Howden CEO “nine in the cloud” for the transformative TigerRisk deal

The UK-based Howden Group is an international insurance broker, Howden, a global insurance and reinsurance broker, and DUAL, one of the largest MGAs in the world. The Group will improve the scale and depth of Howden’s reinsurance and capital markets offer by strengthening TigerRisk Partners, a leading US reinsurance broker and venture / capital management consultant, strengthening the company’s position as a global insurance intermediary.

“We’ve made a lot of deals in our time, and I’ve never had such a positive reaction from such a wide range of people: insurance companies, CEOs, competitors, people in the capital market, and journalists,” he said. David Howden (pictured), CEO of the Howden Group. “Everyone says, ‘Wow, wow, wow, this is really a transformation deal!’ I’m taking my breath away, I’m in the cloud for nine. “

A potential merger between the Howden Group and TigerRisk Partners has been planned for four to five years as the two companies share a similar DNA and entrepreneurial culture and have very complementary business strengths. However, “the timing was not right” so far, according to Howden, citing some recent consolidation successes and failures between major global players – for example, Marsh bought JLT in 2019, the mere merger of Aon and Willis Towers Watson . 2020-21, and Gallagher bought Willis Re in December 2021.

“We became one of the largest insurance brokers in the UK after buying A-Plan Group and Aston Lark, and it was clear to us that it was the right time to join TigerRisk to create a real new force in the market, but it has a very different DNA and culture from our competitors.” said Howden. “We have a real scale, $ 30 billion with GWP and 12,000 people in 45 countries, 3,500 of whom are business shareholders. It should be now.”

Read on: Howden Group offers “strategic alignment”

They have proposed the agreement to create “the fourth global player needed in the reinsurance market”. The two reinsurance units will be combined and will be known as the Howden Tiger, with about 450 reinsurance professionals, nearly $ 400 million in revenue and $ 12.5 billion in GWP. Howden will be led by Tiger Rod Fox, CEO and co-founder of TigerRisk Partners, and will co-operate with the Howden broking team and the capital markets business.

“We’re very clear that we’re running a very aligned business,” Howden stressed. “Howden Tiger will sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder, with our global brokerage business. We don’t want to create a split between other businesses by completely separating reinsurance and insurance. direct customers need capacity and insurance companies need it to be able to provide everything. [products and solutions] they need it.

“Secondly, the business of our capital markets will go hand in hand with the reinsurance business. Why? Because we want to offer MGA, MGU and insurance companies the perfect ability to raise capital to provide the right solution for our customers. So alignment is absolutely critical for us as a whole.”

Howden is not destined to be the fourth largest reinsurance broker in the world. In fact, “being fourth is not interesting or important,” he said. Ultimately, his focus is on being “the best”.

He explained: “It’s the best place for talent to come and work, to build their careers in the long run and to own their own business. Howden Group and TigerRisk have this entrepreneurial DNA. We’re both start-ups, and combined, we now have $ 13 billion in business value – that’s big business! I think the difference is around: who owns that business? Who builds this business? Who shares that value? It’s our talent, and we want to be the best for them.

“It’s also about being the best for our customers. After all, we are a very customer-based business. We focus on fresh air, always pushing the boundaries, always challenging, not accepting the status quo, trying to figure out how we can deliver better, better, better. I think that’s why when you look at Howden Group and TigerRisk, we’re both growing organically and faster than competitiveness. “

Howden Group’s acquisition of TigerRisk comes after another major US transaction. In August 2021, DUAL announced the acquisition of Align Financial Holdings, a US-based insurance company that owns and invests in high-level specialized general agencies and promotion management businesses. The transaction raised DUAL’s U.S. market share from about $ 450 million to more than $ 1 billion, roughly half of DUAL’s aggregate business written in the U.S. market.

Read more: DUAL CEO sheds light on important purchases

“This was a very big transaction for us, and it really connects with TigerRisk in terms of what we are doing now in terms of reinsurance,” Howden said. “If we look at the five major deals we’ve made – A-Plan and Aston Lark in the UK, Align and TigerRisk in the US and Scagliarini in Italy – we’ve invested $ 4.8 billion in insurance, reinsurance and MGA space since September 2020.

“Being in that position in the long run helps. Private capital is looking at three- or five-year returns, public companies are looking at quarterly returns, but we are looking to create long-term value and work with businesses and entrepreneurs who want to work. together. ‘

The CEO acknowledged that “this agreement has been made in one of the most difficult times we know of” where customers and reinsurance companies are facing capital market challenges, inflation, geopolitical climate tension, ongoing supply chain disruptions and the ongoing struggle. COVID-19 issues.

“Being there, we focus on building a business and providing solutions to our customers. We don’t care about our yard, ”he said. “I think because we have that long-term mindset, we can do that. Our business has doubled since COVID started and we are excited to see what we can achieve with TigerRisk. ”

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