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Howden buys Sarton & Associés in Belgium as rapid European expansion continues

Fast-expanding London-based broker Howden has acquired Belgian firm Sarton & Associés, which becomes Howden Belgium’s first acquisition since its launch last year.

Howden said Sarton & Associés’ book of property, casualty and employee benefits insurance will add to Howden Belgium’s existing specialty lines accounts for large corporates, mid-sized and SMEs.

The acquisition fits with Howden’s ambitions for growth in Belgium, it said, and will give it “a more prominent presence across the country”.

It is the latest in a string of acquisitions designed to position Howden for growth in Europe. Earlier this month, Howden acquired BCZ in Switzerland and CHB Partners in Estonia following on the heels of the launch of Howden Italy and the acquisition of local broker Andrea Scagliarini SpA.

Herman Kerremans, CEO of Howden Belgium, said: “This transaction marks Howden Belgium’s first acquisition and reinforces our strategy to invest in expertise and develop specialist capabilities that deliver the best service to our clients.

“As we continue our expansion plans in the region and pursue our ambitions to become the alternative broker of choice in Belgium, we intend to serve as the home of businesses precisely like Sarton & Associés that share our entrepreneurial, employee-owned spirit.”

Paul Sarton, founder of Sarton & Associés, said it had received other offers before agreeing to Howden’s proposal. “Howden was not the first company to approach us, but we chose to join them not only because of their international network, but also because of their independent and empowered culture. In Howden, we have found a place where people share our values, enabling us to continue to grow and focus on the client centricity, innovation and entrepreneurship for which Sarton & Associés has become known in the wider Brussels region.”

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