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    Willis Seminar Examines Solvency II and Responsibilities of Europe’s Business Managers

    UK, London, May 12, 2008- The European Commission’s Benedict Carr explained on Thursday how the new Solvency II regime “fosters and demands greater supervisory convergence across the Community.” Speaking at an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) seminar held by Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker, he also warned business leaders that the new Solvency II regime would place greater emphasis on the responsibility of the senior management to manage their business responsibly. More than 200 risk managers and insurance industry experts attended the seminar which was held in The Willis Building, the Company’s new London headquarters.

    Johann Meeke, Head of ERM, Willis Re, commented “The ERM environment is undergoing a period of dramatic change. ERM needs to be embedded in an organisation. It’s as much about corporate lifestyle as it is about risk modelling. Through dialogue with clients, regulators and rating agencies, Willis is proud to have developed a comprehensive ERM offering to help clients thrive in the Solvency II world.”

    Benedict Carr also confirmed negotiations remained on track to adopt the Solvency II directive by the end of 2008. He told the audience, which had travelled from all over Europe, that “taking part in Quantity Impact Study 4 (QIS4) is the best way to influence the shape of future legislation and understand what impact the introduction of Solvency II will have on your business.”

    Meanwhile Rob Jones, Managing Director, Insurance Ratings at Standard & Poor’s, warned the audience to be ready for more failures under Solvency II. “The track record in continental Europe is good,” he said, “but that will be difficult to maintain under Solvency II. There is a risk of ruin probability of 0.5% over a typical year.” He did, however, admit that most failures would be “well managed”. Jones also predicted that the new Solvency regime would “accelerate” consolidation trends that are already advanced in many markets.

    Other speakers on the day included Rob Curtis from the FSA who assured the audience that the regulatory body was “involved at all levels of Solvency II development”, and Oliver Peterken, Chief Risk Officer at Aspen Re, who examined whether regulatory reliance on ERM models could heighten systematic risk.

    The seminar is the latest in a programme of seminars held by Willis Re and The Willis Research Network (WRN). The WRN is one of the world's largest partnership 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 built 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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