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    Willis Research Network and Google Earth Offer Views From Above

    New York, NY, May 6, 2008 – The Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), hosted Google Earth and experts from the insurance industry at the end of April to discuss the increasing role of visual technologies in the assessment of insurance risk. The half day seminar, held at The Willis Building in London, was hosted by Chairman of the WRN, Rowan Douglas, and WRN Research Director, Matthew Foote. The seminar considered the challenges of exploiting revolutionary new technologies currently at the disposal of insurers and risk managers. Geographic data, high resolution imaging satellites and ‘on-demand’ aerial tools were amongst the technologies discussed. Around 280 delegates from all over Europe, including representatives from the insurance industry, academic institutions and governmental bodies attended the event.

    “We are thrilled to host so many experts from across academia and the insurance industry” said Douglas, “This seminar is an open forum for scientists and business experts to discuss and shape the future of visualisation technology. Technologies have revolutionised the application of geospatial data, allowing non-specialist users to interpret the geographical features of risk quickly and easily. Within the insurance industry we have seen a sharp upsurge in the use of these high-specification geovisualisation tools such as Google Earth.”

    “Geovisualisation technologies are revolutionising the way risk is interpreted and managed,” said Foote, “With these new tools we are witnessing fundamental changes to the traditional methods of calculating insurance risks. Underwriting risk assessments, mapping aggregate analysis and loss estimation will all change as a result of visual insurance risk technologies being changed. The WRN is currently researching these outputs with the help of academics from institutions and countries based the world over.”

    The Willis Research Network (WRN) is one of the world's largest partnerships between academia and the insurance industry. Willis has so far teamed up with sixteen leading institutions across a full range of disciplines from atmospheric science and climate statistics, to geography, hydrology and seismology, to the impacts on the environment via engineering, exposure analysis and GIS.

    Willis Group Holdings Limited is a leading global insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 300 offices in some 100 countries, with a global team of approximately 16,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.

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