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    UK wins by companies like Willis being at the forefront of innovation through WillPLACE: Rt. Hon. David Willetts

    London, UK, March 08, 2012 —UK plc benefits from companies like Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH) being at the forefront of innovation, according to the Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.

    Praising the algorithm-based new placement platform WillPLACE developed by Willis in the UK, the Minister said, “The customer wins thanks to better information about the market, which drives competition. The UK wins by Willis, and companies like you, being at the forefront of innovation and also based here.”

    Over 300 people attended an event at the Willis Building last night to mark the introduction of WillPLACE, the world’s first placement platform which uses a proprietary algorithm to match clients’ needs with the best insurance carrier.

    In a keynote address, the Minister hailed the role of science in supporting growth and efficiency in the insurance sector and UK economy, saying, “Your excellent performance depends in part on access to world-class science.”

    He concluded, “High-tech is crucial to rebalancing the economy… On that basis, I congratulate you (Willis) on the development and delivery of WillPLACE and wish you every success.”

    Steve Hearn, Chairman and CEO of Willis Global said, “WillPLACE is a glimpse at the future of our industry. This technology will make the broking process more transparent and give our clients better intelligence to help them make the right insurance decisions. Delivering the best for our clients is what drives us at Willis and we’re proud to be leading the way in the industry.”

    Alastair Swift, Willis CEO of Global Placement, said, “Finally we have a tool that complements our client-centric analytics platform by adding science to the selection of markets. This gives Willis clients the best solutions for their risk exposures by truly understanding their needs.”

    While technology is not new to insurance placement decision-making, WillPLACE is the first system not driven by static data, but by an algorithm that constantly adjusts to, learns from, and weights clients’ needs. This client-centric, proprietary matching algorithm was developed by Willis.

    WillPLACE has now been introduced across Willis operations in North America, Brazil, the UK, Germany and Italy and is used by more than 3,200 Associates. By the end of March more than 70% of the premium Willis places into the insurance market will be through WillPLACE. Further roll out will continue this year across Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

    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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