Howden Tiger plans "multi-pronged approach" for Asia Pacific growth

Howden Tiger is targeting the recruitment of market-leading talent as it looks to expand across Asia Pacific over the next year, regional head Stuart Beatty has told The Insurer TV.

In a joint interview alongside head of industry analytics and strategic advisory David Flandro ahead of this week’s Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC), Beatty said the broker would be deploying a “multi-pronged approach” in the region.

“From a Howden Tiger perspective, we are a full-suite reinsurance advisory business – treaty, fac, strategic advisory, MGA, coverholders, captives and more – so we are wanting to bring all of that to life across the region.

“This brings challenges given the vastness of the region from a geographical and regulatory perspective, but we are certainly looking to invest in good people who are market leading, or can bring a diversification of skill sets, experiences or relationships to our business.”

The move to target Asia follows significant expansion at Howden Tiger’s European business this year, including the recruitment of 38 Europe-based former Marsh McLennan employees – which ultimately led to a $70mn settlement with its larger rival.

Ahead of this year’s SIRC, Beatty said the market landscape had shifted.

“This time last year the market was on fire in a number of ways. A lot of messaging from reinsurers was for extreme pain, in relation to timing, what to expect from terms and conditions. It's completely different this year – there is a lot more stability, predictability and transparency in relation to the process.

“Markets have shifted over the past 12 months, but the general feel we get from the reinsurance community at the moment is that they are looking for growth opportunities themselves.

“They are looking to supply carrier partners or coverholders. They are certainly keen to be more involved with supplying capital and reinsurance coverage to entities that can be deployed more nimbly. The MGA and coverholder community is a very attractive avenue for them to deploy.”

Beatty said the MGA sector was seeing growth in some of the more established markets in the Asia Pacific region.

“The more mature markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, as well as Hong Kong, have a vibrant MGA market. Other Asian markets are not so prevalent, but it really comes down to matching capital and carrier appetite with effective distribution.

“In a lot of primary markets, carriers have retracted their portfolios away from some classes and left a gap. Good MGAs are underwriting niche classes in niche ways in niche territories. The value proposition of an MGA with that sort of focus is definitely a value add.”

Watch the full interview with David Flandro and Stuart Beatty for more on:

  • Howden Tiger’s strategic plans for the Asia Pacific region
  • Expectations for this year’s Singapore International Reinsurance Conference
  • Reinsurers’ shifting appetite over the past 12 months
  • More on Howden Tiger’s Nova platform