BGL Group overview

BGL Group is a financial services company based in Orton Southgate, Peterborough, England. Its main lines of business are vehicle and home insurance, with a range of supplementary products such as breakdown cover, legal protection, personal accident cover, and, as of 2019, short-term motor insurance via new brand, Jaunt.

BGL Group is part of a wider international business, Budget Holdings Limited (BHL), with operations in South Africa and Australia as well as the UK.

The company was founded in 1992 by Douw Steyn as the Budget Insurance Company, underwriting insurance. In 1998 the company ceased underwriting and became an intermediary. After acquiring Dial Direct and Bennetts in 2001, the group launched its first affinity business, Junction.

In 2007 the company was renamed BGL Group. At the same time, was relaunched after being setup as a complimentary service in 2005.

Today, the group trades under the names of Budget, Bean, Jaunt, Beagle Street, Dial Direct, Junction, ACM ULR, Fusion,, and Bennetts was sold to Saga Group in 2015.

BGL Group have a long-term growth strategy which builds on their market-leading core capabilities of data, digital and marketing. The group continues to operate and innovate in its current markets, but also maintains a focus on developing and launching new ventures.

In 2018 BGL Group announced record results for the year ending 30 June 2018, reporting revenue at £660.9m, up 13% on the previous year, while underlying profit before tax was up 16% to £146.9m.

In October 2018 BGL announced it was to acquire digital personal finance manager Bean, marking its entrance into Open Banking.

Following the success of its first tech hub, launched in Shoreditch in 2017, the Group decided to invest £3m in a new hub based in Sunderland in early 2019, creating 40 fresh jobs in the process.

In May 2019 BGL launched a new short-term insurance brand, Jaunt, which offers car, van and motorhome insurance from one hour to 30 days.

BGL Group's revenue increased to £714.4m in 2019, with its underlying pre-tax profits reached £159.6m. Compare the Market's customer total also increased to 7.3m.

The following year, in June 2020, CEO Matthew Donaldson announced he was stepping down from the company to focus on new opportunities. Mark Bailie, former founder and CEO of RBS' Bó, is to take the helm in September.

In October 2020, BGL announced the launch of a new counter-fraud 'pre-sale' technology, which leverages AI and machine learning to identify criminal activity. The new self-educating system, developed in-house by BGL’s data scientists, aims to eradicate fraudulent motor policies ahead of them reaching an insurer’s books. The Group stated it had saved more than £1.5m on marketing costs alone through the identification of fake policies.

In December 2020 BGL Group revealed its partnership with Twilio, which helped drive customer engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic. BGL launched a new virtual contact centre via Twilio's Flex platform, which enables its agents to work with its 3m customers in its Insurance Distribution and Outsourcing business. In total, 1,200 agents became fully remote during lockdown, enabling BGL’s contact centres to remain fully open.

In January 2022 it was revealed UK motor broker Markerstudy is set to acquire the insurance operations of BGL Group, which includes Beagle Street, Budget Insurance and Dial Direct. The deal is estimated to be worth $541m, although there are reports of additional payments which could increase the final price to up to $677m. Following the acquisition, Markerstudy will nearly double its client base to 6m.

Map showing the location of BGL Group

Peterborough, United Kingdom

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Key people

Jonathon Brown CEO
Stuart Walters Chief Information Officer
Dominic James Platt Chief Financial Officer
Jeremy Marsden Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
Rachael Gillett Chief People Officer
Peter Thompson Chief Executive Officer, Insurance, Distribution & Outsourcing
Mark Bailie CEO