BGL Group Ltd

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 Industry Flag-South-Africa.svg
Sector: Financial Services, Insurances

Parent Org: § The Concrete Trust
Legal Status:Privately held company
Tax Policy:Tax Havens Flag-Tax-Haven.svg
Not registered
url=CDP WorldwideUnknown
Founder:Douw SteynWikipedia-W.svg
YouTube:BGL Group
Page Contents

BGL Group is a South African-owned financial services company. Its main lines of business are vehicle and home insurance, with a range of supplementary products such as breakdown cover, legal protection and personal accident cover.

Business Segments

  • Price Comparison: offers customers a range of car, home and other insurance products, including life, travel, energy and pet insurance, as well as utilities and money products. Brands:,
  • Insurance Distribution and Outsourcing: Junction, the partnerships business, provides car and home insurance through well-known brands: Beagle Street and FiftyLife offer online life insurance; Budget insurance and Dial Direct offer car, home, life and van insurance products.
  • Fusion Contact Centre Services manages the customer service operations for the Group, as well as some of the UK's major insurance brands. Fusion has gone from strength to strength, opening a number of branches located in Coventry, Sunderland and Peterborough, and employs hundreds of staff.[1]
  • Junction is the "partnerships division". It was created to support the BGL Group’s decision to enter the growing “affinity insurance” market, which allows major brands to increase customer loyalty by allowing them to offer branded insurance products using outsourced insurance solutions. Since its launch, Junction has formed affinity partnerships with a number of household names including HSBC-owned M&S Bank and the RAC.[2]
  • Frontline looks after the Group's brands. It also offers a range of additional products including Breakdown Cover, Legal Expenses, Guaranteed Replacement Car and Van, Keycare, Personal Accident Cover and Home Emergency Assistance.[3]
  • Legal Services: Advanced Claims Management provides claims and uninsured loss recovery services to home, bike and motor insurance customers of the Group and its affinity partners. Minster Law offers help and advice in a range of legal areas including personal injury, employment, wills, probate and conveyancing.[3]



The Company is jointly owned by:

  • ~46%: Flag-South-Africa.svg Family Trust of Douw Gerbrand Steyn, who is rich enough to build "Steyn City", near Johannesburg, South Africa.[4][5]
  • ~46%: Flag-South-Africa.svg Family Trusts of the Enthoven family, owners of restaurant chain Nando's Ltd.[6]
  • 8%: Management Team.[7]


At the top of the (visible) heap sits the Concrete Trust, which wholly owns Reef Holdings Ltd.
The Trustee for the Concrete Trust is the Reef Foundation, a Discretionary Trading Trust based in New South Wales, Australia.[8]

  • The Concrete Trust, GR, OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
    • Reef Holdings 2 Ltd, GR, OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
    • Reef Holdings Ltd, GR, OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
      • BHL Holdings Ltd, was Budget Holdings Ltd to Feb.2015, GR, OC. It has 67 subsidiaries.[9] reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
        • Auto & General Holdings Pty Ltd, ref, reg. Australia. Flag-Australia.svg
        • Compare The Market Pty Ltd, ref, reg. Australia. Flag-Australia.svg
        • BHL Management Services Ltd, OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
        • BHL Minorities Ltd, OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
        • BHL Europe Holdings Ltd, voluntary strike-off Dec.2017. OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
        • BHL Europe Ltd, voluntary strike-off Dec.2012. OC, reg. Guernsey. Flag-Guernsey.svg
        • BHL (UK) Holdings Ltd, CH
          • BHL Eurasia Ltd, holdco for an investment into a foreign subsidiary. CH
            • Telesure Sigorta ve Reasurans Brokerligi AS, Turkish insurance broker, no OC record, ref, history, reg. Turkey. Flag-Turkey.svg
            • Beybostani, Pazarlama Himetleri AS, property management, joint stock company, reg. Turkey. Flag-Turkey.svg
          • BICL Ltd, (was Budget Insurance Company Ltd to Sept.2018), will cease trading Jan.2019. CH
          • CompareTheMarket Group Ltd, reg. Nov.2016, voluntary strike-off Nov.2018. CH
          • Coral Insurance Services Ltd, acq'd from BHL Europe Ltd in Jun.2016. CH
          • CTM Holdings Ltd, reg. Nov.2016, voluntary strike-off Nov.2018, CH
          • FreemarketFX Ltd, acq'd from ?? . CH
          • Minster Law Ltd, claims management income. Sidechapel Ltd (CH) has a stake + common shareholders. CH
          • BGL (Holdings) Ltd, CH. Majority shareholders: BHL (UK) Holdings Ltd, CPPIB Banjo Canada Inc, S Klinkert, Klinkert Investments Pty Ltd, P Winslow, M Donaldson.
            • BGL Group Ltd, provides management services to fellow group companies. CH
              • BISL Ltd, price comparison and insurance intermediary, t/a Budget Insurance Services. CH
                • ACM ULR Ltd, claims management. CH
                • BFSL Ltd, consumer credit services. CH
                • BGL Direct Life Ltd, life insurance intermediary; appointed representative of BISL Ltd, t/a Beagle Street. CH
              • Acraman (503) Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • Advanced Claims Management Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • Bakewell Property Development Ltd, commercial property rental and management. CH
              • Budget Financial Services Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • Budget Group Ltd, dormant. CH
                • Direct Insurance Systems Corporation Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • Budget Retail Ltd, voluntary strike-off Jun.2017. CH
              • Compare The Market Ltd, was CompareTheMarket (CTM) Ltd to Nov.2017, insurance intermediary, t/a and CH
              • CompareTheMarket (CTM) Ltd, was Compare The Market Ltd to Nov.2017, CH
              • Courtanet SAS, price comparison, owns, OC, reg. France. Flag-France.svg
              • Fusion Contact Centre Services Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • G F Bennett (Holdings) Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • IGOECO Ltd, non-trading. CH
              • Law Angel Ltd, non-trading. CH
ToDo †
  • Saverd Ltd, t/a Bean, acquisition pending regulatory approval, CH, website
  • BHL Minorities Ltd, "fellow subsidiary of BHL Holdings Ltd", OC, A/cs 2018, p.50, reg. Guernsey
  • Auto & General Holdings Pty Ltd, "fellow subsidiary of BHL Holdings Ltd", [OC]
  • Compare The Market Pty Ltd, "fellow subsidiary of BHL Holdings Ltd", [OC]
  • Budget Holdings Ltd, reg. Guernsey
    • Telesure Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd, no record at OC, ref, ref, timeline, brands, reg. South Africa
      • Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd, OC, ref
  • IHA Group (Innovation Holdings Australia Group, includes Innovation Holdings Australia Pty Ltd, Jacamar Overseas (reg. British Virgin Islands), Jacana Reinsurance Company (reg. Bermuda), and BHL Holdings. ref
  • M&T Bank Corporation, reg. USA. M&T BankWikipedia-W.svg
    • Wilmington Trust (UK) Ltd, investment holding company. CH, Wilmington TrustWikipedia-W.svg
      • Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) Ltd, OC
      • Wilmington Trust SP Services (Frankfurt) GmbH, management and consultancy services. OC
      • Wilmington Trust SP Services (London) Ltd, management and consultancy services. Holds 1 share in BGL Rec. Fin. (1) Ltd. CH
        • BGL Receivables Financing (1) Ltd, securitisation vehicle. BISL Ltd managed the portfolio. BFSL is the Originator. CH
      • Wilmington Trust (London) Ltd, agency and trustee services. CH


Oct.2018 Bean: acquired Saverd Ltd's Bean, a digital personal finance manager, subject to regulatory approval.[10][11]
Nov.2017Sold a 30% stake in BGL (Holdings) Ltd to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board,[12][13] subject to regulatory approval.[14] The Group had been agonising about an IPO for at least a year, but scrapped plans after accepting the offer of £675m. Completion is expected in Apr.2018.[15]
Oct.2017 FiftyLife launched, to offer over 50's up to £10,000 of life insurance cover.[16] website
Feb.2016 HoyHoy: Sold Verzekeringssite BV to Pricewise BV ref, link
2016 Budget Life launched.
2015 Bennetts was sold to Saga plc.[17]
2014 HoyHoy: re-branded as link
May.2013 Minster Law acquired.[18]
2013 Beagle Street brand launched, a direct-to-consumer proposition for life insurance and critical illness.[19]
2012 launched, the first online-only life insurer in the UK.
Jul.2012 acquired an 85% stake in the Dutch site. ref, ref, [link]
Jul.2011Budget Life Insurance launched as its first venture into the life insurance market. ref
Nov.2010 Courtanet acquired, owner of French price comparison sites and ref, ref. was hived up into LesFurets in mid-2012. link
Jan.2009 created, an online meerkat comparison website as part of a spoof advertising campaign featuring a CGI meerkat character named Aleksandr Orlov. ref
Jul.2007 Changed its name to BGL Group. Relaunched the insurance price comparison site.
Jun.2007 IBuyEco launched on World Environment Day in the UK and South Africa. Customers had an option to offset their vehicle's annual CO2 emissions with carbon credits for the duration of the policy. Plus, £5 was donated to a charity for every car policy sold or renewed.[20] The business was eventually hived up into DialDirect.
Jun.2007 QuoteMart launched. ref, ref. Hived up into Budget Insurance in 2011.
2006 Budget Retail sold to Swinton Insurance. ref
2005 set up as a complementary service to the Cape Town Contact Centre.
2004Opened the Cape Town Contact Centre.
2004Budget was noted as providing the most competitive home insurance, and the cheapest motor insurance cover.
2003 Advanced Claims Management ULR: the department expanded to become the in-house accident claims management and uninsured loss recovery arm of the group. Ran a PR and marketing campaign for Bennetts, helping to establish the bike insurer as a leading brand in the UK market.
Aug.2002 Junction launched; a partnerships business which designed tailored affinity insurance models for the group's partners based on their technology, distribution and product requirements. Junction was a major contributor to growth through partners such as the Post Office, M&S Money, Bradford & Bingley, and Yes Insurance. ref
Oct.2001 Dial Direct Insurance Marketing Ltd, an insurance intermediary group, was acquired from Churchill Insurance Group Ltd ref, then a subsidiary of the Credit Suisse Group ref, Dec.1999 a/cs. The deal included the Dial (car) and Bennetts (motorbike) brands. ref, ref, ref. The company was hived up into BISL Ltd in Jun.2003. ref, Jun.2004 a/cs
2000 Advanced Claims Management department launched to manage claims on behalf of Budget's panel of insurers.
Nov.1999Arnott Century: Budget acquired Century Insurance Centres Ltd plus the trade of Marshall Arnott Intermediary Services Ltd from Arnott Group Holdings Ltd. Both businesses were subsequently hived up into Budget Retail Ltd, t/a Budget Insurance Services.[21]
Dec.1997 Budget Insurance Services Ltd: the company ceased trading as an insurance underwriter and reformed as an insurance broker, underwritten by a panel of insurers.[22] [23]
Nov.1992Budget Insurance Company Ltd was founded in the UK by 5 executives from Auto & General. Budget traded as an underwriter of car and household insurance, issuing monthly policies and underwriting its own risks. [24] Douw SteynWikipedia-W.svg
1974‑1992Douw Gerbrand Steyn begins trading as Steyn Brokers in South Africa. In 1985, he formed Auto and General Insurance Company Ltd, an insurance company selling motor and home contents insurance. A&G pioneered paperless insurance, using voice-recording systems during the sales process.
Additional Sources: Our History BGL Group. Original archived on Oct.28.2007. Archived List of Annual Reports, Nov.2008 - Jul.2014 BGL Group. Original archived Accessed Aug.2018.


  • Nov.02.2018: ComparetheMarket accused of breaking competition law. The Competition and Markets Authority issued a “statement of objections”, after an investigation found that clauses in many of ComparetheMarket’s contracts with home insurers break competition law and could lead to higher premiums. The CMA has provisionally found that ComparetheMarket’s so-called “most favoured nation” clauses, which prevent home insurers from quoting lower prices on rival comparison sites and other distribution channels, could lead to customers missing out on cheaper premiums. According to the CMA, the clauses block fair market competition and also make it more likely that insurance companies have to pay higher commission rates to comparison sites, with the extra costs potentially impacting end-consumers. Insurance Business, Bethan Moorcraft. See also Guardian article
  • Oct.09.2018: BGL Group announces record profits and revenue. The financial services giant recorded revenue of £660.9m, up 13%, in the period ending Jun.30.2018. Underlying pre-tax profit was up 16% to stand at £146.9m. Insurance Business, Paul Lucas.
  • May.08.2017: BGL Group reveals partnership with Virgin Money. BGL Group has tied up with Virgin Money to provide its life insurance solution – a proposition that will incorporate both level and decreasing term insurance, as well as optional critical illness cover, and will officially kick off this summer. Insurance Business, Paul Lucas.


  1. ^ Sabio: The BGL Group Delivering Great Customer Experience. Contact Centres. Apr.01.2014
  2. ^ The Rise And Rise Of BGL. The Moment Magazine. Accessed Aug.12.2018.
  3. ^ a b Our Group Structure. BGL Group. Jun.29.2014 Original archived
  4. ^ The start of something special. Compleat Golfer. Jan.15.2015
  5. ^ South African billionaire Douw Steyn builds his own mega-city. The South African, Mareike Pietzsch. Mar.19.2015
  6. ^ Compare The Market owner BGL lines up banks for IPO. The Financial Times. Jan.18.2016
  7. ^ considers testing the meerkat with London IPO. The Guardian, David Hellier, Graham Ruddick. Jan.27.2016
  8. ^ Revocation of Approval to Hold a Stake in a Financial Sector Company of More Than 15%. Federal Register of Legislation. Dec.13.2013
  9. ^ BHL Holdings Ltd. Company Book. Accessed Aug.12.2018.
  10. ^ BGL Group reveals swoop. BGL Group has signed an agreement to acquire Saverd Ltd, the company behind personal finance app Bean. This will see BGL develop Bean, which allows users to track and manage their bills and subscriptions in one app by linking to their bank accounts. Insurance Business, Terry Gangcuangco. Oct.29.2018
  11. ^ BGL Group enters Open Banking arena. BGL Group. Oct.2018
  12. ^ CPPIB acquires 30% of BGL Group for £675 million. Private Capital Journal. Nov.23.2017
  13. ^ Canada Pension Plan announces £675 million deal with BGL Group. CPPIB will take a 30% stake in BGL, subject to regulatory approval, for the eye-catching sum of £675m. "During the course of our IPO preparations, our shareholder BHL received a number of approaches from different investors. A competitive process followed and our view was that CPPIB was the best partner for BGL." Insurance Business, Paul Lucas. Nov.23.2017
  14. ^ Case M.8752 - CPPIB / BHL / BGL. Commission decision pursuant to Article 6(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/20041 and Article 57 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area2. European Commission. Mar.14.2018
  15. ^ BGL Group scraps IPO plans after Canadian investment. Business Cloud, Mo Aldalou. Nov.24.2017
  16. ^ BGL Group launches FiftyLife. BGL Group, Press Release. Oct.10.2017
  17. ^ Saga buys bike broker Bennetts for £26.26m. Saga has bought the entire share capital of motorbike broker Bennetts from BGL Group for £26.26m in cash. Insurance Age, Emmanuel Kenning. Jan.28.2015
  18. ^ Compare the Market owner acquires £100m firm in major UK legal takeover. Claims firm Minster Law has been acquired by BGL Group in a deal which marks the largest outright sale of a UK law firm to date. Minster received approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to convert to an alternative business structure. Legal Week, Gerard Starkey. May.31.2013
  19. ^ Beagle Street - Life Insurance Reborn. The Digital Insurer. Accessed Aug.10.2018.
  20. ^ About IBuyEco. UK site, Africa site. website=IBuyEco {{{website}}}. Aug.08.2010 Original archived
  21. ^ Arnott Group Holdings Ltd Jun.1999: Arnott Group Holdings Ltd purchased Century Insurance Centres Ltd (CH). Nov.1999: Arnott sold Century plus the trade and assets of Marshall Arnott Intermediary Services Ltd (CH) to Budget. Companies House, Group Accounts to Dec.31.1999.. Dec.31.1999
  22. ^ Budget Insurance BGL Group. Original archived on Sep.09.2010.
  23. ^ The Rise And Rise of BGL. How do you distinguish yourself in a highly competitive market, inject an element of fun into a notoriously boring sphere and, ultimately, increase your profits? Simples! The Moment Magazine. Jan.08.2013
  24. ^ Our History. BGL Group. Oct.28.2007 Original archived