Willis Group Strengthens Presence in Hungary
--Increases Stake in Willis Kft to 100 Percent; Appoints New Managing Director--
Budapest, Hungary, July 14, 2008 – In line with its aim to become the leading broker in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, has acquired 100 percent of Willis Kft, its joint-venture operation in Hungary, by purchasing the 20 percent stake of its local broker partner, Erix. The deal was completed on June 30, 2008. Terms were not disclosed.
In 1997, Willis sold 20 percent of Willis Kft to Erix, which took over management of Willis’ Hungarian operation. This transaction returns to Willis complete ownership and management control of its Hungary operations.
Doug Pritchard, Managing Director for Willis Czech Republic and Slovakia has been appointed Managing Director of the new, wholly owned Willis Kft and will continue to be based in Prague. Commenting on the buy-out, Pritchard said, “We are looking to build our business quickly and establish a strong platform to position ourselves as a leading broker in the Hungarian market and indeed the CEE. We believe that by regaining full management control of Willis Kft, we will be in a position to achieve this."
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