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4 September 2015
Excerps from press release on BRS US expansion

BRS has grown globally and are now over 400 in the group and about 300 in our core activity broking.

We have 20 offices in 18 countries and although our roots are French/European we now have 31 nationalities with less than 25 pct of our staff in the Paris office. BRS is some 60 partners who are all active brokers in BRS. Our world-wide clientele is more and more dependent on a global network and the USA has been a hole in our coverage.

We do not look to buy companies or brokers but are always on the look out for like minded brokers who understand service and relationships. A year ago we had the approach of a group of Greeks who wanted to fit in to a network and have real colleague cooperation in Athens and that Greek office is now 7 dry cargo brokers while 3 SandP brokers will be starting this month. We are amazed at how quickly they have fit it and have integrated and contribute from day one. On the back of this we were approached by a group of Americans who have been together for a long time and are very similar in their approach to the BRS orientation. We have known some of the guys for 20 years and always respected their professionalism and relationship.

The discussions were very easy with them deciding to join us as a group. Originally Skaarup, then JE hyde which became ICAP usa and now Bulk Ocean is bringing to BRS its core assets and the majority of its broking team. Their team has always been very strong and what attracted us to make the expansion was that they wanted to stay together as we are very interested in teamwork as a good sign the new members will integrate with the global teams in place. Originally we set out to expand into tankers but didn’t find the right people so have delayed this move as for a broking house getting the right team in place is the key to being able to service clients correctly. Our dry bulk team world wide is now about 90 and we felt adding coverage in a market that is cargo oriented and growing with financial players would enlarge our scope.

The BRS philosophy is to grow our business gradually and in coordination with our perception of our clients developments. It is clear to us that multinational clients require a high degree of coverage and access to all sectors of the maritime world and all geographical shipping centers. We make a real effort to have an across the board coverage of all shipping activities as we feel our clients appreciate and look for the cross fertilization that being in all areas allows. We have recently opened a liaison office in Rio and are in the process of finalizing our implantation in Indonesia.

Our expansion in the USA is by no means accomplished and we will be looking to add tankers and other sectors when the right people are available. We are in discussions with other dry cargo brokers to join us in Stamford but we put a lot of importance on creating teams and finding brokers that want to work together. We have hesitated a long time as the traditional ‘eat what you kill’ anglo saxon model is the opposite of ours where we share everything and our clients get the benefit of all our team’s knowledge. We think that a big part of the success BRS has had since the brokers became owners of the company in 1988 is the communication and sharing of information leading to a better service to the clients. We hope we will be able to extend our model to the Americas.

Our US offshore team will be starting this fall and we expect it to grow in Houston with new recruits when they are available. The Tanker team is waiting for the right brokers to become available and will want to develop in Houston as well. We have one of the leading Yacht brokers based in Montecarlo ‘YPI’ specialised in super yachts and high end sailing yachts and they are eyeing having their own people in America. Lots of reasons to develop to the west instead of always eastward.

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