Canadian Underwriter

Merger of Willis and Towers Watson completed

January 5, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company, the successful completion of the merger of Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson, began operating on Tuesday.

The company, which will do business as Willis Towers Watson, follows the merger on Monday of Willis, a global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, and Towers Watson, a global advisory, broking and solutions company. Willis Towers Watson will serve “80% of the world’s 1,000 largest companies,” with 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries, the new company said in a press release on Tuesday.

Willis Towers Watson logo

The company will advise clients across four business segments: Corporate Risk and Broking; Exchange Solutions; Human Capital and Benefits; and Investment, Risk and Reinsurance.

The company’s executive leadership team, as previously announced, includes senior management from both Willis and Towers Watson. Along with John Haley, CEO of Willis Towers Watson and Dominic Casserley, Willis Towers Watson president and deputy CEO, the executive team is comprised of the following individuals (alphabetical by last name):

• Nicolas Aubert, head of Great Britain

• Anne Donovan Bodnar, head of human resources

• James K. Foreman, head of Exchange Solutions

• Matthew S. Furman, general counsel

• Adam Garrard, head of International

• Julie J. Gebauer, head of Human Capital and Benefits

• Carl Hess, co-head of North America

• Todd Jones, co-head of North America

• Roger Millay, chief financial officer

• Paul Morris, head of Western Europe

• David Shalders, operations and technology director

• Timothy D. Wright, head of Global Risk and Broking

The board of directors of Willis Towers Watson consists of 12 members — six directors formerly on the Willis board and six formerly on the Towers Watson board. James McCann, previously chairman of Willis, is chairman of the Willis Towers Watson board, the release said. Haley, previously chairman and chief executive officer of Towers Watson, and Casserley, previously CEO of Willis, are also members of the board of Willis Towers Watson. In addition to McCann, Haley and Casserley, the board is comprised of the following individuals: Anna Catalano; Victor Ganzi; Wendy Lane; Brendan O’Neill; Jaymin Patel; Linda Rabbitt; Paul Thomas; Jeffrey Ubben; and Wilhelm Zeller.

Related: Shareholders approve merger of Willis Group, Towers Watson

“We believe we can change our industry by delivering solutions that are driven by data and analytics, and are integrated, innovative and tailored to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” Haley said in the release. “Willis Towers Watson is uniquely positioned to see the connections between talent, assets and ideas and how they can lead to strong performance and growth for our clients. We intend to help our clients manage risk and engage their people in a whole new way.”

As previously disclosed, Willis Towers Watson expects to generate US$4.7 billion in incremental value for shareholders, made up of US$375 million to US$675 million in incremental revenues through, among other things, expanded distribution of Towers Watson’s health care exchange, expansion of Willis’ large-market P&C brokerage business and further globalization of Towers Watson’s Health and Group Benefits consulting business. Also expected is US$100 million to US$125 million in annual merger-related cost savings and approximately US$75 million in annual tax savings.

“Our focus now is on realizing the full potential of this powerful combination for our clients, our people and our investors,” Casserley said. “These are two companies with world-class brands, shared values and now, a vastly expanded set of capabilities, people and geographic reach. Together, we can continue to provide the services and solutions our clients have been used to receiving from us, and also create new offerings that they cannot find elsewhere.”

As of Tuesday, the ordinary shares of Willis Towers Watson will trade on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange under the symbol “WLTW.”