International insurance broker Howden has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Safeonline, a cyber and tech specialist broker and Lloyd’s coverholder. The acquisition boosts Howden’s presence in the US wholesale sector and brings a team of cyber insurance specialists to the company’s cyber division. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Safeonline has a proprietary insurtech platform, iQ, which features online quote and bind functionality that distributes to both the UK SME and international wholesale sectors, Howden said. The portal also complements Howden’s existing wholesale cyber client base.
Safeonline offers a range of product lines, including cyber and tech, financial and professional lines, programs and binders and contingency. It is a member of the Brokerslink network. Safeonline’s tech capability will be rolled into HX, Howden’s data and analytics business.
“Cyber as a class has been growing strongly for us over recent years, and this acquisition supercharges our growth in this important market,” said Charlie Langdale, managing director for financial lines at Howden. “In a stroke, it gives us the ability to service retail SME clients and enlarge our US wholesale cyber book. It also means we can improve our service to large global retail accounts and grow further our financial lines retail capability. This enhanced offering builds on our center of excellence in London under the management of David Rees that complements our global practice group, run by Shay Simkin, and will help us deliver even more for our clients.”
Chris Cotterell, CEO of Safeonline, will join Howden as chairman of its cyber division, Howden said.
“Having pioneered cyber insurance since 1999, I am delighted that the Safeonline team will be able to continue its growth and innovation in this sector,” Cotterell said. “Becoming a part of Howden gives us the scale, resources and an international platform to allow us to take the business to the next level. We look forward to working with the Howden team to educate, protect and create solutions critical to businesses and individuals operating in this digital world.”