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Bermudian broker Minugh to head new Howden office

Howden Broking Group, part of international re/insurance distribution group Hyperion, has announced the opening of a new wholesale and retail business in Bermuda.

The new operation, which is called Howden Insurance Brokers (Bermuda) Ltd, was incorporated on July 26 and last week received its licence to conduct business, will be headed by Kari Minugh, a Bermudian with more than 10 years experience in the local and international insurance market.

The Bermuda arm of the company is starting off small with plans to expand with additional staff and office space depending on how the business develops over the first six months to one year.

Howden Insurance Brokers decided to set up a presence on the Island after being approached by Ms Minugh with the idea to enable them to better serve their client base focusing on the North American wholesale market and the local and international retail clients based in Bermuda such as hedge funds and investment firms.

The Bermuda operation will provide direct access to the London market and expertise for coverage, including directors & officers, professional liability and crime insurance, as well as property and casualty insurance from insurers on the Island.

Howden, which is based in London, has 26 offices in 15 countries worldwide, including the US, Germany, Korea and Israel, as part of its global strategy.

The setting up of a Bermuda business is timely given the increased demand for insurance and capacity following the catastrophe losses to date and most recently the damage caused by Hurricane Irene with loss estimates between $3 billion and $6 billion.

Ms Minugh, who will be interfacing with the London and US teams, said: “The benefits to both wholesale and retail clients are important ones. Bermuda’s reputation for being a leading financial jurisdiction has attracted and continues to attract numerous companies in the financial, investment, legal and telecommunications sectors.

“Companies seeking professional indemnity, crime and directors & officers insurance to manage their exposures, protect their balance sheets and personal assets often have their insurance placed through the London market to obtain coverage,” she said.

“Backed by a solid reputation in financial lines insurance and claims handling, Howden will offer clients the benefit of direct London market access, industry expertise and dedicated local service, under one team.

“For US-based and international wholesale clients it will mean we are able to more readily access the Bermudian insurance and reinsurance market. It is an exciting prospect, and I am looking forward to working with the market to further develop our proposition.”

Ms Minugh, who started her career as a broker with Marsh shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, has worked for a number of brokers including Aon, HSBC Insurance Management and Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services, gaining exposure to everything from big international and US companies to smaller firms.

“That puts me in a good position to do pretty much everything,” she said. “Howden has put their confidence in me and I feel confident with them, so it is a great match.

“I have seen their entrepreneurial spirit and know that nothing is too difficult to achieve, and I believe in their product and business model, which is the most important thing.”

She said that from the retail perspective Howden, which was launched by David Howden in 1994, was the only company to have a Bermuda operation, presence and service with London operations, brokers and market knowledge.

Tim Coles, CEO of Howden Broking Group, said: “Establishing a permanent presence in Bermuda is another exciting step in the Group’s growth strategy. Bermuda is an important international market, particularly for our wholesale clients in North America, and having local expertise allows us to further strengthen the solutions we are able to create for them.”

He continued: “Kari’s experience in the Bermuda insurance market along with her reputation for client service and her entrepreneurial spirit are an excellent fit for Howden.”

For more information contact Kari Minugh on 292-2193, email kminugh[AT]howdengroup.com or visit the website at www.howdengroup.com

Photo by Tamell Simons New operation: Kari Minugh of Howden Insurance Brokers (Bermuda) Ltd

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Published August 31, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 31, 2011 at 10:42 am)

Bermudian broker Minugh to head new Howden office

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