Howden has announced its agreement to acquire C.R.F. Conseils (“CRF”), an independent broker specialising in Financial Lines. This is Howden’s first acquisition in France since appointing Nicolas Aubert as CEO, Howden France, and will enable Howden to launch operational capabilities in this key market.
Founded in 1999, CRF focuses on financial lines, a key area of the future of Howden’s offering in France both for local and international clients. Like Howden, CRF leverages strong technical knowledge to accelerate the creation of innovative solutions for clients.
Nicolas Aubert, CEO, Howden France commented: “This acquisition is the best way to launch ourselves in France as a credible and differentiating alternative. The CRF team have best-in-class backgrounds and reputations in the market and their decision to join Howden is a signal to the market of our commitment to build a new broker in France, which is founded on expertise and quality of talent and that brings value to all of our stakeholders, including entrepreneurial talent, clients and insurance partners.”
Didier Arminjon, CEO, CRF said: “We have been approached several times to sell our business, which we have always declined. Why? Our autonomy and the entrepreneurial side of our business are essential. We strongly believed that we would only join a group that shares our DNA and having had the opportunity to meet the leaders of Howden on various occasions, and to listen to them talk about their culture, their values, their priorities, their vision, we knew that Howden could be the ideal partner for us.”
Didier Seigneur, Deputy CEO, CRF added: “We are certain that by joining Howden, we will be stronger and better able to support our clients by delivering ever more sophisticated solutions, with the same listening and attention, the same professionalism that we have always had, but leveraging Howden’s international presence and expertise. Finally, we will be in a better position to recruit the future talent that our customers need. The opportunities in the market are significant; we will have the means to seize them to strengthen our growth.”
Luigi Sturani, CEO, Howden Europe said: “In a market that is crying out for European-focused alternatives our strategy is simple: to develop a strong territorial presence in Europe and offer a unique range of specialty solutions for our clients. We will accomplish this by attracting the best entrepreneurial talent and like-minded companies, and by growing organically. The acquisition of CRF is a great initial step in our ambition to position ourselves among the leading brokers in France and I am looking forward to welcoming the team to Howden.”
Upon completion and subject to regulatory approval, Didier Arminjon will remain CEO of CRF and Didier Seigneur as Deputy CEO of CRF who will also assume the title of Director of Financial Lines, Howden France. Recently, Eric Demange, Adrien Laplane and Delphine Voltolini have joined Howden France as Commercial Director and Deputy CEO, CFO and Director of Operations respectively.
Aubert continued: “In just a few months, we have some of the best talent deciding to join us on this adventure, which is a perfect example of how Howden delivers on its ambitions.”