James Buysee: the Philadelphia office

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in today’s edition.

James T. Buysee is a one man regional office.

Last year when he was being courted to head up North American operations for BMS, a reinsurance intermediary based in London, the subject of his moving was never discussed. Not to company offices in Chicago, Minneapolis or Connecticut. Not even to Dallas, the center of the firm’s U.S. operations.

“I didn’t bring it up,” the Paoli resident said. “I like it here.”

So for now, Buysee, who started on Feb. 1, is charged with better uniting those disparate locations from an altogether separate one. He is splitting the leading role with Anne Marie Roberts, president and chief operating officer, who is based in Dallas, one of those offices Buysee isn’t in.

“Those folks in London decided they needed another person on the ground,” he said. “More arms and legs.”

He is meant to focus on fostering relationships, finding new people, resources and business productions. The company has seen rapid growth in recent years, but to do more, there needs to be a better united strategy among U.S. offices, he said. In the next 18 months or less, he hopes to do that.

“Recently our growth has outpaced our internal systems,” he said. “So now it’s about tying the teams together into a single cohesive company with a single culture.”

BMS was born as a correspondent broker based across the Atlanic Ocean but is increasingly looking to have a larger presence in the United States.

“I hope to be a big part of that transition,” he said. With nearly 30 years in the reinsurance brokerage business, he could be the right man for the job.

But he’ll be doing it here.

Soon Buysee might be asked to develop a small staff and perhaps develop a presence in Philadelphia, he said.

“I don’t have any intentions of leaving.”

See other reporting by Christopher Wink here.