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Howden acquires CRF Conseils

Paris (France), September 28, 2022,

FDC has advised Howden Group to acquire CRF Conseils, an independent broker specialised in Financial Lines. This operation represents the first acquisition in France for Howden Group.

Founded in 1994, Howden Group is a leading international insurance distribution group with core activities of retail, specialty and reinsurance broking. With more than 12,000 employees, the company is headquartered in the United Kingdom and operates in 90 countries and 45 companies held in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Pacific and Middle East.

Howden Group established in France in February 2022 following the appointment of Nicolas Aubert, ex-director of AIG France and ex-director of Willis Tower Watson UK, as CEO of Howden France. The group aims to become one of the leaders of the French brokerage market and a European alternative to the large North American companies on all the B2B insurance products.

Held by Didier Arminjon and Didier Seigneur since 2016, CRF Conseils is an independent broker specialised in Financial Lines since 1999. The company mainly works for financial institutions, start-ups and mid-sized companies by providing them targeted insurance solutions (liability of executives and corporate officers, key person insurance, fraud, liability guarantee, IPO, legal protection, etc.).

Howden Group is also renowned for its financial lines expertise abroad and this operation will offer the group a chance to reinforce its expertise in France.

Nicolas Aubert, CEO, Howden France commented: “This acquisition is the best way to launch ourselves in France as a credible and differentiating alternative. The CRF team have best-in-class backgrounds and reputations in the market and their decision to join Howden is a signal to the market of our commitment to build a new broker in France, which is founded on expertise and quality of talent and that brings value to all of our stakeholders, including entrepreneurial talent, clients and insurance partners.”

Didier Arminjon, CEO, CRF said: “We have been approached several times to sell our business, which we have always declined. Why? Our autonomy and the entrepreneurial side of our business are essential. We strongly believed that we would only join a group that shares our DNA and having had the opportunity to meet the leaders of Howden on various occasions, and to listen to them talk about their culture, their values, their priorities, their vision, we knew that Howden could be the ideal partner for us.”

Didier Seigneur, Deputy CEO, CRF added: “We are certain that by joining Howden, we will be stronger and better able to support our clients by delivering ever more sophisticated solutions, with the same listening and attention, the same professionalism that we have always had, but leveraging Howden’s international presence and expertise. Finally, we will be in a better position to recruit the future talent that our customers need. The opportunities in the market are significant; we will have the means to seize them to strengthen our growth.”

The FDC team is delighted to have supported Howden Group in this operation, an important milestone in the conquest of the French market.

Howden Group side:

  • Company: Howden Group (Nicolas Aubert, Adrien Laplane) ; Howden Group Corporate Finance and Legal (Dimitri de Lamazière, William O’Grady, Chris Keville)
  • Financial advisor: Financière de Courcelles (Bertrand de Saint Remy, Michael Petit, Dominique Guérit, Charles Delbarre, Hamza Lahna)
  • Legal advisor: CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats (Benoît Gomel, Chloé Delion)
  • Financial due diligence: Mazars (Zied Loukil)
  • Tax due diligence: Mazars (David Chrétien)

CRF Conseils side:

  • Company : CRF Conseils (Didier Arminjon, Didier Seigneur)
  • Financial advisor: WH Conseils (François-Xavier Redier, Emmanuel Drevon, Quitterie Nielly)
  • Legal, Tax and Social advisor: Moncey Avocats (Frédéric Pinet)


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