Willis Sets up Agri-Business Unit for Crop and Forestry Sectors

September 24, 2010

Hughes-Gibb, the specialist bloodstock, livestock and aquaculture division of Willis Group Holdings, announced that it is expanding its services to clients in agri-business. Broadening its expertise to include Crop and Forestry, the wholesale broker has appointed Julian Roberts as leader of the new unit, effective immediately. He will be based in London and will report to Chris Williamson, Managing Director of Hughes-Gibb.

“Agriculture is one of the largest primary production sectors globally and is the basis of the far-reaching and diverse industries of agri-business,” Willis explained. “These include amongst others the world’s vast food and beverage sectors but also pulp and paper, construction materials, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.”

Williamson commented: “The changing nature of modern agriculture – where innovation and development is essential to meet the parallel challenges of increasing food production and climate change – calls for the development of advanced risk management products and techniques. Julian’s impressive academic background in agriculture coupled with his practical experience of risk management for this sector, equips him to respond to the new demands of agri-business.”

Roberts graduated in Agriculture & Forestry at the University of Oxford and has a Masters in Agricultural Economics. His career has been exclusively focussed on the development of risk, insurance and related products such as Insurance-Linked Securities. Roberts founded the leading and innovative advisory business Agricultural Risk Management Limited whose clients included growers, their brokers, insurers and reinsurers.

Roberts explained that the “world’s insurance and reinsurance markets have played an important role over the years in providing valuable risk protection – especially against the impact of adverse weather. Yet the penetration and scope of insurance products remains modest in comparison to the size and requirements of the overall agricultural sector. Our aim is to deliver innovative solutions to the rapidly evolving needs of agri-business.”

Source: Willis Group Holdings

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