Willis Strengthens Cyber Team

Key Appointments Deliver Cyber Risk Expertise Across North America Platform


NEW YORK, June 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings plc (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisory, re/insurance broking, and human capital and benefits firm, announced a series of senior appointments to strengthen its FINEX (financial and executive risk) Cyber/ E&O (errors and omissions) Practice and broaden the scope of risk advisory services through enhanced thought and product leadership and technical expertise.

Willis is an industry leader in the cyber insurance marketplace. Its growing cyber/E&O business features one of the largest broking teams in the industry delivering deep expertise across key industries, and a dedicated claims and legal group. Willis works with organizations to develop strategic cyber risk management programs using its proprietary analytical tool, PRISM II (Privacy Risk and Insurance Strategy Model) and RAPID, its Risk Assessment Probability & Impact Diagnostic tool. PRISM II helps organizations quantify the impact and likelihood of a privacy breach and determine optimal risk transfer strategies and financing limits. These tools were developed specifically to deliver additional dimensions to understanding cyber risk exposure and help firms make well-informed decisions about the purchase of cyber risk insurance. 

Adeola Adele has been appointed Executive Vice President and Cyber Thought Leader, based in New York.  In this role, Adeola has responsibility for thought leadership strategy, developing and delivering forward thinking insight and relevant content highlighting trends, issues and advice to help organizations manage cyber risk exposure. Adeola joined Willis from Marsh USA. Prior to that, she worked in private practice as an employment and insurance coverage lawyer.

Jim Devoe has been appointed Senior Vice President and Cyber Product Leader, based in Hartford CT. In this role, Jim will work closely with the global insurance marketplace to develop innovative coverage solutions to address the rapidly changing profile of cyber exposures. He will also focus on delivering analytical expertise, including coverage reviews and analysis of claim trends to support Willis’s cyber clients. Jim joined Willis in 2013 as a cyber broker serving national accounts. He has over 35 years of experience in the cyber insurance and E&O marketplace. Previously, he held a variety of roles at The Hartford, including managing the organization’s cyber placements.

Gamelah Palagonia has been appointed Senior Vice President and Cyber Risk Specialist, based in New York. In this role, she is responsible for delivering industry leading cyber products, services and consultation to Willis’s national and multinational clients. Gamelah is a certified privacy professional and expert having founded Privacy Professionals LLC, a cyber risk advisory firm. Prior to that, she was a Director at Crystal and Company specializing in cyber insurance products.

Rebecca Pearson has been appointed Senior Vice President and Cyber Team Leader for FINEX’s California Region, based in San Francisco. In this role, Rebecca serves as a subject matter expert on cyber, technology, telecommunications, errors and omissions and media liability risks. Rebecca has deep experience in the legal and insurance industry and joins Willis from Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Prior to that, she was an insurance coverage lawyer representing policyholders at a large California-based firm.

Jason Warmbir has been appointed Vice President and Cyber Team Leader for FINEX’s Midwest Region, based in Chicago. In this role, he will focus on aligning resources from across Willis’s global platform to deliver industry leading risk management solutions to Willis’s cyber clients. Jason has extensive cyber insurance experience. Prior to joining Willis, he served as a cyber underwriting manager at ACE USA.

Commenting on the appointments, Alexis Faber, Executive Vice President and FINEX North America Practice Leader, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome these individuals to Willis and further elevate our position in the marketplace. These appointments demonstrate Willis’s continued commitment to strengthening our cyber platform. Moreover, the addition of Adeola and Jim to the team allows us to enhance our thought and product leadership value proposition to clients, while we continue to strengthen our service team.”

Geoffrey Allen, Executive Vice President and Cyber/E&O Practice Leader, said, “In today’s networked world, cyber security and privacy liability have risen to the top of the risk agenda across all industries. Organizations require finely tuned risk analysis to assess their exposures and innovative risk management solutions to overcome these challenges. With our innovative analytical capabilities and global platform, Willis stands ready to help our clients protect their business and thrive in today’s environment.”

About Willis
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisory, re/insurance broking, 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.


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