BPL Global, a credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, has opened a branch in Geneva. It is led by Philippine de Villèle, who rejoins the firm after five years at UBS, where she was head of CPRI within the commodity trade finance division.

The Geneva office, which opened on Monday through the broker’s French subsidiary BPL SA, focuses on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients, as well as acting as a local point of contact for existing customers.

In taking charge of the branch, de Villèle reports to the company’s managing director James Esdaile in London.

Commenting on the company’s expansion, Esdaile says: “Given that Geneva continues to be an incredibly important trading hub, it is only natural that we seized the opportunity to open an office to support our clients locally, and we are delighted to have Philippine, with all her experience of the market, back on board.”

In 2011, de Villèle spent two years in BPL Global’s Paris office, working with commodity traders and French banking clients on trade, structured, project and export finance. At UBS, she established the CPRI product, and was in charge of onboarding and managing relationships with insurers, promoting CPRI insurance within UBS, and developing the bank’s insurance portfolio. She has previously worked at AIG and JLT.

“We are entering a new cycle for commodities, across all sectors, characterised by either recovered prices or increased trading volumes,” says de Villèle. “While the trading environment remains challenging, the outlook is more positive in comparison to the past few years, with increasing market opportunities.”

BPL Global now has six offices, including those in London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.