Mary O’Connor will lead the new unit, joining from KPMG where she was acting CEO 

Howden has announced the appointment of Mary O’Connor as CEO of HowdenCAP, its new capital, advisory and placement business for financial institutions and corporates. Its formation follows Howden’s recent announcement to acquire TigerRisk Partners. 

The launch of the division is in direct response to clients’ needs for increasingly complex insurance and investment solutions to optimise capital and achieve strategic goals.

O’Connor has joined from KPMG, where she held the position of acting CEO. Before this she was head of Clients and Markets, having joined KPMG in 2018 as chief risk officer. 

She spent the previous six years at Willis Towers Watson as head of Client, Industry and Business Development, and global head of Financial Institutions. She will report to José Manuel González, CEO, Howden Broking.

Howden’s advisory arm will house its Mergers & Acquisitions practice, which specialises in Warranty & Indemnity insurance, its Global Credit Solutions and Surety practices, and specialists in regulatory capital, risk weighted assets, private equity, insolvency, tax, credit and structured finance.

O’Connor said: “The combination of the opportunity to build a unique business in a critical space for clients, the power of insurance as a part of the solution to complex and emergent problems, and the passion, energy and talent within Howden to actually deliver something that pushes beyond the traditional boundaries of insurance, presented an exciting opportunity I wanted to grasp.

“At a time when the corporate community is facing a unique set of operational, strategic and capital risks, it is absolutely the right moment for a new approach and set of capabilities that will create risk transfer solutions to unlock capital, and by partnering with clients to build resilience and fuel growth.”

David Howden, CEO, Howden Group, said: “There has never been a more critical moment for us to remain relevant to clients by using the power of insurance to help provide answers to long-term capital risks. The fact that Mary has chosen to come back to insurance speaks loudly to this moment and is an exciting milestone for the industry and an incredibly special moment for all of us at Howden and our evolution.”