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Howden, Steadfast enter broking partnership

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International group Howden will expand in Australia through a strategic broking partnership with Steadfast.

Howden will support Steadfast’s London Market broking requirements, while it is launching a new Australian broking operation that will join the Steadfast network.

The London-based firm’s local business will be led by Andre Louw as Chairman and Igor Fijan as CFO, both previously Marsh executives. Its focus will be on corporate, people risk and speciality, which the firms say are segments SME brokers don’t traditionally service.

“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,” Steadfast CEO Robert Kelly said today.

Howden Group, which changed its name from Hyperion Group last year, also includes underwriting business Dual.

Steadfast and Howden say they have built a close working relationship since Dual launched in Australia in 2004.

“Importantly, we know Howden very well, and share an outlook and ethos that mean our partnerships in London and Australia will be a natural development in our long relationship,” Mr Kelly said.

Howden says it has also been involved in the Australian market for many years as a wholesale broker for large complex business and placing binders for underwriting agencies, and will continue its operations in those areas.

Mr Louw was previously chairman of Marsh for the Pacific region and JLT for Australasia and Mr Fijan is former Head of Integration of Marsh for the Pacific region and CFO for JLT, Australasia.

“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,” Mr Louw said.

More details in our regular bulletins next week.