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October 14, 2021

Howden to acquire Aston Lark and create £6bn GWP entity

UK-based insurer Howden has signed an agreement to acquire Aston Lark from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Bowmark Capital.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will create a UK business with over £6bn of gross written premium (GWP).

Aston Lark is an independent insurance broker, which specialises in complex commercial and private client insurance and employee benefit services.

Howden did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction. As per Reuter’s report, Howden paid $1.5bn for the acquisition.

As per the terms of the agreement, Aston Lark chief executive Peter Blanc will become executive chairman of Howden’s UK retail broking operations.

Howden Group CEO David Howden said: “Not only is Aston Lark the missing piece of our UK broking strategy but our new strengthened platform signals a new beginning for the Group, accelerating our significant international ambitions by bringing a fresh and energetic dynamic to all our markets and even greater value to our clients.”

The combined entity will offer specialist personal lines, commercial, schemes and affinity, health and benefits, corporate, and speciality services.

It will serve over 1.7 million policyholders from locations in the UK and Ireland.

Blanc said: “Together we will be the major force in the UK broking market and I’m extremely excited about what we can achieve over the coming years.

“We embarked on an exciting growth journey six years ago and have gone from placing £100m of premium to £1bn.”

Howden has been on an acquisition spree lately. Earlier this week, its Belgian subsidiary bought insurance broker Sarton & Associés.

Last week, Howden forayed into the Swiss brokerage market by acquiring BrokerCenterZürichsee (BCZ).

Earlier this month, Howden acquired CHB Insurance Brokers (CHB) and established Howden Estonia.

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