Expansion into Eastern Europe follows £50m investment by 3i

Howden has announced plans to open an office in Warsaw, Poland.

The move is the Lloyd's broker's first step into Eastern Europe, and comes less than three weeks after the private equity giant, 3i, announced it had purchased a £50m stake in the company's parent group, Hyperion.

The Polish operation will focus on developing wholesale broking and reinsurance broking opportunities for directors’ and officers’ liability, general and product liability, financial institutions crime and liability, professional indemnity and large property programmes. It will be led by Krzysztof Wasilewski. He previously worked for AIG Poland, Generali, Cigna and EOS Risk Poland.

Howden UK chief executive Tim Coles said: “Howden’s growth both at home and overseas is a direct result of not only having a strong focus on our key product areas and leveraging our expertise in our chosen fields, but also by pursuing business opportunities in countries which are experiencing economic growth and in particular, rapid development of their insurance market.

"Poland is such a country, as well as being a vital financial centre in Eastern Europe. We believe that there is significant potential in this entire region and this represents the first step in our ambition to grow our presence throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Our aim is to become the first point of call for local brokers and insurers in the region."

Wasilewski added: “Service delivery will be the key to our success. The combination of local market knowledge and expertise with Howden’s global reach and market relationships gives us a significant advantage over our competitors, and one we intend to exploit to achieve our goals.”