Howden accelerates in Belgium with acquisition of Sarton & Associés


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Deal marks Howden Belgium’s first acquisition after successfully launching last year and offers clients access to a broader range of expertise and exceptional client service

Howden, the international insurance broker, today announced the acquisition of prestigious Belgian insurance broker, Sarton & Associés.  As Howden Belgium’s first acquisition, completed just over a year since its successful inception in the summer of 2020, it reinforces the scale of the ambition to expand its retail operations across Belgium to service local and multi-national clients.

The Sarton acquisition represents an investment in Property, Casualty and Employee Benefits specialisms, and High Net Worth Individuals, which adds to Howden Belgium’s existing Specialty Lines expertise for large corporates, mid-sized businesses and SMEs in Belgium and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.  Located in Brussels, Sarton will not only complement Howden’s existing expertise, distribution and product range, but its French speaking operations will allow Howden to conduct business more effectively across the multi-lingual country.

This acquisition reflects Howden’s on-going strategy of building businesses, growing teams and empowering local leadership to partner with culturally-aligned companies to enhance the client offering.  Howden has taken a similar approach in Italy and Switzerland in the last few months.   A wave of talent has recently joined the company to drive growth in key markets, including Luigi Sturani as CEO, Europe, Holger Schaefer as CEO, Germany, Felix Jenny, CEO, Switzerland and Jeroen Everling as CEO, Netherlands Corporate.

Herman Kerremans, CEO of Howden Belgium, said: “I joined Howden because I was excited by its values and its empowered culture and knew it was a place where I could build a business and a team focussing on clients, expertise and added value.  With Sarton choosing to join us, our adventure now begins its second chapter.  This deal marks Howden Belgium’s first acquisition and reinforces our strategy to invest in expertise and develop specialist capabilities that deliver the best service to our clients.  Paul has built an incredibly strong and hugely well-respected business in Brussels and the southern French speaking part of the country, and this deal aligns two highly complementary companies with people and clients at its core.

As we continue our expansion plans in the region and pursue our ambitions to become the alternative broker of choice in Belgium, we intend to serve as the home of businesses precisely like Sarton & Associés that share our entrepreneurial, employee-owned spirit.”

Paul Sarton, founder of Sarton & Associés, comments: “Howden was not the first company to approach us, but we chose to join them not only because of their international platform, but because of their independent and empowered culture.  In Howden, we have found a place where people share our values, enabling us to continue to grow and focus on the client centricity, innovation and entrepreneurship for which Sarton & Associés has become known in the wider Brussels area.  We look forward to being part of this fast growing company.”

Louise Cable-Alexander, CEO, Northern Europe said: “By attracting the right talent and empowering people to build businesses and teams, we continue to expand our footprint across Europe and invest in expertise for our clients.  This latest deal means Howden Belgium is now a substantial, quality business, only a year after launching, and is another step in fulfilling our ambitions to be a leader in our chosen markets.