Howden raises more than £1bn in investment; Blanc has been appointed head of mergers and acquisitions

Howden Group Holdings has announced that it has successfully raised more than £875 million ($1.1 billion) in both debt and equity, with total cash and funds available to invest in mergers and acquisitions, new initiatives and talent over £1 billion ($1.2 billion).

On March 24, Howden finalized a seven-year, $500 million term loan, with more than 60 lenders providing capital, including more than 10 new lenders to the group. The group also increased its revolving credit facility from £185 million to £360 million ($230.2 million to $447.9 million) in a number of banking relationships.

Following the completion of the acquisition of TigerRisk Partners in January 2023, Howden now includes the leading non-US international retail broker, one of the top four reinsurance brokers and the largest international managing general agent. With the announcement of pro forma 2022 results of over £2bn in revenue, achieved through both market-leading organic growth (19% in FY22, 19% in FY21) and M&A and other growth initiatives, the fresh investment heralds the beginning of the next phase of its development.

Attracting talent through the acquisition of entrepreneurial businesses with exceptional experience and through investment in new employees remains at the heart of the group’s growth strategy.

Peter Blank, Executive Chairman of Howden UK&I, will now take up the new role of Head of M&A, reporting to David Howden, Chief Executive of Howden Group Holdings, effective immediately. He will support Howden and the leadership team to deliver on the group’s strategy to build its geographic reach and product expertise where it can matter to clients in retail broking, reinsurance and insurance.

“With the formation of HowdenTiger in January, we completed the architecture of the group. Having passed the £2 billion revenue milestone and with 14,500 employees in 50 countries and a $30 billion GWP, we have the scale and leverage to be the difference that clients and talent are looking for,” commented CEO Howden.

“And now, following the £5bn we’ve invested over the past three years, we’ve raised a further £1bn, giving us the financial firepower to accelerate as we join the best businesses and brightest talent looking for forever a home where they can continue to provide their expertise and services in a culture that values ​​the entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.

“Our focus now shifts to three key areas: unlocking exceptional value within the group by harnessing our collective strength; attracting talent and aligned businesses; and investing in our infrastructure to ensure our experts are empowered to deliver their best for our clients,” Howden said.

“It’s Peter who brings the Aston Lark to Howden, coining the phrase ‘home forever’. Having built Aston Lark from the ground up through his well-recognized ability to identify and execute high-quality transactions with deep-rooted cultural commitment, he is clearly in a very good position to support me and our leadership teams in the further development of our healthy merger pipeline and acquisitions as we begin the next chapter of our development,” Howden said.

“With our leading position in the UK already established, we will continue to focus strongly on our European reach, as well as developing our wider global footprint with acquisitions of high-quality businesses where we can provide choice to customers,” he continued .

Howden describes the group’s “unique capital model” as driving its journey.

“I am excited that the clarity of our model allows us to raise debt at competitive prices during extraordinary conditions in the capital markets,” he said.

“The longevity of our capital partners, General Atlantic (2013), CDPQ (2018) and Hg Capital (2021), and their belief and support in our model is confirmed by their continued investment in the group, each investing £450m from 2021 .” Howden said. “But most of all, it’s the heart of our employee ownership that I’m proud of. In our most recent internal stock offering, we welcomed 1,000 new employees as shareholders; 4,500 of us already own a stake in the business we’re building.”

Founded in 1994, Howden Group Holdings includes Howden Broking and insurance business DUAL. The Howden Group Holdings business operates in 50 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the US, Australia and New Zealand, employing 14,500 people and processing $30 billion in premium on behalf of clients.

Source: Howden Group Holdings

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