Our story

Howden Group has always been a company with a difference – with employee ownership at its heart and clients at the front of its mind.

Founded in 1994 as a specialist D&O broker, and from the modest beginnings of our first five years reaching into Europe, we are now the largest European insurance intermediary group in the world and the largest outside the US, with approaching £1bn in revenues and managing premiums of more than £10bn.

The Group comprises Howden, the international challenger broker, DUAL, the largest international MGA, and HX, one of the leading digital, data and analytics businesses in the insurance industry. We are a group of international experts with a local touch and a digital backbone.

With operations in 45 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the US and Latin America, and 8,500 employees from Berlin to Brisbane, Howden Group has grown over the last quarter of a century as the group challenging the status quo for clients every day and in every market in which we operate.

How we did it

Over the last quarter of a century, we have invested in building a global business. We have grown fast but we haven’t rushed. We grow by joining with aligned, entrepreneurial businesses and by attracting talented people who have a relentless focus on doing the right things for their clients. We join with businesses where we can be an independent home for talented people who want to work in a culture of trust and empowerment, and where together our businesses can be more and do more for clients and employees.

Our organic growth is market-leading because we’re able to attract high quality talent and give people the freedom to do things differently, and our inorganic growth is strategic and complementary. That is why clients join us.

With a vision to build a sustainable business for the future, the Group’s independence is enshrined in its governing documentation. Employees make up the largest shareholder group, supported by three aligned, long-term growth equity partners. You can read more about our shareholders here. It means we have the flexibility to take a different view on growth; with patient capital we are long term in our view and we can invest in the future today, building a resilient, sustainable business focused on our people and supported by tech and data to better serve our clients. And so we preserve our independence and the unique outlook it gives us.

This long-term focus is combined with a People First culture that empowers employees to have an owners’ mindset, to be their best, and to do their best for clients. In turn, this means our businesses can truly partner our clients today as they grow, and focus on being a part of the solution to the emerging risks that threaten our clients and the wider world.

We think success looks like building something we are proud of, that helps our clients prosper, helps build resilience, recover after losses, and innovate for change.

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Featured awards

We are proud of the work we do. Our focus is on delivering for our clients and supporting our people, but it’s rewarding when the work we enjoy receives official recognition. Here are a few examples:

Insurance Broker of the Year Award 2020, Insurance Insider

We were thrilled to win Broker of the Year 2020 at the annual Insurance Insider Honours. To win this industry-renowned award in a year like 2020 was particularly special to us, and testament to the resilience of our business, the strength we have in our teams across Howden, and our relentless commitment to our clients.

Retail Broking Team of the Year 2020, Advisen Cyber Risk Awards

Howden has long put Cyber at the top of the agenda, having anticipated that this risk would be fundamental to clients. So winning the Retail Broking Team of the Year award at the 2020 Advisen Cyber Risk Awards was made particularly special as it was voted for by clients and industry peers.

Best Staff Fundraising Initiative, Better Society Awards

Million for a Million was our ambitious fundraising campaign to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We raised over $1.5m for our global charities and every employee of the Group was involved in some way. We were so pleased to win a number of awards for the campaign, and this one stands out as representing the incredible efforts of our employees.

Best Provider Covid-19 Response, 2020 Health Insurance & Protection Award

Being part of the solution to the pandemic has been and continues to be very important to us. We are working hard across our businesses to support our clients and our employees and our Employee Benefits team are a great example of that. This award, for support of clients in the UK, is a result of their hard work.

The Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade: 2007, 2012 and 2019

Andy Bragoli receiving Queen's Award

We are entrepreneurs first. Innovation is at the heart of our business, and that’s why we’re proud to have won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise three times. It’s an award that recognises our continuous growth as a business, as well as our contributions to international trade.

Sunday Times Top Track 250 seven times (2014-20)

Mark Hudson receiving the Top Track 250 award

Over the past decade it’s been gratifying to work our way up the rankings of the UK’s most successful private companies. This achievement reflects one of our core missions: to remain proudly independent with employee ownership at our heart.