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    John Cavanagh Appointed Willis Re CEO

    London, UK, January 19, 2012 – Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, today announced the appointment of John Cavanagh as CEO Willis Re, the reinsurance broking arm of Willis Group. Effective immediately, Cavanagh succeeds Steve Hearn, who was appointed Chairman and CEO Willis Global last December. In his new role, Cavanagh joins Peter Hearn, Chairman Willis Re, and Paddy Jago, President of Willis Re on the Willis Re Executive team, in addition to becoming a member of the Willis Executive Committee.

    John Cavanagh has been an Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Willis Re since 2009, when he joined Willis from International Specialty reinsurance broker RK Carvill, of which Cavanagh was joint CEO. Previously responsible for production and marketing of large specialty reinsurance accounts, and a member of the Willis Re Global Production Board, Cavanagh brings to the role of CEO 36 years of experience in the London insurance market.

    Prior to his 21 years at the Carvill Group, Cavanagh was Deputy Managing Director of Minet Re and a Director of the North American reinsurance division at Willis Faber and Dumas.

    As a pioneer in the Capital Markets space, Cavanagh was instrumental in the delivery of the first ever Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) transaction at Lloyd’s and acted as advisor on the first ever Casualty ILS. He was also a founder of the Carvill Hurricane Index, an innovative product which described the potential for damage from Atlantic hurricanes, and is used as a basis for the trading of commoditised catastrophe instruments on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

    Congratulating Cavanagh on his appointment, Peter Hearn, Chairman Willis Re, said, “Since joining us in 2009, John has made an enormous contribution and has had an extremely productive working relationship with the Willis and Willis Re executive management. His extensive experience of the market and his familiarity with our clients and prospects has been invaluable, and the continued growth and success of Willis Re are undoubtedly assured under his leadership as CEO. I look forward to working with John in his new capacity.”

    Outgoing Willis Re CEO Steve Hearn, whose new role as CEO Willis Global encompasses oversight for Willis Re, Willis Global Specialties, Willis Faber & Dumas, Willis Global Solutions and Willis Global Placement, said, “With his market-leading Specialty expertise, proven leadership skills and Capital Markets knowledge, we are very fortunate to have someone of John’s calibre internally to take on the role of CEO, Willis Re. He knows our clients and our business and, with his experience as the former CEO of a highly successful reinsurance broker, is ideally placed to lead Willis Re into its next chapter of growth.”

    About Willis Re

    One of the world's leading reinsurance brokers, Willis Re is known for its world-class Analytics capabilities, which it combines with its Capital Markets and Reinsurance expertise in a seamless, integrated offering that helps clients increase the value of their businesses. Willis Re serves the risk management and risk transfer needs of a diverse, global client base that includes all of the world's top insurance and reinsurance carriers as well as national catastrophe schemes in many countries around the world. The broker's global team of experts offers services and advice that help clients make better reinsurance decisions, access worldwide capital markets and negotiate optimum terms. For more information, visit www.willisre.com.

    About Willis

    Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global insurance broker. Through its subsidiaries, Willis develops and delivers 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 17,000 employees serving clients in virtually every part of the world. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.

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