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Willis Transforms Western Australia Presence With Acquisition of CKA Risk Solutions

SYDNEY, Australia, Aug. 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Australia, part of Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisory, re/insurance broking, and human capital and benefits firm, has today announced the completion of its acquisition of CKA Risk Solutions.

CKA is a leading independent broker based in Perth with a strong focus on medium to large-sized corporates, especially within the mining and natural resources industries.

The acquisition complements Willis’s existing business by deepening its talent pool of risk experts focussed on the global natural resources, industrial and commercial sectors, and by growing its client service capabilities in Western Australia significantly.

Roger Wilkinson, CEO of Willis Australasia, said: “This is the biggest change for Willis Australia in many years and gives us a leading position in the western region, where we see high growth potential, especially in natural resources.

“CKA is a hugely respected business with a skilled team posting consistently strong results in a challenging sector. They have an outstanding customer-first ethos and many of their clients will benefit from the global service and expanded range of risk solutions that Willis can offer.

“Willis and CKA have a firm foundation of shared values and a common culture. That will be critical in helping drive us forward as we develop our business together.”

John Carrigg, one of CKA’s founding directors, said: “After 11 years of client-focussed service delivery and sustained business growth from our Western Australian base, we were keen to accelerate the expansion of our business nationally and internationally, along with strengthening our footprint in Western Australia.

“In Willis, we believe we’ve found the ideal partner. We are excited by the benefits and opportunities that this partnership will bring to our clients, prospective clients and staff.

“Specifically, we are excited by the prospect of a unique and powerful business that combines CKA’s well-known customer-first ethos, together with the Willis commitment to client advocacy and integrity, its geographic depth and its associated resources and expertise.”

The combined business will employ over 65 associates and will develop into one of the largest corporate insurance broking firms in Western Australia. The two teams will work together in the existing CKA office and will initially trade as Willis CKA.

CKA Director Stuart McLean will become Western Australia General Manager for the newly combined business and will join the Willis Australasia operating committee.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Willis
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisory, re/insurance broker and human capital and benefits firm. 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 CKA Risk Solutions
CKA was established in 2004 to focus on Australian businesses with large and/or complex insurance requirements. With a broking team of over 45 insurance professionals, CKA act for clients with operations in every State of Australia and around the world. Our extensive domestic and international networks allow us to source global risk solutions for our clients, supported by the most appropriate and price competitive insurance covers. http://www.ckarisksolutions.com/

Forward-Looking Statements
We have included in this document ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbours created by those laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements, including statements that address the combined company and the potential platform for future growth and performance. Also, when we use the words such as ‘expect’, ‘estimate’, or similar expressions, we are making forward-looking statements. There are important uncertainties, events and factors that could cause our actual results or performance to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements contained in this document, including, the risk that we may not fully realize the anticipated benefits from the transaction, or that the benefits may take longer to realize than expected, including the anticipated scale and potential revenue synergies of the combined business; the risk that we may not be able to effectively integrate the CKA Risk Solutions business into our business; the risk that we may not be able to retain key CKA Risk Solutions employees; the risks associated with operating in foreign markets, including being subject to foreign regulations that may adversely affect our business and being subject to other laws and regulations that apply to our operations and conduct around the world; the impact of any regional, national or global political, economic, business, competitive, market, environmental or regulatory conditions on our global business operations; and the impact of current global economic conditions on our results of operations and financial condition. More detailed information about the above and other factors is available ‘‘Risk Factors’’ section included in Willis’ Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies are available online at http://www.sec.gov or www.willis.com. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and we will not update these forward-looking statements unless the securities laws require us to do so.

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