Gallagher Acquires Lloyd’s Broker MRS; Willis Ups Stake in German Broker JWA

November 28, 2001

Two of the world’s biggest insurance brokers are growing. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced that it had acquired MRS Holdings Ltd. of London for an undisclosed amount, and Willis Group Holdings said it will increase its stake in German broker Jaspers Wuppesahl Industrie Assekuranz GmbH (JWA) to 66.6 percent from its current 44.6 percent holding.

Morgan, Read & Sharman Ltd., the operating subsidiary of MRS is a Lloyd’s broker specializing in “aviation insurance and reinsurance, aerospace and other selected non-marine business.” Gallagher plans to integrate MRS into its U.K. subsidiary’s Marine, Aviation and Transport Division led by Graham Barden.

Willis will become the absolute majority owner of Germany’s third largest insurance broker, headquartered in Frankfurt. Commenting on the acquisition Willis CEO Joseph Plumeri said in a statement, that “We have been involved in the German market for many years and, through JWA, are proud of our extensive links with the country, its people and its enterprises.”

He indicated that one of Willis’ key strategies “is to secure, where feasible, majority control of our associate companies and incorporate them fully into the rest of the corporation.”

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