Howden appoints Rugge-Price as Chair, aims to challenge major brokers

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Howden Broking Group, which is in the process of bringing together the retail focused Howden with the more specialty insurance and reinsurance focused RKH under one brand, has named a new Chair as it looks to position itself as a challenger to the majors.

barnaby-rugge-price-howdenBoth sit under the global Hyperion Insurance Group, that is parent to the more commonly mentioned here Hyperion X Analytics and RKH Reinsurance Brokers, which is now building out an increasing footprint with specialisms focused on leveraging technology alongside traditional methods and relationships to enhance the efficient use of capital across the insurance and reinsurance market chain.

Howden has announced that Barnaby Rugge-Price has been appointed as Chair, leaving his most recent as CEO, Hyperion X, the Group’s data and analytics arm, but retaining his role as Executive Chair of Hyperion X.

The aim is to have one simple proposition across the broking side of the Hyperion offering, with all broking expertise sitting under the Howden Broking brand once its international retail network merges with RKH’s specialty and reinsurance expertise in October 2020.

Howden wants to position its $7 billion of GWP combined international broking business for the next stage of its ambitious growth plan, under the watch of Howden CEO José Manuel González and supported by now Chair Barnaby Rugge-Price.

The company aims to embrace the evolution being seen across insurance markets, by embracing innovation to drive transformation and a differentiated, independently owned offering.

Meanwhile, Hyperion X has appointed Paul Johnston as its new CEO, to build on the continued development of what was seen as start-up until relatively recently, but has since become a much more prominent analytically driven source of insight.

Rugge-Price commented on his move to Chair of Howden “This represents the ultimate affirmation of the rationale to bring together the RKH and Howden businesses into one group and now formally merge them into one company aligned behind one strong leadership team. I am excited to move back into the heart of the broking business with my Hyperion X experience, as we continue to re-evaluate ourselves to better service our clients.

“Howden’s entrepreneurial culture, which empowers employees to develop innovative and creative client solutions, along with our People First approach continues to attract the top talent in the market and will power our growth. My role in supporting José Manuel underlines our joint commitment to building out a world-class platform and to embedding data and analytics into the business to deliver client solutions even more effectively.”

González also said, “I am delighted to welcome Barnaby as Chair of Howden Broking Group. His experience and track record in building RKH and latterly Hyperion X is testament to his expertise, entrepreneurial mind set and leadership capability. These skills will strengthen our ability to take Howden Broking Group forward as we embark on the next phase of our ambitious growth plans. As always, change is the only constant in Howden and the wider world, but we’re confidently in the right company, in the right industry, and at the right time. Together, Barnaby and I will make a formidable team!”

The RKH business, where specialty and reinsurance or retro broking takes place, will move to trade under the Howden name in October and the entire business will traded as Howden from that point.

RKH has a growing specialism in broking business to collateralised sources of reinsurance and retrocession capacity.

Across Hyperion there is an opportunity to embrace capital efficiency trends to bring interesting portfolios of risk to the capital market, should the group choose. It will be interesting to watch a challenger develop its proposition in the marketplace that remains very concentrated among just a few bigger players.

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