Day Two – 17.11.2021

15:30 – 16:10

People First: The employee owned story of Howden Group.

In 2019 Howden Group Holdings celebrated 25 years of high growth and a different way of doing business. Coming from just three people in a tiny London office to one of the biggest insurance brokers on the world stage, with employee ownership at their heart.

As they look to the next 25, you will hear how Howden Group have a renewed focus with a ‘People First’ strategy central to their transformation.

You will hear from David Howden, Chief Executive Officer, Diahann Williams, HR Director and Eliot Powell, Chief Transformation Officer who will share Howden’s story.

You will learn:

  • An outline of Howden Group’s ambition and vision.
  • Underlying principles of how the business has been built.
  • How a people strategy is driving transformation and performance.


About The Speakers

David Howden, Chief Executive Officer of  Howden Group Holdings

David started his career as a broker at Alexander Howden in 1981. He founded the Group in 1994 originally as a wholesale broker employing just three people. He has been the fundamental driving force behind its expansion into an international insurance group offering wholesale, retail and reinsurance broking and underwriting.

As Chief Executive. David’s focus is on leading the Group’s M&G activities as well as directing and implementing the Group’s strategic growth and direction.


Diahann Williams, HR Director

Diahann became Howden Group HR Director in March 2020. She joined us from British American Tobacco, where she led all aspects of talent acquisition across 200+ countries and over 50,000 employees. Diahann has worked in HR leadership roles at global companies including Diageo and BP, developing talent programmes and supporting businesses during periods of high-growth and transformation.

She drives our purpose to attract, develop and retain the very best talent, helping our people build careers, and helping the Group grow sustainably for the long term.


Eliot Powell, Chief Transformation Officer

Eliot has built successful retail broking businesses and since joining Howden has undertaken the role of Managing Director for Howden UK General Insurance and Chief Transformation Officer for Howden Broking Group and DUAL. His focus is on leading change strategies that enable the business to deliver growth, efficiency, sustainability, differentiation but primarily great client outcomes.