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Willis Boosts Human Capital & Benefits Presence With Acquisition of IFG Ireland Businesses

DUBLIN, Ireland, Aug. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Ireland, part of Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, has today announced its acquisition of a range of Irish pension and financial advisory businesses from IFG Group plc.

The acquisition complements and strengthens Willis Ireland's existing pensions business and its financial and wealth-planning services to individuals. It also reflects Willis' commitment to its global Human Capital and Benefits practice. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Today's announcement will bring more than 100 people from the highly-respected, award-winning IFG Ireland pension and financial advisory businesses into Willis Ireland, including professional trustees and investment, pensions and wealth management specialists. Willis Ireland, which currently employs 284 people across five offices, will also gain industry-leading platforms and technology focused on defined contribution pensions.

The companies being acquired in Ireland from IFG Group plc are:

- IFG Pensco Ltd, a leading pensions consultancy and administration business

- Retirement Strategies Ltd and IFG Private Clients Ltd, which are both financial advisory companies

- Planlife Trustee Services Ltd, a professional trustee company

- Trade Credit Brokers Ltd, a trade credit broking business

Tim Wright, CEO of Willis International, and leader of Willis' global Human Capital and Benefits practice, said: "This is the latest addition to our expanding global practice and reflects our commitment to this exciting area and to the Irish market. We see the potential for strong growth in the Irish human capital and benefits sector, boosted by changing demographics and a rising awareness of the need to save for retirement. These acquisitions have an excellent pedigree and will help broaden and deepen our existing presence both in Ireland and worldwide."

Alberto Gallego, Regional CEO of Willis Western Europe, said: "We are widely recognised in Ireland as being a market leader in pension solutions, and our existing offering around defined contribution pensions will get a boost from IFG's added expertise. Our clients and prospects are increasingly looking at how they can help employees with their retirement savings."

Brian Curtis, CEO of Willis Ireland, said: "Willis has been at the forefront of the Irish market for many decades, specialising in both defined benefit and defined contribution pensions. This acquisition reinforces Willis' position by complementing and strengthening our current business. The addition of such a high calibre team of experts further enhances our service to existing and future clients."

Gary Owens, IFG Group Director and CEO of IFG Ireland, said: "We see this as being very positive for clients and staff. Combining the two businesses enables our clients to gain from access to global resources delivered by local expertise and personalised service. It will also expand the range of services available to clients." Following the completion of the transaction, Gary will become Head of the combined Pension and Human Capital and Benefits business of Willis Ireland.

About Willis Group

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices. Willis Risk Services (Ireland) Ltd (t/a Willis) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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.

About IFG Group

IFG Group plc is a focused financial services company with full market listings in London and Dublin. With over £19 billion of assets under administration and advice, the Group provides a range of financial solutions through its principal businesses in the UK. James Hay Partnership is a leading platform provider in the retirement and wealth planning market. Saunderson House is an award winning financial advisor with a reputation for excellent client service and investment performance. To find out more about IFG Group, please visit www.ifggroup.com.

CONTACT: Media: Paul Platt +44 20 3124 7659 Email: Paul.Platt@willis.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915 8084 Email: Peter.Poillon@willis.comSource:Willis Group Holdings