27 January 2021Insurance

Howden forges ahead as 'challenger broker' after solid growth in 2020

Insurance group  Howden Group Holdings closed its financial year with strong growth across all business units, increasing its revenues by 7 percent for the 12 months ending September 30, 2020, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, industry consolidation and the hardening of markets.

The company posted revenues of £777 million in the period, an increase of 7 percent overall compared with the same period a year earlier, 6 percent of which was organic growth, and adjusted consolidated EBITDA of £223 million, an increase of 6 percent.

DUAL, the world’s biggest international MGA, wrote $1.2 billion gross written premium (GWP) across 16 countries, driven by strong organic growth and acquisition.

Howden's data analytics business HX, formed to drive the digital transformation across the group, reported that more than $100 million of premium was transacted through its digital platforms during the year.

In 2020, Howden Group continued to execute its strategy to build a sustainable insurance distribution group through strategic acquisitions, hiring entrepreneurial talent, and investing in innovation.

Some of the highlights include purchase of personal and commercial lines broker A-Plan Group, its largest ever acquisition, to create a "UK broking powerhouse"; expansion in new and existing markets through investments in Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium and Spain during the year, and in the UK, Iceland and Australia after year-end.

The group made a number of investments across units, including putting its own capital into DUAL’s specialist reinsurance MGA Tamesis, and made a significant number of key hires across all operations.

The company said it has changed its name to Howden Group Holdings from Hyperion to cement its position as an "international challenger broker", while merging its retail and employee benefits business and specialty and reinsurance broking business together under a combined management team.

After year-end, Howden launched a new capital markets advisory business HCM to advise clients on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), capital raising, restructuring, risk securitisation and yield enhancement solutions, among others.

David Howden, CEO of Howden Group, said: “Despite the extraordinary challenge of 2020, our relentless focus on attracting and developing entrepreneurial talent, putting our people first, and empowering them with trust and technology to deliver the very best for our clients proved that we are building a sustainable business that is able to deliver results in even the most difficult times."

The CEO also praised the company’s balanced geographical business model and highlighted that the group has delivered 11 percent organic growth in the first quarter of its new financial year.

“I believe that the opportunities that lie ahead for Howden Group are extraordinary," he added. "The strength of our proposition through Howden, as the challenger broker, DUAL, as the MGA redefining underwriting, and HX as one of the most exciting data, digital and analytics businesses in our sector positions us as the business of choice for our clients, prospects, partners and employees.”

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More on this story

21 April 2021   The deal is the latest in a series of moves designed to expand Howden’s presence in the region.
22 April 2021   Jenny joins from Aon Switzerland, becoming CEO, Howden Switzerland.
18 May 2021   HX Asia is based in Singapore and will be led by a former Marsh executive.