BB&T Buys 16.9% Stake in London-Based Miller; Willis to Keep Majority Interest

October 2, 2015

BB&T IHC International Ltd. has acquired a 16.9 percent interest in Miller Insurance Services LLP, the London-based specialist wholesale insurance broking firm.

BB&T, which owns the world’s sixth largest insurance broking business, acquired its stake from Willis Group Holdings plc, which will continue to hold 68.1 percent of Miller. (BB&T is a subsidiary of BB&T Corporation, one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S., which is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Partners of Miller will retain the remaining 15 percent interest in the firm, to be transferred across generations of new partners, Miller said in a statement to announce the deal.

“This investment further strengthens our leading position in our chosen markets and enshrines our independence,” said Graham Clarke, CEO of Miller Insurance Services LLP.

“BB&T, along with Willis, was attracted to our established business model and the quality of our operations. We are pleased to have two strong partners who bring us improved access to distribution around the world and the ability to draw upon combined professional capabilities across key markets,” he added.

John Howard, chairman and CEO of BB&T IHC International Ltd., said:

“The Lloyd’s market is a global center of excellence for specialty insurance and is strategically important to BB&T Insurance Holdings. This investment establishes stronger connectivity with the Lloyd’s market and provides greater certainty of high quality access for BB&T Insurance. Miller has been a strong and valuable partner. We are pleased to be able to deepen our relationship through an ownership stake and enhance BB&T Insurance’s overall customer value proposition and offering.”

Howard was recently named chairman and CEO of BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc., and will assume that position, effective January 1, 2016.

“BB&T’s investment reinforces the independent platform that attracted us to invest in Miller and its compelling business model. We believe that an additional, strong partner will further enhance Miller’s long term growth prospects,” commented Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group Holdings.

The transaction is subject to the customary closing conditions. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial adviser to Willis. Herbert Smith Freehills LLP served as legal counsel to Willis in this transaction.

Source: Miller Insurance Services LLP

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