Founder of City insurance group Howden has insisted that “business is on fire” as it prepares to announce its annual results next month.
“It was another very strong year for us,” founder and chief executive David Howden told City A.M.
“You’ll see that we have already announced a couple of other critical acquisitions in Europe recently,” he said.
“Business is on fire and we’re doing well.”
Howden roaring with Lions
His comments come as the firm ramps up its association with the British and Irish Lions rugby team, with Howden the principal partner and front of shirt sponsors of the iconic touring team.
Ireland rugby coach Andy Farrell was selected as the team’s head coach last week at Howden’s City headquarters for the side’s 2025 tour of Australia.
The famous red shirt is expected to be purchased at least 300,000 times once it goes on sale later this year, with the firm hoping to benefit from the exposure a Lions tour offers.
And with tens of thousands of fans expected to make the trip Down Under and join up with a significant expat community across the host nation, the Lions tour is expected to have an economic impact on Australia that’s far higher than the £88m boost provided when the series was last in Sydney in 2013.
Fame, awareness and values
“With all of the growth in the business, creating fame and creating a real awareness as we come together as one brand – which happened in September last year – particularly to the demographics of the UK and Ireland and the rugby supporter, there are very few things as iconic as a Lions shirt,” Howden’s head of partnerships and sponsorships Giles Morgan said.
“There are very few things that people who love rugby don’t want more than that shirt, it means something so powerful.
“So there’s a way of us becoming more famous and becoming more understood as the leading British insurance broker.
“As David [Howden] said, you probably couldn’t find a better partnership, and we’ve got it.
“It’s amazing and the clock starts with Andy Farrell. People will start thinking about Lions selection in pubs around the country and who is in and out with the Six Nations coming.
“You’ve got the rugby Tests in the summer and the autumn internationals. But it’s started now. So this for us is the start of the journey.”
A cheerful Howden added: “What the British and Irish Lions is about really resonates with us as a business and you can feel the buzz in the office.
“We’re behind this and we are really excited.”