Howden accelerates growth in the Netherlands with the acquisition of VLC & Partners


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London, 19 December 2023 – Howden announces the acquisition of VLC & Partners Holding B.V. (“VLC”), one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the Netherlands.  As well as enabling Howden to scale its existing operations in the strategically important Dutch market – one of Europe’s major insurance markets – the acquisition is a key milestone in the group’s 30-year journey to building the standout European insurance broker for clients by joining with deeply aligned, high quality businesses and talent.  

The business is currently under the ownership of Dutch insurer, De Goudse NV, and management.  As part of the transaction, VLC’s management team will roll part of their equity share into Howden in support of the Group’s unique capital model which places employee ownership at the heart of its culture.
David Howden, CEO, Howden, says: "This acquisition is amongst the most significant we have made in Continental Europe. VLC is an incredibly highly regarded business, known for the outstanding client service it provides. That they have chosen to join us is testament to our continued ability to attract leading talent in all our markets, our aligned cultures, client focus and the quality of our shared growth ambitions.  

“Along with the newly announced acquisition of NORTH in Denmark, it clearly shows our patient, strategic commitment to the region; we are now a scale operator in every one of the major insurance markets in Europe, and we continue to deliver on our long stated ambition to build the pre-eminent European broker for clients and talent by joining with the very best businesses.” 

Following the completion of the acquisition, Howden Netherlands will be led by Lando te Molder as CEO. The VLC name will transition to Howden in due course.

Lando te Molder, VLC & Partners CEO, comments: “As part of our commitment to build on our top-tier position in the Dutch and international advisory market, selecting a strategic partner is of paramount importance. We are delighted to have found a long-term partner that aligns seamlessly with our core values and ambitions. Howden’s commitment to prioritising its people and customers perfectly resonates with our principles. This partnership marks the beginning of a new chapter for us that will reinforce our international presence and create exceptional opportunities for further growth. It opens avenues for product and proposition development, digitalisation, and advancements in data and technology.”

VLC services mid-corporates, SMEs, and High Net Worth Individuals, and upon completion 500 employees will join the Group, adding seven branches to Howden’s existing operations in the Netherlands.   The acquisition follows Howden’s recent entry into the Danish market with the acquisition of NORTH Risk. Earlier in December Howden also announced the acquisition of Haakon AG, transforming its reinsurance offer in Switzerland.

Completion of this acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and works council consultation.