Global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings, Limited announced that Eric Friberg, Sir Roy Gardner and Sir Jeremy Hanley will stand for election as directors at the Company’s Annual General Meeting of shareholders on April 26, 2006.
Although they may have to wait another year or so, they’ll soon have a new home on Lime Street, right across from Lloyd’s, as work continues on Willis’ new London headquarters, already dubbed “Plumeri’s Palace” by the locals.
A summary of the background of the three nominees from Willis’ announcement is as follows:
— Eric Friberg’s rich career has followed a remarkable path from Harvard and MIT to the United States Air Force, his own electronics and engineering services company, a major American forest products corporation and then an illustrious 33 years with McKinsey. During that time, he served the company in Washington DC, Germany, Amsterdam, Belgium and then back to the US in Atlanta; and was on the McKinsey delegation to China in 1985 as the country was just opening to foreign investments.
— Sir Roy Gardner, currently the Chief Executive of Centrica Plc, a company that was formed after the demerger of British Gas, brings a wealth of experience amassed over the course of a brilliant career. He is also Senior Non-Executive Director of Compass Group Plc and soon to be Chairman of that company. He has been; Chairman of Manchester United Plc, Managing Director of GEC Marconi Limited; and Chief Operating Officer of Northern Telecom Europe.
— Sir Jeremy Hanley, a Chartered Accountant, was a Member of Parliament from 1983 to 1997 during which time he held several Ministerial posts in the UK Government including serving in the Cabinet. Since his retirement from politics, he has excelled in a number of commercial enterprises including ITE Group Plc, GTECH Holdings Corporation Inc and NYMEX Europe serving each as an independent director and Chairman of the audit committee. He is a consultant on overseas trade and security and has led numerous international trade missions.”
“Integrity, character, passion and discipline – these are the traits these three gentlemen bring to Willis,” noted Willis Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri. “The combined global experience here is beyond comparison. They bring an understanding of business across industries and countries that is certain to be of great value as we take Willis to the next level. I am delighted they have accepted our invitation to join the Board and, pending their election, I very much look forward to working with them.”
The new nominees will take the places of James R. Fisher and Scott C. Nuttall, who have served as directors since 2001. They advised Willis that they don’t intend to seek re-election.
“Jim and Scott have served the Company and its predecessor with great distinction since the beginning of our association with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in 1998,” stated Plumeri. “I would like to express my appreciation to both of them for their wise counsel as directors throughout the last 8 years and for their thorough commitment to driving shareholder value.”