‘Our goal is to embed climate and resilience expertise across the insurance value chain,’ says top boss

Howden has appointed Rowan Douglas as its new chief executive of climate risk and resilience.

In a statement released today (27 June 2023), the insurance broker said Douglas would be responsible for building a full spectrum function to support the group in embedding climate and resilience across its specialities and regions.

Its capabilities will span physical risks, the risks associated with de-carbonisation, the wider risks stemming from the low carbon transition and growing legal liability risks faced by public and private sector organisations.

Douglas will be based in London and will report to group chief executive David Howden.

“Our goal is to embed climate and resilience expertise across the insurance value chain, for the benefit both of existing clients and those who do not have access to insurance,” Howden said.

To achieve its sustainability goals, Howden has also promoted Charlie Langdale to the role of chair of climate risk and resilience.

“I look forward to working with David, Charlie and the wider team and have already been empowered and enthused by the can-do, collaborative and entrepreneurial culture here at Howden,” said Douglas.

“Our focus will be on embedding the work of the climate risk and resilience division across all of Howden’s product lines and geographies, ensuring it supports our clients and partners.”


Douglas will bring more than 30 years of (re)insurance industry experience to the role, having previously worked as head of Willis Tower Watson’s (WTW) climate and resilience hub.

At WTW, Douglas headed the creation of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), where he currently serves as chair of its operating committee – he will maintain this responsibility in his new role.

Douglas also worked on the board of Willis Re as chief executive of analytics and founded the Willis Research Network.

From 2011 to 2016, he served on the UK prime minister’s Council for Science and Technology and was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2016 for services to the economy through risk, insurance and sustainable growth.

Langdale, meanwhile, joined Howden in 2002 as head of financial lines.

Prior to Howden, he worked as an associated director at Aon.

“Tackling climate change requires the most substantial reallocation of capital in history and insurance has a huge role to play across the mitigation, adaptation and resilience agenda,” Howden added.

“Meeting the challenge will take a global effort and radical collaboration across all industries, and between both the private and public sectors.”