Willis CEO Rings Closing Bell at NYSE:
Event Marks Completion of Willis’ $2.1 Billion Acquisition of HRH
New York, NY, October 3, 2008 – Joe Plumeri – Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, today rang The Closing Bell® at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the successful completion of the company’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH), one of the world's largest insurance and risk management intermediaries. The transaction was completed on October 1, 2008.
Joining Mr. Plumeri on the podium were Don Bailey, Chairman and CEO of Willis HRH; Mell Vaughan, Vice Chairman of Willis Group and former Chairman and CEO of HRH; Mike Crowley, President of Willis HRH and former President and COO of HRH; Pat Regan, CFO of Willis; Adam Ciongoli, General Counsel of Willis; Vic Krauze, COO of Willis HRH; Susan Sztuka, Group Director, Human Resources, Willis; Joseph Califano, Board Director of Willis, and other senior executives. Willis HRH is the new name of Willis’ North American retail brokerage business.
“This is a great way to commemorate the largest acquisition in the insurance broking industry in the last decade,” said Mr. Plumeri. “Our combination with HRH is truly a defining moment in the history of our two companies. By joining with HRH, we have created a true insurance broking powerhouse here in North America, with retail operations that are now larger, stronger, more diverse and have greater growth potential than ever before.”
The addition of HRH doubles Willis’ North America revenues, expands its local presence from 70 to 210 locations in North America, and strengthens the company’s position in a number of important U.S. markets. The acquisition also expands Willis’ middle-market and large-account presence, enhances its ability to serve small commercial accounts, and adds depth and expertise to a number of key practice areas, including Employee Benefits and Personal Lines – practices which are now two and three times larger, respectively, than under Willis before.
Mr. Plumeri noted that Willis has proudly listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange since June 2001, and that its stock price has risen more than 130% since its initial public offering. Willis’ roots stretch back 180 years to the founding of Henry Willis & Company in 1828 in London. The company’s shares were first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1976 and the company was taken private by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1998 before re-emerging as a NYSE-listed public company in 2001.
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 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 20,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.
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