Howden appoints new CEO for Australia

Matt Bacon has been appointed as CEO of Howden Australia. He joins Howden from Marsh, where he was the CEO of the Mercer Marsh Benefits business for the Pacific region. Prior to that, he was CEO of JLT’s people risk consulting business for Australia and New Zealand.

José Manuel González, CEO of Howden Broking, said: “This is a fantastic evolution of the Howden story. Australia has long been a key geographical target for us, and with the current environment of consolidation, now is our time. We have a proven track record of launching successfully into targeted geographies around the world and growing rapidly. Our entrepreneurial ‘People First’ culture empowers our employees to deliver superior results and it is fantastic to see this already bearing fruit in Australia. We are very excited about the opportunities this market presents.”

Howden, which only launched in Australia on 1 March 2021, said Mr Bacon brings a wealth of experience and expertise, alongside a proven track record of leading and rapidly growing sustainable and robust businesses.

Mr Bacon said: “I am thrilled to have been afforded the opportunity to join such a forward-thinking, dynamic, entrepreneurial and frankly exciting business, at a time when they are looking to expand their offering across the region. The team here in Australia have done a superb job in building a very solid foundation from a complete standing start at the beginning of the year. I am looking forward to working with such a talented group of people and rolling my sleeves up to help drive an accelerated but sustainable growth agenda. An agenda that encourages entrepreneurialism and empowers quick and agile decision-making, while ensuring excellence on behalf of our clients, colleagues and insurer partners – the real ethos of what Howden is.”

Also joining Howden Australia from Marsh are Stuart McKellar, who has been appointed head of commercial and affinity, and Nick Chubb, who has been appointed head of financial lines. Mr McKellar was previously deputy leader for corporate, commercial and affinity at Marsh, while Mr Chubb was previously deputy head of its financial and professional services practice.

Howden Australia is focused on specialist industry and product segments such as financial lines, corporate risks, commercial and affinity, workers compensation, group risk and alternative risk transfer solutions.

David Howden, CEO of Howden Group Holdings, said: “Australia has been a key strategic market for the Group since we launched DUAL in 2004, and now the time is right for us to also enter the Australian market as a broker. We have already proven to be a magnet for the market’s leading entrepreneurial talent and we believe that Matt is the perfect leader for the broking business as we look forward to challenging the status quo and providing a dynamic choice for our people, our clients and insurers.”

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