The new hire plans to help the business maintain its ‘nimbleness and people-first approach’

International insurance group Howden Group Holdings has appointed former Axa XL client and country senior leader Kelly Lyles as an independent non-executive director to the board, effective immediately.

Lyles has more than 35 years of industry experience – she started her career in New York with AIG before moving to London and Paris, where she then held multiple leadership roles with responsibility across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Following her tenure at AIG, she moved to XL Catlin where she was a member of the group leadership team and had responsibility for managing the insurer’s presence around the world. She continued in this role when XL subsequently merged with insurer Axa in 2018.

Speaking on the appointment, Howden Group chief executive David Howden said: “Key to our success has always been attracting talented individuals with different perspectives.

“Kelly’s wealth of experience in running global teams at some of the world’s largest insurers will be an asset as we continue to grow our business whilst retaining our culture and agility. We are absolutely thrilled to have her on board.”

Lyles added: “What really attracted me to Howden was the authenticity of its leadership and culture.

“Maintaining its nimbleness and people-first approach as it continues to grow will be no easy task, but I’m convinced it is a business that can achieve anything it sets its mind to.

“This is a passionate group of entrepreneurs on an impressive journey to build a better kind of business. I’m very excited to join them.”

Employee-owned Howden Group now has more than 8,500 staff in over 45 territories. It handles over $11bn worth of premium on behalf of clients.