Willis Completes Coyle Hamilton Acquisition

Global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings announced that, following the granting of regulatory approval, it has completed the acquisition of a 56 percent shareholding in Coyle Hamilton, the Republic of Ireland’s largest privately owned insurance broker. It will acquire the remaining interests in 2007 and 2009. (See IJ Website June 24, 2004).

Coyle Hamilton’s annualized revenues are approximately 50 million euros ($61.5 million). It has offices in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Belfast and London, and employs approximately 500 people serving “a broad range of multinational, corporate and personal clients.”

Willis plans to integrate its business in the Irish Republic into the broker’s existing structure to be renamed Coyle Hamilton Willis. It enjoys a leading position in insurance broking, employee benefits, reinsurance broking and risk management. Coyle Hamilton’s business in Belfast and London will be integrated with the businesses of Willis in those markets.

Welcoming the creation of “Ireland’s premier insurance broker,” Willis Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri stated: “Willis has major growth plans and Coyle Hamilton Willis, with its strong local market positions, client focused philosophy and highly professional and experienced workforce will play a significant role in helping us realize our ambitions. This acquisition is consistent with our growth strategy to secure leadership positions in key markets and reflects the Willis Model of combining access to global resources with local expertise and close client relationships.”

Coyle Hamilton CEO Hugh Governey commented: “Our business has become increasingly global over the past decade. Following this transaction, Coyle Hamilton Willis will be able to offer a significantly enhanced range of services and resources to all our clients here in Ireland. We do not believe we could have found a more attractive global partner than Willis which has enjoyed exceptional success and growth in recent years”.

The announcement said Governey will lead the new Coyle Hamilton Willis business in the Republic of Ireland and Jim Halliday, Chief Executive of Willis Northern Ireland, will lead the combined Northern Ireland business. Other appointments and detailed management structures will be advised as soon as these are established as part of the integration process.