Willis Re to Acquire SurePoint Reinsurance Advisors, LLC

NEW YORK, Sept. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, announced today that Willis Re Inc., its North American reinsurance business, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of SurePoint Reinsurance Advisors, LLC, a professional advisory and reinsurance broking firm that provides specialist services to insurance companies in the employee benefit market, specifically the accident and health (A&H) sector.

The acquisition meaningfully expands Willis Re's existing capabilities in the growing A&H market within North America, providing an enhanced offering to its clients through the addition of a well-respected and high quality team of experts. SurePoint was founded in Maine in 2005 by re/insurance industry executives Jim Fallon, Mike Lachance and Rob Fast. Details of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the late third or early fourth quarter of 2014, were not disclosed.

Commenting on the transaction, Jim Bradshaw, CEO Willis Re North America, said:

"SurePoint has a very impressive track record in this specialized area of the re/insurance market. Its consistent performance is testament to its strong management team, the culture they have fostered and the expertise they have built; all of which are extremely attractive to us. Bringing their expertise to Willis Re, complementing and building on our existing capabilities in the A&H arena, will provide an even more compelling offering for our clients and prospects in this space and we look forward to welcoming the SurePoint team to the Willis Group."

The SurePoint team, who will become Willis Associates, will continue to be based in Portland, ME, under the leadership of Jim Fallon, Mike Lachance and Rob Fast. Mr. Fallon will assume leadership responsibility for Willis Re's North America A&H segment, Mr. Lachance will become branch manager for the new Willis Re Maine office and Mr. Fast will continue to play an integral role in the organization.

Jim Fallon, Executive Vice President, commented:

"Combining our platform with Willis Re's own expertise and global reach will bring a unique, added dimension to our client offering. We look forward to working closely with our new colleagues to explore ways in which our expanded platform and capabilities can bring our clients truly comprehensive solutions to their reinsurance needs."

Mike Lachance, Executive Vice President, added:

"Over the past ten years, SurePoint has successfully utilized analytical tools, metrics and complex analysis to help clients meet their financial objectives. Merging SurePoint's capabilities with the scope and breadth of Willis' existing analytics offering will provide clients with exciting new service options as well as a natural platform for developing new models and client applications."

Rob Fast, Executive Vice President, stated:

"SurePoint and Willis Re have very complementary businesses and extremely high client retention and loyalty which speaks to a shared dedication to clients and creating meaningful value. By combining SurePoint's Group Life, Disability and voluntary business expertise with Willis Re's medical and catastrophe expertise, we will have a unified team with additional tools and insights to drive value for clients."

KPMG Corporate Finance LLC served as financial advisor to SurePoint Reinsurance Advisors, LLC.

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 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 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 Reinsurance expertise in a seamless, integrated offering that can help 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 can help clients make better reinsurance decisions and negotiate optimum terms. For more information, visit www.willisre.com.

CONTACT: Media: Juliet Massey +44 20 3124 7452 Email: juliet.massey@willis.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915 8084 Email: Peter.Poillon@willis.comSource:Willis Group Holdings