Willis Commercial Network Expands into Northern Ireland

Willis Group Holdings announced that it is expanding its highly successful UK Willis Commercial Network (WCN) business model into Northern Ireland with the addition of three new independent brokers: McCausland Light & Rankin and Dickson & Co, both of which join on January 1, 2010, and another soon-to-be-announced member firm, which will commence trading in March.

McCausland Light & Rankin was established in 1993 with two offices in Belfast. They are commercial insurance brokers with a “particular strength in transportation insurance and a wide range of property insurance clients varying from single occupancy to industrial estates,” said Willis.

Gary McCausland, Managing Director of McCausland Light & Rankin, explained that the opportunity to join the WCN would give the company an “opportunity to tap into the resources of a bigger organisation, while still retaining our own independence, as being a great advantage. The WCN gives us better access to markets for clients who have business outside of Northern Ireland.”

Dickson & Co was established in 1992 and has grown to become a leading commercial and personal lines broker with their head office based in Co Tyrone and a network of six offices throughout Northern Ireland.

Ashley Dickson, Managing Director, Dickson & Co, described joining the WCN as a progressive step in aiding the future development of his company. He noted that membership would enable the company “to expand on the range of services that we can provide to our clients by accessing the specialist skills of Willis. We will also strengthen our own team through the sales training and support the Network provides.”

A third Northern Irish broker will join the Network in March, bringing the combined revenues of the first three Northern Irish members to more than £20 million [$32 million].

Phil Scarrett, Managing Director, Willis Networks, welcomed the new members. He also noted that “Northern Irish brokers are fiercely independent and they value the fact that as part of the Willis Network they will have total autonomy. As our first Network members in Northern Ireland, McCausland Light & Rankin and Dickson & Co embody the professional, independent and ambitious spirit of the Willis Commercial Network. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with them and a strong network presence in Northern Ireland.”

Willis Networks was established in the UK in 1999 and is comprised of the Willis Commercial Network, representing more than 84 regional brokers who place in excess of £370 million [$592 million] in premium; and Willis N2, which represents 21 smaller, community brokers, who place around £50 million [$80 million] in premium.

Members of Willis Networks receive technical and sales training from Willis, as well as strategic marketing, compliance, business development and sales support, along with access to Willis’ global placement and industry resources.

Source: Willis Group Holdings – www.willis.com.