WILLIS NABS HRH
In one of the brokerage world's biggest moves in recent years Willis Group Holdings Ltd. announced plans to purchase Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. for $2.1 billion by the end of the fourth quarter. Willis hopes to see significant increases in its employee benefits, middle-market business and personal lines business. The deal is expected to result in $100 million in expense savings by 2010, though Willis has not said how many layoffs would result.
Willis CEO Joe Plumeri's first significant acquisition since joining the company in 2000 will more than double Willis' North American revenues. The combined business will be called Willis HRH. HRH chairman and CEO Martin L. Vaughan III will become vice chairman of Willis and will also be a member of the office of the chairman that will run Willis HRH.
Don Bailey, who currently runs Willis' North American business, will be chairman and CEO in the office and F. Michael Crowley, president and chief operating officer of HRH, will become president of the new office.
CIAB IN SIN CITY
For the first time in 85 years, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers will hold its Insurance Leadership Forum in a location other than the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Due to prolonged labor problems at the Greenbrier, CIAB changed the venue of its Oct. 4-8 conference to Nevada. The event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas and the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort.
GALLAGHER BUYS BENEFITS FIRMS
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has recently acquired two employee benefits brokerage firms: The Lance Group LLC of Marlton, N.J., and Voluntary Benefits Solutions LLC of Troy, Mich. While both firms were established in 2002 and offer employee benefit consulting and brokerage services, The Lance Group specializes in serving the public sector industry and VBS focuses on the employer-sponsored voluntary benefits programs of large employers.
BROWN GETS BIGGER
Brown & Brown Inc. has acquired Alpha Benefits Group Inc. of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. The employee benefits broker has annualized revenues of approximately $5 million and primarily offers individual and group employee benefits insurance products and services to clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The company will continue to operate as a free-standing Brown & Brown operation.
MARSH ACQUIRES CLAIMS SERVICES
Marsh has acquired the claims and dispute resolution business from consulting firm Nielsen-Wurster. The acquisition is designed to enhance Marsh's construction dispute and advisory capabilities with the firm's Forensic Accounting and Claims Services. More than 30 Nielsen-Wurster associates will join Marsh, including president Reza Nikain, who will be responsible for leading the growth of the firm's construction claims and dispute resolution services. Terms of the deal were not released.
--Compiled from news and company releases.
August 1, 2008
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