Willis Appoints John Merkovsky as Group Head of Risk Services

LONDON, Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, has appointed John Merkovsky as Group Head of Risk Services. This new role is effective immediately.

Reporting to Steve Hearn, Deputy CEO of Willis Group, Merkovsky will seek greater coordination and collaboration across Willis's extensive risk-related capabilities to deliver the company's Analytical Broker proposition to its clients.

Working closely with Willis's Industry and Product heads, and the retail leadership in individual regions and countries, Merkovsky will look to grow the company's existing team of risk specialists to deliver the full range of Willis's global industry, insurance and risk management expertise in a more coordinated way in the various territories in which Willis operates.

Merkovsky was previously Global Leader and subsequently CEO for Marsh's Risk Consulting Practice, roles he held from 2005 until 2012. He was also responsible for Marsh's thought leadership activities around emerging risk issues including climate change, pandemic and supply chain. In 2012 Merkovsky founded the Marsh Office of Innovation. He is also an annual contributor to the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Network Report.

Commenting on the appointment, Hearn said: "This appointment speaks to Willis's commitment to become the Analytical Broker. Our main focus today is to integrate risk insights with practical and strategic solutions for our clients. By doing so we help them to build resilience in their organisations and compete more effectively. John has a huge amount of experience in leading organisations to help clients better understand risk in its many forms and in responding with innovative solutions."

He continued: "Businesses today have a pressing desire to gain a much better understanding of the threats they currently face or may be exposed to in the future. And in response to a challenging operating environment, companies are increasingly demanding new services, tools, advice and expertise to help them interpret and diagnose risks. Our role is to equip clients with these tools and to use our insights and expertise to help our clients make more informed decisions."

John Merkovsky said: "This is a tremendous opportunity to further develop the concept of Willis as the Analytical Broker and to establish the company as the leading global risk advisor. Willis has deeply impressive risk advisory, risk engineering, analytics and other risk related capabilities. Connecting these considerable talents will help drive the development of innovative new risk solutions for our clients."

About Willis

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world's leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, www.willis.com, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.

CONTACT: Media: Miles Russell +44 2031 247 446 Email: Miles.Russell@willis.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915 8084 Email: Peter.Poillon@willis.comSource:Willis Group Holdings