Leading international insurance broker has announced that it has received a regulatory licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to launch its operations in the kingdom.

This represents a significant step in company’s strategic growth ambitions for the Gulf region, said a statement from Bahrain Economic Development (EDB).

The establishment of Howden Bahrain adds another key territory to Howden’s footprint in the Gulf, with existing operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman employing over 200 people in the region.

It will provide a full range of insurance broking and risk advisory services across multiple risk sectors including aviation, construction, energy, financial institutions, marine, property and casualty, employee benefits and specialty lines.

On its strategic move, Executive Director and CEO Adam Knights said: "I am delighted to be involved in this new and exciting venture here in Bahrain, which has been my home for 26 years. We will provide Bahraini clients with personalised insurance solutions bolstered by Howden’s specialist expertise, data and analytics and technological capabilities."

"Our engagements with multiple renowned Bahraini enterprises have encouraged us that there is ample opportunity for an alternative insurance broker to provide services in the Kingdom, and our strategy will be to grow a sizeable market share by adding value to Bahraini clients using our international capabilities and by attracting and developing local talent," he stated.

Group CEO David Howden said: "Howden has operated in the Gulf for over a decade, and we were attracted to the Kingdom of Bahrain due to its reputation for being business friendly, combined with its comprehensive regulatory environment and the availability of experienced and talented local individuals."

"Our goal is to provide choice for clients in Bahrain and the wider Gulf region. We are eager to grow our existing territorial presence and develop a range of specialist solutions, and look forward to building one of the leading brokers in the region, combining our international platform with local expertise," he noted.

Welcoming the group into the kingdom, EDB Executive Director of Business Development for Financial Services Dalal Buhejji said: "We are thrilled to see Howden enter the market benefiting from Bahrain’s earned reputation as the region’s most established financial hub with a forward-looking business ecosystem."

"In line with the Financial Services Sector Development Strategy under the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan which outlines an overall objective to increase the financial services sector’s contribution to GDP to 20% by 2026, further developing Bahrain’s insurance subsector is a vital deliverable alongside five priorities," stated Buheji.

Attracting leading players in the likes of Howden to set up operations in Bahrain is another positive step towards realising this target, she added.

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