Willis China Unveils New Leadership Team to Drive Expansion in Growing and Complex Market

LONDON, Jan. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, has today announced a series of internal promotions and moves to strengthen the Willis China leadership team.

Mitchell Ma has been appointed as Chairman of Willis China. Mitchell has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Willis China since it was founded in 2004. As Chairman he will focus on the growth and development of the business towards its goal to become the largest risk adviser and insurance broker in China.

Lincoln Pan has been named as the new CEO of Willis China. Lincoln and his family will move to the Willis China headquarters in Shanghai from Hong Kong, where he was Executive Director of Willis Hong Kong. He will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the operations and work with Mitchell and Wise Xu on the future strategy and business development.

Wise Xu has been appointed as Deputy CEO of Willis China, with a focus on the management of specialist business units, placement, and the Beijing operations. Wise is one of the founding members of Willis China.

All the changes take effect from 26th January and are subject to regulatory approval. Willis China has a network of 22 offices, almost 400 staff, and is an increasingly significant business in the portfolio of Willis International, which covers territories outside the US and UK.

Adam Garrard, Willis Asia Regional CEO, said: "This is a first-rate team that will take us to the next level in this hugely important market. We have a well-established presence in China with an unmatched office footprint and a diverse range of clients. The business is entering an exciting new phase of growth and these changes broaden and strengthen our leadership base, combining optimal operational management with a bold drive for new business and growth."

Mitchell Ma, Chairman of Willis China, said: "It's an absolute pleasure to welcome Lincoln as CEO of China. His unique outlook, forged by his multicultural heritage, education and experience, will bring a new and refreshing dimension to our operation. He has proved himself to be an outstanding member of the Willis family and his appointment is just recognition of his continued contribution to Willis. I would also like to congratulate Wise on his promotion to Deputy CEO. Wise has been with Willis since he finished his education and it is particularly gratifying for me that we can make these two significant appointments from within the ranks of Willis, providing tangible proof of our commitment to the development of our employees."

Lincoln Pan, CEO of Willis China, said: "I look forward to partnering with Mitchell Ma, Wise Xu and our excellent team in China. Our goal is to become the risk partner of choice for Chinese companies by providing an integrated proposition combining industry-specific expertise, risk advisory services and world class insurance placement and structuring. We will do so not only in China but globally by supporting our Chinese partners in their international expansion."

Lincoln joined Willis one year ago from Advantage Partners, Japan's leading private equity fund, where he was a Principal responsible for non-Japan buyout investments. He has previously held senior positions with GE Capital Asia and McKinsey & Company in Greater China and New York. Lincoln is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Williams College.

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.

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

Source:Willis Group Holdings