Willis Group Holdings Names Tony Ursano CEO, Willis Capital Markets and Advisory Services
New York, NY, March 24, 2009 - Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, announced today the
appointment of Tony Ursano as Chief Executive Officer, Willis Capital Markets and Advisory Services, effective April 10.
The new division expands on Willis' already existing capital markets capability and will focus on advising insurance
and reinsurance companies and clients on a broader array of capital markets products and mergers and acquisitions. Mr.
Ursano will report to Patrick Regan, the Group's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and will
also oversee Corporate Development for Willis, the company's in-house M&A division.
Mr. Ursano joins Willis from Banc of America Securities where he built and managed the financial institutions corporate and investment banking business for nine years before being named a Vice Chairman in 2008. He was previously at Merrill Lynch, SG Warburg & Company, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and brings more than 22 years of investment banking experience with a specific focus on the insurance industry. Mr. Ursano has been a strategic advisor over the years on more than 50 insurance industry merger and acquisition transactions as well as numerous equity and debt capital raisings for many of the industry’s highest profile companies. Most recently, he was a key advisor to Willis on the $2.1 billion acquisition of Hilb Rogal &
"This is an opportune time to expand our capital markets capability," said Joseph J. Plumeri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Willis Group Holdings, "Insurance is just another form of capital, and in today's volatile economic environment when traditional financial institutions, such as banks, are struggling and have limited capital, we can fill the void by offering high quality, objective advice which includes a range of solutions."
"Tony is the ideal person to spearhead this effort for us," said Mr. Regan. "His years of global investment banking and M&A experience, coupled with the fact that he has already worked very closely with us during the Willis HRH transaction, will help us quickly offer added value advice to our insurance partners and clients."
Mr. Ursano will lead a team of industry professionals who will work closely with Willis' brokers around the
world to help clients and carriers with their capital and M&A needs. "I am thrilled about the opportunity to continue to build the highest quality capital markets and M&A advisory business at Willis, emphasizing independent and objective advice, long term relationships and world class client focus and service," says Mr. Ursano.
"Willis already has cutting edge analytics and risk modeling capabilities, and of course, excellent risk management expertise. We can bring all this to bear along with sound, strategic advice to help Willis’ global client base manage their capital and address the opportunities and challenges arising in the current economic environment."
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.
# # #