Business Moves

January 24, 2010

Towers Perrin, Watson Wyatt

Towers Watson & Co. has completed the merger of Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt. The transaction to form Towers Watson, a global professional services company, was announced on June 28, 2009.

Watson Wyatt CEO John Haley will serve as Towers Watson’s chairman and CEO; Towers Perrin CEO Mark Mactas will serve as deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer.

Towers Watson will be headquartered in New York City. The merger follows receipt of all necessary regulatory authorizations and approval of the transaction by the companies’ respective shareholders on Dec. 18. Towers Watson’s Class A common stock will be listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “TW” as of Jan. 4. Trading of Watson Wyatt’s common stock under the previous ticker symbol (WW) has been discontinued. The transaction is valued at $4 billion.

As a result of the merger, Towers Watson expects to issue approximately 46.9 million shares of Class A common stock, as well as approximately 29.5 million shares of Class B common stock, which will be subject to transfer restrictions and will generally convert into freely-tradable shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis over the next four years. Towers Watson will also pay $200 million in cash and issue one-year promissory notes in an aggregate principal amount of $200 million to certain former Towers Perrin shareholders who have voluntarily elected to terminate their employment with Towers Watson.

U.S. Risk, Goss Re

U.S. Risk Insurance Group Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, has expanded into the specialty reinsurance brokerage marketplace.

Goss Reinsurance Brokers Inc. will operate as a specialty reinsurance broker for medium to small insurance carriers, captives, self-insurance funds, risk retention groups, and other similar specialty insurance operations. This new business will be headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

“Goss Re will start with a strong and well respected parent in U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. Our 23 years of insurance business expertise will be utilized to provide personal service and one to one relationships with our insurance clients,” said Randall Goss, chairman and CEO of U.S. Risk Insurance Group.

Chris Turner, formerly of Towers Perrin, will serve as executive vice president, and James Epstein, formerly of EWI Re, will serve as executive director, said Mac Wesson, president and chief operating officer of U.S. Risk Insurance Group.

“We have great expectations for success in this new venture,” Wesson said. “The significant consolidation in the reinsurance brokerage community has given us this opportunity and an open window to aggressively pursue our target clientele.”

TowneBank, Taylor Johnson

Virginia-based TowneBank has acquired Taylor Johnson Insurance Group, which will become part of the bank’s affiliate, Towne Insurance Agency.

Taylor Johnson Group, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, employs 36 insurance, employee benefits, and risk management professionals. It is the sixth insurance agency to merge with Towne since the bank’s insurance unit was created in 2001.

TowneBank said the acquisition makes Towne Insurance Agency one of the 20 largest, bank-owned insurance agencies in the country.

“The affiliation of Taylor Johnson will enable our insurance agency to expand the services available to our bank and insurance clients and position us as a full service provider of risk management services,” said J. Morgan Davis, president and CEO of Towne Financial Services Group.

Chartis, Stowe

The Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont has a new owner. The resort’s previous owner, AIG, has transferred ownership to its P/C insurance division, Chartis, meaning Stowe’s Ski operations, two golf courses and a new upscale lodge are now owned by Chartis. Day-to-day operations at the shouldnot be affected by the move.


Maine-based insurer Acadia Insurance said it is now offering a complete range of bundled products for the agribusiness industry throughout New England and New York.

Acadia’s agribusiness target markets include: horse, dairy, cattle, sheep, grain, hay, wheat, vegetable amd tree and turf farms farms.

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