15 January 2021Insurance

Howden hails Australian launch as 'game-changer' in consolidating market

International broking group Howden is launching an Australian operation in association with insurance intermediary network Steadfast in order to build the "largest general insurance broker network" in the country.

The London-based broker claims the launch will be a "game-changer" with the potential to transform the broking landscape in a consolidating market.

Howden in Australia will join Steadfast’s network. The expansion of their 20-year relationship will see Howden leverage Steadfast's scale, strength and access in Australia while supporting the network's broking requirements in the London Market.

The company announced that it has "ambitious growth plans" to launch a challenger broker for corporate, people risks (including employee benefits), and other specialty lines in Australia.

Howden’s operation in Australia will be led by industry veteran Andre Louw as chairman and Igor Fijanas as CFO. Louw is the former chairman of Marsh for the Pacific region and JLT Australasia, and Fijanis is the former head of integration of Marsh for the Pacific region and CFO of JLT Australasia.

“There is a clear opportunity in the Australian broking market for a credible international alternative, and for the existing clients of Steadfast members to have access to expertise and capacity in London and globally,” said Steadfast CEO Robert Kelly.

“Howden’s brand, talent, and expertise in specialty, both internationally and in the London Market, will offer important and differentiated choice to our members and clients, giving them access to Howden’s experts across more than 90territories.”

David Howden said: “I’ve known Robert Kelly for over 20 years and have admired his unwavering conviction and drive to build Steadfast into the largest general insurance broker network in Australia by bringing exceptional businesses together to do more for clients. We share not only a relentless focus on our clients but also a core belief that by bringing together entrepreneurial talent in an empowering, aligned and collaborative culture, we can achieve something special.

“Since the launch of DUAL in Australia in 2004 our Groups have built a very close working relationship and we are now taking the next logical step on the broking side of the Group. We will draw on the specialist expertise of our own international broking platform and the strong market position of Steadfast to deliver best-in-class risk management and risk transfer solutions to Australian clients and to Steadfast’s members.”

Louw added: “We are delighted to have joined the Howden team and have now seen for ourselves what the culture of empowerment and ‘People First’ means here and how embedded it is right across the organisation. With this culture and an international platform behind us, this launch represents a game-changer for clients operating in the Australian market; it will transform the broking landscape by offering choice, expertise and local distribution against the backdrop of a consolidating market.”

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