Howden launches Howden Ventures

Howden Group Holdings has launched Howden Ventures, subject to Lloyd’s approval, to create an investment and risk incubator that will fast-track insurance product development.

The platform includes a delegated underwriting authority, backed by Lloyd’s underwriters, including Tokio Marine Kiln, Chaucer, and Liberty Specialty Markets that provides £500 million of syndicated underwriting capacity to support the development of new insurance solutions.

Howden Ventures is also committing £10 million in funding to the insurtech sector due to the reduced funding activity “following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.” The venture fund will look to support at least five new startups over the next two years and it already made its first investment with the backing of CetoAI, a maritime technology company combining data analytics, engineering and artificial intelligence to manage machinery breakdown risk in global shipping with predictive maintenance.

“Innovation is all about working together and, for the first time, Howden Ventures will assemble the most innovative thinkers in the insurance ecosystem to help solve some of the world’s most critical risks. Combining the Managing General Agent (MGA) model with insurtech innovation provides the ideal platform to foster collaboration, and to merge external talent, fresh thinking, new technology, funding, and underwriting capacity. By doing so Howden Ventures is aligning interests from all corners of the market to create an economic model that will help the insurance industry invest in the type of long-term, innovative solutions that clients are looking for.” – Tom Hoad, head of Howden Ventures.

“MGAs are the innovation dynamite of the insurance industry. Cyber insurance, insurance for renewables, D&O insurance… they were all born in the MGA marketplace where capital meets innovative and entrepreneurial talent and capacity providers can be part of critical R&D that clients are crying out for by sharing the risk. I always say that the insurance industry needs to remain relevant to its clients and that is Howden Ventures’ job: to supercharge innovation by bringing great talent and quality capacity together with a turnkey platform to solve the big problems.” – David Howden, CEO, Howden.

“Howden’s new commercial mechanism is a great example of industry collaboration which leverages the Lloyd’s market’s ecosystem of innovation and the MGA model to fast track new solutions. We’re proud to be able to bring people together through the Lloyd’s Lab to solve complex problems and find solutions to help our customers tackle critical risk management challenges and become braver, smarter and more resilient.” – Dawn Miller, commercial director, Lloyd’s.

“We are delighted to welcome Howden as an investor in CetoAI. Their financial contribution and unparalleled network, including some of the largest ship owners across the maritime sector, will support our significant growth ambitions as we continue to bring fresh thinking to the maritime market. The funding, underwriting capacity and expertise that we can access through Howden Ventures is unparalleled and will allow CetoAI to address the emerging risks faced by clients as vessels become larger, more connected and technologically advanced.” – Tony Hildrew, founder and CEO, CetoAI.

“Our investment in CetoAI is the perfect example of the power of insurance to drive market innovation and the development of new products that address climate risk and resilience. With Howden’s support, CetoAI can draw upon the best minds and expertise that the specialty insurance market has to offer as it solves some of the greatest challenges facing the maritime industry.” – Daniel Whiteside, global head of Marine, Howden