Howden to raise stake in Indian arm to 100%; obtains IRDAI nod

Howden India received its trading license from IRDAI in February 2004

AgenciesUpdated: Thursday, May 26, 2022, 12:34 PM IST
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Howden India received its trading license from Irdai in February 2004 as a composite insurance broker. / Representative image |

Global insurance broker Howden on Thursday said it has received insurance regulator Irdai's approval to raise its stake from 49 percent to 100 percent in its Indian arm.

The shareholding in Howden Insurance Brokers India Private Limited will rise from 49 percent to 100 percent, subject to post-completion approval from the Reserve Bank of India, the broker said in a statement.

Following the stake increase, it said, the leadership team would remain unchanged with Praveen Vashishta as chairman of Howden India, Anil Varma as Director and head of non-liability business, Mahesh Chainani as Director, and principal officer and Girish Mantri as Chief Financial Officer.

Howden Broking Group CEO Jose Manuel Gonzalez said, ''It will further strengthen our position in one of the world's fastest-growing insurance markets''.

Since its inception, Howden India has pioneered the introduction of several new products in the Indian market, Howden India chairman Praveen Vashishta said.

Howden India received its trading license from Irdai in February 2004 as a composite insurance broker and operates through offices in seven cities -- Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune.

The company has built a strong reputation as a specialist insurance broker in key product lines, including construction and property, liability & speciality risks, and employee benefits, managing over Rs 1,600 crore in premiums, it said.

It is to be noted that the government permitted 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance intermediaries under the automatic approval route in 2020.

As per the guidelines, an insurance intermediary that has a majority shareholding of foreign investors shall undertake measures, including incorporation as a limited company under the provisions of the Companies Act 2013; at least one from among the chairman of the board of directors or the CEO or principal officer or MD of the company would be a resident Indian citizen.

Such companies would have to take permission from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) for repatriating dividends as per the FDI norms.

(With PTI inputs)

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