Howden M&A bolsters its Asia Pacific team in response to surging deal activity


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Howden M&A, part of international insurance broker Howden Broking, has bolstered its APAC broking team in response to a significant growth in deals in the region and surging demand for M&A insurance policies, including warranty and indemnity insurance, title insurance and tax insurance.

In Singapore, James Kay is joining as a Director, effective 1 March. With over eight years of experience negotiating bespoke insurance solutions for global M&A transactions, James is a qualified solicitor having practiced with Norton Rose Fulbright LLP until 2015. Prior to joining Howden, James worked for Marsh JLT where he was Regional Assistant Director for Asia with direct responsibility for all South Asian M&A insurance solutions. 

In Hong Kong, Simon Worker is relocating from Howden M&A’s London W&I team to bolster its Hong Kong offering. As a Director on the team, Simon will lead on advising clients and negotiating M&A insurance solutions to help mitigate transactional risks. He will have a particular focus on multi-jurisdictional operational transactions.

James’ and Simon’s addition to Howden M&A’s APAC team will strengthen the existing team in the region. In Singapore, James joins Goh Tze Yang. Tze Yang is a Director in Howden M&A’s APAC team, having joined in 2017, following four years at Allen and Gledhill LLP.  In Hong Kong, Simon joins Isabella Ma, a Senior Associate at Howden M&A since June 2021 and an experienced corporate lawyer specialising in PE M&A.

This investment in talent is driven by the increasing demand for bespoke insurance solutions for M&A transactions in APAC; in 2021, there were 20,694 deals with an aggregate value of USD 1.193 trillion, up from 17,745 deals worth USD 921 billion in 2020. Consequently, there is a significant growth in demand for M&A insurance in APAC, with clients seeking to manage the transactional risks that arise in the course of M&A transactions.  

Jenny Lim, Executive Director and Head of Financial Lines Asia said: “With our growing clientele base in Asia, we believe that having a strong M&A specialty presence within Asia will allow Howden to better service our clients who are increasingly looking into M&A opportunities to enhance their businesses.  Talent acquisition is central to our strategy, and we are confident that our newly expanded team is well-equipped to match this increased demand.”

Drew Wardrope, Managing Director of Howden M&A said: “This is a very exciting time for Howden M&A as we continue to grow and invest for our clients. We placed more than 1,200 policies on almost 800 deals in 2021 and recently opened offices in Copenhagen and Brussels, enabling us to deliver our experience and expertise in local markets.  Our continued investment in APAC follows a significant uptick in activity in the region and we are now best positioned, with the backing of an international platform and the arrival of our new colleagues on the ground, to meet clients’ needs.”