We've grown from just three friends in a tiny office to one of the biggest insurance brokers on the world stage. How did we do it? With a bold independent spirit, and a culture where everyone believes in four key principles.
Howden in Germany is a collective of leaders in their field
We’re known in every DAX boardroom. We dominate the game in sports insurance. We’re famous in the entertainment industry. We’re the biggest broker in Bavaria. We’ve consulted on over €200bn of M&A deals to date. We protect ships sailing all over the globe. And much more...
In Germany we advise on over €380m of premium every year, with thousands of clients from global players to smaller, local businesses. Combined, we are the sixth largest insurance broker operating in the German market.
But we’re not all things to all people, and proudly so. Because it means we’re really under the skin of the areas we do focus on.
A little bit of history
Most of the companies that make up the Howden in Germany family started at around the same time, in the early 1990s.
By contrast, by that time, Himmelseher had been successfully trading for more than 30 years. Established in the 1950s, they were founded by the athlete Erwin Himmelseher, widely considered to be the founding father of sports insurance. His success was later were built upon by his son, Dr Volker Himmelseher.
In 2009, Howden Broking Group acquired hendricks & Partner GmbH, then soon after, the Marine practice as part of the acquisition of Windsor Partners in 2012.
Himmelseher and Caninenberg joined the family in 2012, with the specialist M&A practice starting in 2015.
Finally, we joined forces with Euroassekuranz in 2016.
In Germany and all over the world, we pride ourselves on being a natural home for the best broking talent, and through our various specialist businesses, we bring our clients a wide range of expertise to suit their specialist needs.
But one thing we all share is a business culture that is all about people going the extra mile for clients.
Employee ownership at our heart
While we are backed by patient, long-term investment capital, employees will always remain our largest shareholder group.
This has a noticeable effect on the culture. At Howden, everyone has a voice. Ideas are embraced, effort gets rewarded and meritocracy is real. All in an environment where people enjoy their work and have fun.
We foster an environment where people feel valued and cared for, and enjoy rising to every new challenge.
Howden fast facts
- Founded in London, UK in 1994, we’re now the world's largest independent insurance broker with a truly international focus
- We advise on more €10bn of annual premium worldwide
- We bring you specialist risk advice in 40 countries, with 6500+ people ready to support you. Our network of trusted broker partners provides further access to local experts in over 90 territories worldwide.
- Our steadfast commitment to independence gives our people the freedom to deliver for clients
- You get all the benefits of working with a large global broker, combined with the speedy innovation and local know-how of a small independent
- We put People First: we value and look after our employees. We like to see people thrive.
A positive, proactive entrepreneurial attitude shines through everything we do
How we operate
Switched on, forward-thinking insight
We use our know-how to solve tough risk management problems.
To help us do this, we have access to an extensive global community, with over 15,000 local experts all over the globe through our Howden One partner network.
Representing your interests all the way
Our strong reputation with insurers means we can negotiate the best possible solutions for our clients, and we use every resource at our disposal to get you the results you need.
At Howden, most senior brokers are still very hands-on with client work – a large proportion of them over 10 years’ experience in their specialist subject.
Investing time up front to understand your business
Brokers can only represent your interests properly when they precisely understand them. We're specialists not just because we have lots of clients in a particular sector, but because we really get under the skin of our clients' businesses.
This makes a big difference because educating underwriters about your exact needs and risk management practices play a huge part in getting you the most competitive deal.
Relationships for the long term
Every client relationship we enter into, we want it to last forever.
We're 100% committed to remaining an independent business, so we think long term, in everything we do.
Work with us and you'll see the difference, in the way we support our clients and our obsession with world-class service.
Our philosophy is simple
We're here to serve you