Willis Group Holdings Plc has hired Brian Shea as head of Europe for the investment banking division as the insurance broker seeks to arrange more deals.
Shea, 49, joins from reinsurer SCOR SE. He was previously the head of the European insurance equity research team for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, London-based Willis said in a statement Wednesday. Shea is scheduled to start on Aug. 24.
Willis has been expanding in capital markets to extend its reach beyond the business of helping commercial clients buy insurance. The company advised on deals like Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.’s purchase of insurer Brit Plc, and in April promoted ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. dealmaker Rafal Walkiewicz and former Boston Consulting Group manager Michael Guo as co- chief executive officers of the investment-banking operation.
“As a recognized thought leader in the European insurance industry and with a wealth of experience identifying shareholder value, Brian will be a significant and valuable asset” for Willis Capital Markets & Advisory clients, Walkiewicz said in the statement.
Shea will report to Walkiewicz and Guo. The post previously was held by Michiel Bakker, who left Willis in June, according to his LinkedIn profile. Shea received a bachelor’s degree from Bates College and an MBA from London Business School.
Marie-Laurence Bouchon, a representative of Paris-based SCOR, didn’t immediately return a message requesting comment.
Willis announced it June that it agreed to merge with Towers Watson & Co. in an $8.7 billion deal to add consulting operations and help take on larger U.S. rivals
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