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    Willis Re Director Appointed to Natural Environment Research Council
    - The City Gains Voice on UK Environmental Science Policy-


    London, UK, September 09, 2008 - Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global broker Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), said today that Rowan Douglas, Managing Director of Analytics for Willis Re’s International and Specialty divisions and Chairman of the Willis Research Network, has been appointed to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) by UK Science Minister Ian Pearson. Douglas’s appointment underscores the growing trend of the business and scientific communities working more closely together on the issue of global climate change.

    With an annual budget of around £400 million, NERC is the largest funder of worldclass environmental science research in UK universities and its own research centres. Its strategic goal is to deliver world-leading environmental research at the frontiers of knowledge, enabling society to respond to global climate change and the increasing pressures on natural resources. It contributes to UK leadership in predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change, and creates and supports integrated research communities.

    Mr Douglas leads the international analytical group at Willis, which evaluates the frequency, severity and impact of natural disasters and develops private and public sector approaches to share the costs of extreme events across populations. He is also Chairman of the Willis Research Network, the world’s largest collaboration between academia and the insurance industry, sponsoring posts in atmospheric, hydrological and seismic risk at universities throughout Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

    Ed Wallis, Chairman of NERC, said, “Mr Douglas’ years of dealing with knowledge exchange and the financial services industry, along with the other new members, brings a range of diverse skills and expertise that will help us to deliver our strategic goals.”

    Rowan Douglas commented, “Science and the City are two of the UK’s leading strengths and it is a privilege to be appointed to NERC to help advance the working relationship between the two communities. Environmental and financial systems are intricately interconnected with natural catastrophes and environmental change. In the context of the growing social and economic challenges in living with environmental change, we should align the work of these two communities wherever appropriate. I look forward to bringing knowledge and experience gained from the insurance industry to the Council.”

    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.

    Full details of the announcement are available at http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2008/45-council.asp

    Details on NERC may be found at http://www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/corporate/documents/nercfacts08.pdf

     

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