How specialist insurance broker Howden is achieving success in Asia by establishing a structured, data-driven, engagement and distribution strategy

“You walk into this company and what’s clear is that everyone is empowered to do their jobs, whatever their role, to best serve our clients,” says Edward Howland Jackson, who has been with Howden Markets as Managing Director of its Asia business for the past year of its successful disruption. “We wouldn’t have it any other way.”

‘People First’ culture

The committedly entrepreneurial culture of Howden has been embedded in the privately-held insurance intermediary since the beginning, back in 1994. Since starting out as a team of three London brokers and the office dog, it is now the largest independent insurance broker headquartered outside the US, recently announcing another year of record organic growth. Howden puts its success down to its employee-centric business model and ‘People First’ culture.

Making an impact in Asia

For the last few years, Howden has been working on its approach to data and modernisation, launching HX in 2019 before announcing earlier this year that it was embedding its digital, data and analytics capabilities into the client-facing business areas in which they support to bring data-driving solutions to the purchasing process.

Over this time, Howden has built a multi-disciplinary team of data scientists, software designers and insurance experts, developing software products and handling data collection, warehousing and analysis.

Howland Jackson says, “The incubator phase was about working out how to best create client value in a modern way through the use of data, providing best-in-class insights and advice to clients and insurers. Insurtech is a broad and largely unqualified term that gets used widely, but essentially, it’s about doing things differently, creating efficiencies, using data effectively and being more sophisticated than before.”

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