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Willis's Affinity Business Goes Global With Expansion into North America and the UK

LONDON, March 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker, today announced that its Affinity business will become a new global practice that includes North American markets and the UK.

Existing Affinity-like businesses in these high potential regions will become part of the new practice and act as footholds for future investment and expansion. The new approach means Affinity operations worldwide can draw on greater networks and a global client base, and also leverage recent investment in IT systems.

Affinity is a high-growth area for Willis whose insurance solutions reach everyday consumers and SMEs through partnerships and distribution agreements with retailers, employers and other organisations.

Affinity focuses on a range of sectors, including: finance, retail, manufacturing, utilities, telecoms, car dealerships and large employers. Examples of Affinity programmes include mobile phone insurance provided by a telecoms operator, or a trade association offering tailored insurance products to its members.

Todd Jones, CEO of Willis North America, said: "The US is the largest Affinity market in the world and consumers are used to buying insurance products from retailers and other intermediaries, so this is a space where we see great potential for growth and innovation. Our challenge is to find the best solutions for partners, and that's something in which the team has a great track record."

Tim Wright, CEO of Willis International, said: "Affinity has been one of the growth engines for Willis International in recent years, with a distinctive and compelling model that will benefit from application across the entire Group."

Willis's Affinity business, which directly employs around 450 associates outside of the UK and North America, has proved a great success in markets around the world, including Latin America, Europe and China.

Roberto Tinoco Pinto, CEO of Affinity, said: "Going global means we can leverage our existing success and replicate our best practices from around the world in North America and the UK. I'm excited about the opportunity to develop these markets and continue growing our business aggressively. We'll be assessing the current operations in these new markets to refresh our approach, draw on global resources, and consider future investment and expansion."

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 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