DUAL appoints James O'Connor as CEO to drive ambitious growth in the US

DUAL, the underwriting arm of Howden Group Holdings, and the world’s largest international underwriting agency, today announced the significant new appointment of James O’Connor as CEO, DUAL North America with immediate effect. O’Connor will be a member of DUAL’s Group Executive Committee, reporting to Richard Clapham, CEO, DUAL Group.

David Howden, CEO, Howden Group Holdings, said: “The US is the largest MGU market in the world and DUAL’s ambitions match the size of the opportunity. In the US market, DUAL is quite simply unique as we bring over two decades of underwriting excellence and remain firmly committed to independence. As we look ahead, DUAL is determined to take the lead in defining what the underwriting business of the future looks like. Jim has an impressive track record of delivering growth and his deep understanding of the US distribution market will be invaluable as we embark on the next stage of our underwriting journey, with growth in North America playing a key role. This promises to be a game-changing time for DUAL.”

James O'Connor

Richard Clapham, CEO, DUAL Group, added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jim O’Connor to DUAL. DUAL has always been about the tremendous caliber of its people and this appointment absolutely reflects that. Jim is a hugely well respected industry professional with an impressive career that plays to DUAL’s strengths. His extensive experience will bring greater added value to our own world class distribution and reputation for underwriting expertise. As part of our global leadership team, I know that Jim’s insight and energy will also make a great contribution to our wider international growth plans.”

Jim O’Connor commented: “Joining DUAL is a unique opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited. This is a world leading organization with both the expertise and the scale to achieve significant growth in the US. DUAL is already a top 20 MGU in the US market but has the potential to be so much more.”

O’Connor joins DUAL Group from Willis Towers Watson where he was most recently EVP and Head of Middle Market & Specialty Broking, North America. He has an extensive career that includes 14 years with WTW and 18 years with Marsh as a managing director in their Dallas and San Francisco offices.