Global insurance broker Howden on Thursday said it has received insurance regulator Irdai's approval to raise its stake from 49 per cent to 100 per cent in its Indian arm.
The shareholding in Howden Insurance Brokers India Private Limited will rise from 49 per cent to 100 per cent, 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. Our increased stake in Howden India reflects our commitment to build a leading broking business where we continue to focus on investing in data and technology, and to build long-term partnerships with our clients".
Since its inception, Howden India has pioneered the introduction of several new products in the Indian market, Howden India chairman Praveen Vashishta said.
"We have always put the clients' interests first and have earned a good name and reputation in the Indian market a reputation built on our People First ethos, and our uncompromising philosophy of focus, client service and expertise. We are committed to maintain this position and provide our clients with the most cutting-edge solutions," Vashishta added.
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 & 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 per cent 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.
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