Endeavour has hired Karen Allen from Howden to take over as CEO of the broking house as it merges with marine broker SSL.

Meanwhile, Endeavour’s founder and current CEO David Lawrence will step up to become president of the board of the combined SSL Endeavour Group.

Allen will work alongside Lawrence for an unstated period of time as he hands over the reins when she joins the broker in October.

In a statement today (10 June), Lawrence said the appointment of Allen would allow him to focus on the growth strategy and integration of the combined SSL Endeavour business.

Allen joins from rival Howden, where she was director for international. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has held the role since 2010.

Before that, she held a number of broking positions in the Lloyd’s international specialty and casualty market.

As well as becoming CEO of Endeavour, Allen will also take the role of group managing director with immediate effect on joining, her new employer said in a statement.

The new job will see her assume overall responsibility for the combined broking operations of SSL Endeavour following the merger.

Private equity house JC Flowers sealed the deal to buy SSL and Endeavour in May.

At the time both brokers said their leadership teams would remain in place, with Roger Spicer at the helm of SSL and David Lawrence remaining CEO of Endeavour.

In a statement, they said the newly-merged firm would be co-chaired by SSL founder Andrew Sturdy and Endeavour chairman Chris Giles.

Marine broker SSL was founded in 2003. Headquartered in London, it employs 42 people and places cash in transit, financial institutions and political risk cover alongside it book of fleets.

Endeavour, meanwhile, has 44 employees and places delegated authority business from North America and Europe into Lloyd’s and London markets.

Commenting on the appointment of Allen today, Lawrence said: “We are delighted that an individual of Karen’s calibre and talent will be strengthening the Endeavour management team at this pivotal moment in our growth.”

“Whilst Karen’s underlying experience is closely akin to that of Endeavour, she will bring a new perspective to the business which we are very excited about,” Lawrence added.

“Endeavour is now one of the largest and most respected independent producers of delegated authority business into the Lloyd’s and London markets, and Karen’s successful experience managing delegated authority and Lloyd’s Coverholder business as well as developing innovative new programmes makes her an ideal CEO in the near future.”