Howden announced today that it is building on its 20-year relationship with Steadfast, the Australian insurance intermediary network, by forming a strategic partnership to support Steadfast’s London Market broking requirements and launching an Australian broking operation in association with Steadfast. Howden in Australia will join Steadfast’s network - Australia’s largest general insurance platform - to leverage its scale, strength and access.

With ambitious growth plans to launch a challenger broker for Corporate, People Risks (including Employee Benefits), and other specialty lines, Howden’s operation in Australia will be driven forward under the leadership of industry veteran Andre Louw as Chairman and Igor Fijanas CFO.Louw is the former Chairman of Marsh for the Pacific region and JLT for Australasia and Fijanis former Head of Integration of Marsh for the Pacific region and CFO of JLT, Australasia.

David Howden said: “I’ve known Robert Kelly for over 20 years and have admired his unwavering conviction and drive to build Steadfast into the largest general insurance broker network in Australia by bringing exceptional businesses together to do more for clients. We share not only a relentless focus on our clients but also a core belief that by bringing together entrepreneurial talent in an empowering, aligned and collaborative culture, we can achieve something special.

Since the launch of DUAL in Australia in 2004 our Groups have built a very close working relationship and we are now taking the next logical step on the broking side of the Group. We will draw on the specialist expertise of our own international broking platform and the strong market position of Steadfast to deliver best-in-class risk management and risk transfer solutions to Australian clients and to Steadfast’s members.”

Robert Kelly, CEO, Steadfast said: “There is a clear opportunity in the Australian broking market for a credible international alternative, and for the existing clients of Steadfast members to have access to expertise and capacity in London and globally. Howden’s brand, talent, and expertise in specialty, both internationally and in the London Market, will offer important and differentiated choice to our members and clients, giving them access to Howden’s experts across more than 90 territories. Importantly, we know Howden very well and share an outlook and ethos that means our partnerships in London and Australia will be a natural development in our long relationship. There is a bright future for our partnership and our clients.”

Andre Louw, Chairman, Howden Australia said: “We are delighted to have joined the Howden team and have now seen for ourselves what the culture of empowerment and ‘People First’ means here and how embedded it is right across the organisation. With this culture and an international platform behind us, this launch represents a game-changer for clients operating in the Australian market; it will transform the broking landscape by offering choice, expertise and local distribution against the backdrop of a consolidating market.