Peterborough insurance giant BGL Group climbs Sunday Times table of sales success

BGL chief executive Matthew Donaldson.
BGL chief executive Matthew Donaldson.
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Leading Peterborough-based business BGL Group has been named as one of the fastest growing of its size in the country.

Insurance giant, the BGL Group, based in Bakewell Road, has been named in The Sunday Times (of 12 October) as one of the nation’s top 250 fastest growing privately owned mid-market firms.

The company, which is renown for its popular and successful Alexander meerkat adverts, has soared from 42nd place last year to 25th position this year.

The table shows the firm, which employs 3,400 people worldwide, has seen sales soar by 13 per cent this year to £507 million with profits hitting £99 million.

Chief executive of the BGL Group, in Bakewell Road, Matthew Donaldson, says he is delighted after the firm rose from 42nd place to 25th position in the Sunday Times’ top 250 fastest growing privately owned mid-market firms.

He said: “It’s definitely pleasing to have external feedback on how you’re doing as a company.

“We do, of course, have our own measures of success, which for us are profit growth, customer satisfaction, how engaged our people are feeling and the reach of our community and charity support.

“We’re doing well against these measures, but we’re very happy to have risen up the ranks in the Top Track 250.”

But to many people a more impressive and colourful indicator of success may be the number of customers claims for the firm’s Alexander meerkat toys.

Mr Donaldson said: “At BGL we are big on measurement and are very careful to make sure that our marketing activity is both appealing and effective.

“As part of comparethemarket.com’s rewards campaign we issued more than four million meerkat toys over the past year, and one is now claimed every four seconds!”

Mr Donaldson said: “We entered the list for the first time in 2007 at number 229, so it’s exciting to have progressed so rapidly up the ranks.

“Our growth has been driven through a combination of factors. We’ve expanded our insurance business, growing customer numbers across our in-house brands Budget, Bennetts and Dial Direct, and gained new partnerships with brands like Lloyds Banking Group, RAC and HSBC.

“We’ve launched three new businesses in the last five years – Beagle Street, Hoyhoy.nl and LesFurets.com which are all growing; and of course, comparethemarket.com has become a household name and the UK’s most recognised brand for comparison.

“In addition, we acquired a law firm, Minster Law, last year.”

He added: “We’re an ambitious company and we want to continue our growth. We have invested heavily in our three new businesses as we firmly believe that each of them has the potential to become as big, if not bigger than our existing brands. Watch this space!”