Willis Expands Leadership Team in North America

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| Source: Willis Group Holdings

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis North America (WNA), a unit of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, today announced a revised organizational structure and a series of related senior appointments that are designed to strengthen the firm's service to its clients, align its resources toward that goal and, in the process, drive growth throughout the business.

WNA is the North American retail brokerage business of Willis Group Holdings and the company's largest business segment. The business, which in 2012 reported revenues of more than $1.3 billion, includes more than 100 local offices across the United States and Canada offering a full range of insurance and risk management services, specialist expertise and global resources to clients in every sector.

WNA's new organizational structure will include the following seven regions – Northeast, Atlantic, South, Midwest, West, California and Canada – supported by a corresponding team of National Partners. This evolution in North America's structure reflects the unique opportunities within various geographies and better positions WNA to bring the full breadth of Willis' expertise and capabilities to clients in each of its local offices.

The appointments announced today, all of whom will report to Todd Jones, CEO, WNA, include the following:

Eric Hein has been appointed National Partner of the South Region. He will be responsible for the region's business operations, which includes 500 Associates in 15 offices throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and the Carolinas. Hein joined Willis in 1985 and has held a variety of leadership roles. Since 1999 he served as Managing Partner of Willis' North and South Carolina operations where, under his leadership, Willis established itself as a market leader in the Carolinas. He is based in Charlotte, NC.

KJ Wagner has been appointed National Partner of the West Region. He will be responsible for the region's business operations, which includes 675 Associates in 10 offices throughout Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Wagner joined Willis in 1999 and most recently served as Managing Partner, Willis of Arizona, since 2008. Previously Wagner served as one of Willis' top producers in North America where he focused on risk transfer programs for large firms with complex risks. He is based in Scottsdale, AZ.

David Fuhrman has been appointed National Partner of the newly established California Region. He will be responsible for the region's business operations, which includes 365 Associates throughout offices in Los Angeles, Irvine, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco. Fuhrman joined Willis in 2005 and previously served as Managing Partner, Willis of Los Angeles. Under his leadership, Willis of Los Angeles established itself as a top performing operation in North America. He is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Hein, Wagner and Fuhrman will work closely with the existing regional leadership team including Joe Gunn, National Partner of the Northeast Region; Doug Pera, National Partner of the Atlantic Region; Mike Liss, National Partner of the Midwest Region and Rick Hynes, National Partner of Canada.

Commenting on the appointments, Todd Jones said, "We are thrilled to welcome Eric, KJ and David to the leadership team. They each bring strong track records of success in driving high levels of client satisfaction and business results and we look forward to continuing the organic growth we have achieved in recent quarters in North America."

To further support its North America platform, Willis today announced several additional appointments, including:

Paty Daves has been appointed Managing Partner, Willis of Illinois. In this role, he will oversee business operations in Willis' Chicago, Schaumburg and Moline offices as supported by a staff of more than 400 Associates. Since 2008, Daves served as Managing Partner, Willis of Kansas. He will be based in Chicago and report to Mike Liss.

John Sherlock has been appointed Managing Partner, Willis of Pennsylvania. In this role, he will oversee business operations in Willis' Philadelphia and Radnor offices as supported by a staff of more than 200 Associates. Sherlock joined Willis from Philadelphia Insurance Company where he served as Senior Vice President responsible for large broker strategy. Prior to this, Sherlock was with AIG where he served as president of the Mid-Atlantic region. He is based in Philadelphia, PA and will report to Doug Pera.

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 17,500 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.

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