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    Major German Research Institutions Join Willis Research Network

    The Renowned CEDIM Consortium of GFZ Potsdam and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Partners With Reinsurance Broker on Natural Catastrophe Risk Research

    London, UK, October 26, 2009 – The Willis Research Network (WRN), part of Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker, has strengthened its position as the world’s largest collaboration between academia and the re-insurance industry, by adding its first members in Germany. The WRN today welcomed its newest members from the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) which incorporates the Helmholtz Center Potsdam - the German Research Center for Geoscience (GFZ), and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

    The CEDIM is a leader in multi-disciplinary research on extremes and hazards including flooding, seismic risk and applications of remote sensing to insurance. The main goal of CEDIM is to advance the scientific understanding of natural and man-made hazard assessment and to develop disaster management solutions for the early detection and reduction of risk.

    The WRN-CEDIM collaboration is expected to encompass all these areas, with the prospective appointment of a Willis Research Fellow to increase capacity in hail risk modelling and research.

    Dirk Spenner, Managing Director of Willis Re Germany, commented, "We are delighted that the CEDIM team are joining the WRN to bring further strength to our natural hazards modelling in Germany. This will help us to offer our clients cutting- edge reinsurance solutions, while advantaging the wider market through the advancement of research into natural and man-made perils."

    Professor Friedemann Wenzel, Director of CEDIM at Karlsruhe, added, "We have had the pleasure of working with the WRN for around six months and there are many exciting synergies in Germany and far beyond. We look forward to the prospect of our work becoming further integrated into the insurance industry via the WRN."

    Matthew Foote, Research Director of the WRN, explained the wider role that CEDIM will play in the Network. He said, "What has struck us is how CEDIM's work overlaps with our wider interests in Turkey, South East Asia and Europe, and on the Global Earthquake Model. CEDIM’s research is stimulating broad collaboration across our international WRN membership.”

    The Willis Research Network (WRN) is focused on evaluating the frequency, severity and impact of major catastrophes – from flooding to hurricanes and earthquakes - and seeks to help society at local and global levels manage these risks and share the costs of these events via public and private sector approaches. In order to achieve this, Willis has teamed up with 22 leading institutions across a full range of disciplines from atmospheric science and climate statistics, to geography, hydrology and seismology, to assess the impacts on the environment via engineering, exposure analysis and Geographic Information Systems. Additional information can be found at www.willisresearchnetwork.com

    The WRN is funded by Willis Group Holdings Limited (NYSE: WSH), 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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