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Howden acquires TigerRisk, expanding reinsurance, capital & advisory capabilities


International insurance group Howden Group Holdings has announced the acquisition of reinsurance and risk capital advisory TigerRisk Partners, a deal that positions Howden as a global re/insurance intermediary with $30 billion of premiums placed through its business activities.

howden-tigerrisk-logosHowden’s acquisition is no surprise, as the deal has been in the offing for a while, with market sources having discussed the potential for this deal to close in June for well over a month.

Howden believes this deal creates a “much-needed fourth global player in the reinsurance market,” but of course that fourth-place broker sits quite far behind the top-three still at this stage.

But it does create a more compelling alternative than the market has had to-date and one with a range of interesting opportunities to realise synergies across its insurance MGA’s and broking activities.

In fact, we’d venture it is the synergies that will make this combinations potential of particular interest to cedents everywhere and at all points of the value-chain, with deep expertise and access to risk across the spectrum and market to help in packaging and moving product more efficiently along a value-chain.

Howden now also has a far more significant capital markets arm, with TigerRisk Capital Markets and Advisory a leading player in insurance-linked securities (ILS) and increasingly active as a structurer and bookrunner for catastrophe bond deals.

In fact, TigerRisk is one of the (if not the) fastest climbers in our catastrophe bond bank and brokers leaderboard, as it increasingly wins new business in that space.

“This builds on the Group’s global integrated approach and continued commitment to deliver more choice for clients and act as the natural long-term home for talent in the market,” Howden explained.

“At a time of continuing market disruption, the combination also enhances the credibility, relevance, scale and capability of Howden’s full service offering across insurance, reinsurance, MGA and capital markets. This further consolidates the Group’s position as a global insurance intermediary creating a $30bn GWP business with an enterprise value of over $13bn, employing 12,000 people across 45 countries,” the company continued.

Together, the pair claim global reinsurance broking revenues of approaching $400 million, and its clients will benefit from access to 450 experts located across more than 30 offices around the world.

David Howden, CEO, Howden Group commented, “TigerRisk has been the standout business and innovator in the reinsurance and capital markets space for many years and the decision to join forces with Howden is a unique opportunity and a game-changer for us and the industry. Importantly, its evolution mirrors our own journey; from a standing start it has empowered employees through ownership and by taking an entrepreneurial and client first approach, it has delivered phenomenal organic growth and become a genuine market challenger of the highest quality.

“Not only does the combination create an unrivalled digitally driven reinsurance and capital markets business underpinned by a complementary product offering and strong cultural fit, it brings full capability to our diversified and differentiated client offer, creating a fresh alternative of real scale for clients and talent. I am so excited about unlocking the potential of the two businesses and I can’t think of a better place for TigerRisk to continue its incredible long-term journey.”

Rod Fox, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of TigerRisk Partners, who will now become Executive Chair of Howden Tiger, added, “All I can say is ‘Wow!’ This combination is transformational – we will become the difference the market is looking for.

“The combined entities will have the culture, deep experience and the scale to really benefit our clients and world- class team members. It is a fantastic opportunity that we have been able to make a reality. We have built TigerRisk from the ground up – and this combination allows us to take our global capabilities to the next level while maintaining our entrepreneurial and ‘can-do’ attitude.

“People want choice, and it is clear that as part of Howden Group all of our existing and future clients, as well as the experienced professionals looking to join our team, will benefit from our distinctively different approach.

“I was immediately impressed with David and his team’s boldness. Together, we will be very bold.”

Elliot Richardson, Chair, Howden RE also said, “I have been a big admirer of what TigerRisk has built and its achievements; the areas of the market in which it leads are incredibly complementary to our own strengths. The combination of our talent, expertise and distribution, underpinned by friendship and trust, means the solutions we can offer clients will be astonishing. Our ambition has always been to take a leading position in our chosen markets. This partnership immediately creates the global leader in Fac, Capital Markets, MGA, Analytics and Specialty Treaty – the pre-eminent reinsurance and capital markets provider for reinsurance buyers.”

The acquisition was backed by Howden’s long-term investors, including General Atlantic (an investor since 2013), CDPQ (an investor since 2018), and Hg (an investor since 2021).

We assume this deal will represent a significant recognition of value for the TigerRisk Partners founding team and senior leadership, as well as its private equity backers, delivering an opportunity for them to realise some of the significant value created through their work building a global business from the ground-up.

Flexpoint Ford, the private equity investment company, later said that it entered into a definitive agreement to sell TigerRisk to Howden.

“This is an exciting development for TigerRisk as we look forward to partnering with Howden to further strengthen our position as a trusted strategic advisor to the global insurance and reinsurance markets. Our partnership with Howden reflects our continued commitment to building a global platform focused on recruiting top-tier talent and deploying world-class technology and analytics to deliver innovative solutions to our clients,” Rod Fox explained. “We have enjoyed the outstanding partnership with Flexpoint Ford and have benefited greatly from their strategic advice during a period of tremendous growth for TigerRisk.”

Rob Bredahl, TigerRisk’s CEO also commented, “This transaction is an important milestone for TigerRisk and could not have been achieved without our employees’ dedication to delivering creative solutions and unrelenting focus on client service. Our relationship with Flexpoint Ford has been an important part of this journey and their deep understanding of our business and support in executing our growth strategy has made them an ideal partner.”

Chris Ackerman, Managing Partner of Flexpoint Ford commented, “On behalf of our investors, we are grateful for the partnership with TigerRisk and its employee shareholders during a time of accelerated growth for the company. The success of our partnership has allowed us to create significant value for all stakeholders of TigerRisk.”

Dominic Hood, Managing Director of Flexpoint Ford, added, “Investing across the insurance ecosystem is an important area of focus for Flexpoint Ford and our partnership with TigerRisk advanced our knowledge and experience in this important sector. We are thankful for the tireless efforts of the entire TigerRisk team during our partnership.”

The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approvals.

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