Willis Takes Market-Leading Role in Nordics by Completing Acquisition of Max Matthiessen

LONDON, Oct. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, announced today that it has received the relevant regulatory approvals from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and has completed its acquisition of a controlling stake of approximately 75% in Max Matthiessen.

The investment reflects Willis's strategic focus on growing its global Human Capital and Benefits practice. The newly combined business is now the biggest risk adviser and broker in the Nordic region, and the largest international adviser in Sweden.

Tim Wright, CEO of Willis International, and leader of the global Human Capital and Benefits practice, said: "Max Matthiessen is a well-established and widely-respected business serving markets where we see strong growth potential, especially in conjunction with our existing P&C businesses within Sweden. Max Matthiessen will bring a powerful set of capabilities to the Willis Group globally, as well as benefiting from Willis's global footprint. This is an important acquisition for us and it reflects our commitment to both this exciting sector and to the Nordic region."

Max Matthiessen is one of Sweden's leading independent advisers in retirement savings, health plans and personal insurance, with around 420 employees in 23 locations across Sweden.

Willis Sweden and Max Matthiessen have held a strategic partnership since 2009, and the acquisition means the two will work even more closely together. The Max Matthiessen brand will be retained and will run alongside Willis Sweden.

Christoffer Folkebo, CEO of Max Matthiessen, said: "We are very happy to now be part of the Willis Group. The combined business will benefit both sides as we can offer our clients a broader product portfolio. Max Matthiessen will operate under the same brand as before but with Willis's international knowledge and experience enabling us to expand even further."

Johan Forsgård, CEO of Willis Sweden, said: "Willis is now the international frontrunner in the Nordic region and in Sweden. The strong Willis footprint in the region illustrates the Group's commitment to establishing its global strategy in the Human Capital and Benefits sector. We will now look forward to bringing the best of both organisations here in Sweden to all of our clients."

Willis made this announcement about its agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Max Matthiessen in May 2014.

About Willis

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 Max Matthiessen

Max Matthiessen was founded in 1889. Since then it has become a leading independent adviser in personal insurance, health plans and retirement savings. Max Matthiessen operates with around 420 employees at 23 locations in Sweden. Its advisers, administrators and specialists have experience helping employers and individuals with procurement, analysis, packaging, advisory and administration of the best saving and insurance solutions in the market. In 2013 the gross turnover of Max Matthiessen exceeded 1,000 million Swedish Kronors. Find out more at www.maxm.se.

CONTACT: Media: Florrie Critchley +44 20 3124 8603 Email: Florrie.Critchley@willis.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915 8084 Email: Peter.Poillon@willis.com

Source:Willis Group Holdings