The combined Howden Tiger will keep recruiting post-completion as it seeks to further cement its top four reinsurance broking position, according to Howden RE CEO Bradley Maltese.

Bradley Maltese Howden Tiger

Speaking to The Insurer at this year’s Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo, Maltese said the combined entity will be a “very attractive home” for top talent, with Howden RE having already added close to 100 people over the past year.

“It’s been incredible the amount of people who want to join us,” Maltese said.

Around 60 of this year’s additions have been treaty hires, with the remainder split between fac and MGA appointments.

The deal for Howden to acquire TigerRIsk was announced in June and Maltese said it is on course to complete in January.

“When people start to see the talent pool we are building and the investment we are putting in, we become a very attractive opportunity,” he said.

Recent additions to Howden RE include three senior hires from Aon Reinsurance Solutions’ Netherlands unit, a move revealed by The Insurer last week.

Maltese is among the additions to Howden this year, having joined the company on 1 April to take the helm of the group’s reinsurance arm.

He previously served as Guy Carpenter’s vice chairman, global specialties, having joined the Marsh McLennan-owned reinsurance broker through its 2019 acquisition of JLT.

His move from Guy Carpenter was followed by a flurry of high-profile resignations from London producers and management at the firm which prompted a prolonged legal battle between the two companies.

Busiest Monte Carlo

Maltese described this year’s Rendez-Vous as the busiest Monte Carlo he has ever had.

“And I’ve been coming for 27 years,” he said. “But we have a good story to tell.”

He highlighted the complementary nature of the TigerRisk transaction with a relative lack of integration required compared with other major M&A deals.

“In London, we didn’t have a political risk and trade credit team, but Tiger does. Similarly, we were more D&F-focused, while they were more retro. And our casualty teams had different areas of focus,” he explained.

Part of the story to tell at this year’s event has been the unveiling of a new unit, SabRE, which will formally go live once the combination completes. 

SabRE will combine the specialist coverholder teams of Howden RE, TigerRisk and Howden’s delegated binding authority business Bowood, and says it will be the industry’s largest dedicated global MGA/program reinsurance intermediary, advising on the placement and structuring of $6bn of gross written premium.

“The MGA business is a huge platform for us,” Maltese said.

Tough renewal season

He acknowledged that 1 January will be a tough renewal season for buyers.

“Whether we see activity in the wind season or not, there will be pressure,” he said. “Some specialty lines have been hit for the first time in years.”

He highlighted that the first half of 2022 had seen the first reduction in reinsurance capital for several years.

“It’s a tough 1.1 coming up. Having the blend of talent, history and relationships will be vital to get through it.”