including the role of Finance Director within Forward Asset Finance (now HSBC Asset Finance). At BGL Group, Ian has delivered the financial restructuring of the Group from a loss of £12.5 million in 1997 to a profit of £88 million in 2012. Since his promotion to Deputy Chief Executive in 1999, he has led a number of strategic acquisitions and the commercial structuring of major business partnerships. He has also delivered financial engineering and developed sophisticated behavioural pricing techniques, all of which have significantly enhanced profitability. Ian holds FCA approved person status and therefore has a responsibility for ensuring BGL Group meets its regulatory requirements.
Ian is also a Director of Budget Holdings Ltd, the international holding Company for the BGL Group Ltd. In this role, his responsibilities include the management of the Group's authorised insurance company in the UK and financial management of reinsurance operations in Bermuda.
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.
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.