Under the terms of the deal, STA Group will become part of Howden and will operate under the new trading name Howden Sturge. STA Group has offices in London, Southampton, and Antibes, and includes insurance broking firm Fastnet Marine.
Howden’s marine division, meanwhile, is based in London and has offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. It also boasts access to a network of international partners.
“The acquisition of STA Group is a strategic move that has been particularly well timed with the marked uptick in the superyacht industry, as it bounces back after a challenging few years,” said Daniel Whiteside, global head of marine at Howden. “New orders for superyachts have increased from 353 in 2019 to 365 in 2020, with the second half of last year seeing the best results since 2009.”
“Howden Sturge will be responding to this demand, delivering specialist cover across the world’s insurance markets and, in conjunction with HX, our digital and analytics arm, developing data-driven insurance products for pleasure craft clients.”
Andy Bragoli, chief executive officer of Howden’s UK region, added that the acquisition will play a huge role in its expansion in the US marine market.
“We are always seeking to expand our specialty capabilities and STA Group is one of the oldest and most established insurance brokers in the superyacht and pleasure craft space,” he said. “Partnering with STA Group provides our clients with access to market-leading expertise in this specialised sector, at the same time enabling us to extend the reach of our global marine capability, particularly in the US, where we can focus our wholesale capabilities and strong retail relationships with our US partners to target the US pleasure craft market.”
In a joint statement, Burr Taylor and Caspar McDonald, directors of Sturge Taylor, and Richard Power, director of Fastnet Marine, said: “It is our ambition to take our business to the next level and, for us, this means maximising our ability to deliver the best solutions for our clients, scaling up our offering and moving into new markets.
“As an independent firm, we are delighted to be partnering with a company that shares those values of independence and employee ownership. Becoming part of Howden means we can continue to grow our business, leveraging its global scale, market strength and extensive expertise in the wider marine sector.”