UK-based insurance broker Howden has partnered with Australian insurance intermediary network Steadfast to launch broking operations in Australia.

The new development builds on the insurer’s 20-year partnership with Steadfast.

As part of this strategic partnership, the insurer will offer support to Steadfast’s London Market broking requirements.

Additionally, Steadfast will offer its network to Howden’s brokerage in Australia to bolster its access and reach.

Howden Australia will be led by Andre Louw as chairman and Igor Fijan as CFO.

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

Steadfast CEO Robert Kelly said: “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.”

He added: “Howden’s brand, talent, and expertise in specialty, both internationally and in the London Market, will offer important and differentiated choice to our members and clients, giving them access to Howden’s experts across more than 90 territories.”

Commenting on the development, Louw said that the launch represents a game-changer for clients operating in the Australian market.

He added that the new brokerage will transform the broking landscape in Australia by offering choice, expertise and local distribution against the backdrop of a consolidating market.

In September last year, Howden reached an agreement to acquire UK-based personal and commercial lines insurance brokers A-Plan Group for an undisclosed sum.