Brokers Willis Group, Miller Talk Merger of Wholesale Brands

October 20, 2014

Willis Group Holdings and Miller Insurance Services LLP are engaged in talks to merge their wholesale insurance businesses. The resulting wholesale brokerage firm would trade under the Miller brand, governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd’s broker.

Certain Willis wholesale activities would transfer to Miller, while existing Miller treaty reinsurance and more retail-orientated activities would move over to Willis, according to the announcement.

Miller said it will utilize its existing client service capabilities and 112-year heritage, enhanced by Willis’ wholesale industry and specialist skills to continue to serve the global independent wholesale specialty and managing general agency (MGA) client base.

Willis would become a partner of Miller Insurance Services LLP with a majority interest. Partners of Miller would retain a significant partnership interest that would be transferred across generations of future partners. Miller would continue to operate under the Miller brand out of its new London headquarters with continuity of management and would continue to interact directly with clients and markets.

The two firms said that while talks between the two are “advanced,” there is “no certainty” a transaction will be completed.

“Miller is a pre-eminent independent specialist broker in the London wholesale market, highly regarded by clients and carriers alike, with a culture and professional approach that aligns closely with Willis’ values-based client service and heritage,” said Dominic Casserley, who became CEO of Willis Group last year. “The proposals under discussion would confirm Miller as a leading London specialist wholesaler, allowing Willis and Miller to draw on each other’s professional strengths, and further demonstrates Willis’ deep commitment to London and the London insurance market.”

Graham Clarke, CEO of Miller, said, the transaction would accelerate his form’s growth strategy. “The proposed transaction will give Miller access to Willis’ global reach and scale, its industry and product capabilities, and outstanding client support operations, while maintaining the Miller brand and ethos. It will also enable both firms to serve their clients more effectively through improved access to the breadth of their services, markets, and analytical capabilities” Clarke said in the announcement.

Any proposed transaction between the two organizations would be subject to regulatory and other relevant approvals, including the final approval of the Willis Group board and the partners of Miller.

Willis and Miller said they do not intend to comment on this matter further unless and until a transaction is agreed, and specifically disclaimed any obligation to provide further updates to the market.

Miller Insurance Services LLP (Miller) is a specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, operating internationally and at Lloyd’s. It handles reinsurance, complex large commercial insurance business and programs and facilities. Founded in 1902, the partnership today has more than 580 people and eight international offices in the world’s key insurance markets.
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with 18,000 employees in 400 offices.

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