We were founded in 1828. Measured by the calendar, Willis is the world’s oldest insurance broker. Measured by vitality, innovation and commitment to leading our industry in the 21st century, we consider ourselves the youngest.
Our origins lie in the early 19th century with the founding in London of three firms, Henry Willis & Co, Faber Brothers, and Dumas & Wylie. The first two merged in 1897 to form Willis, Faber & Co. Dumas & Wylie joined in 1928, creating the famous name of Willis, Faber & Dumas Limited.
R A Corroon & Co. Inc., was established in New York in 1905. In 1966 it merged with C R Black Jr Corporation. Of many subsequent amalgamations the most significant was with Synercon Corporation of Nashville in 1976.
In mid-1998 the Group's shareholders accepted an offer from the leveraged buy-out specialists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, who took the company private. In 1999, the Group's operations amalgamated under one name Willis Group Limited. Willis returned to the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.
On October 1, 2008, Willis acquired Hilb Rogal & Hobbs, one of the largest insurance and risk management intermediaries in North America, in the largest industry deal of the decade.
In 2010, we published The Willis Cause , the distillation of what it means to be the world’s greatest insurance broker.
Key dates in our history:
- 1828 Henry Willis & Co. established
- 1843 Dumas & Wylie established
- 1886 Faber Brothers established
- 1898 Willis, Faber & Co. formed by merger
- 1905 R.A. Corroon & Co. established
- 1928 Willis Faber & Dumas formed by merger
- 1966 Corroon & Black Corp. formed by merger
- 1976 Willis Faber listed on stock exchange
- 1990 Willis Corroon Group formed by merger
- 1998 Willis Corroon Group acquired by Trinity Acquisition
- 1999 The Group's operations are amalgamated under one name: Willis Group
- 2001 Willis Group Limited listed on the New York Stock Exchange
- 2008 Willis Group Acquires Hilb Rogal & Hobbs.
- 2010 Willis publishes The Willis Cause