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Willis Launches Global Insurance Placement System


Posted on 14 Dec 2011

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Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, today announced the global launch of its groundbreaking insurance placement system, WillPLACE, an online tool that helps Willis to match its clients’ insurance needs with the most appropriate insurers.

With WillPLACE, Willis placement professionals are able to gather data about insurers’ risk appetites around the world, which is then imported into the WillPLACE Market Match tool. Using a proprietary matching algorithm, this information is then correlated online with the WillPLACE database that records the specific risks clients have, and matches these with appropriate insurers.

Willis risk advisors then work with their clients to assign a variety of weightings to their priorities. These weightings for ultimate carrier selection may include such factors as price competitiveness, claims service and underwriting focus, among others. The client’s requests are then electronically matched with carrier data, resulting in a recommended match between client need and carrier appetite.

WillPLACE is unique in the industry, as unlike other placement tools, it has been developed first and foremost around the needs of Willis clients. Joe Plumeri, Willis Chairman and CEO said, “This game-changing placement tool is central to Willis’ client-centric strategy and represents a dramatic innovation within our industry. WillPLACE in many ways represents the future of broking and a deeper, more collaborative relationship between Willis and its clients.”

WillPLACE was launched as a pilot program in Italy one year ago. By the end of the first quarter of 2012, WillPLACE will have been rolled out across 14 key areas, including the UK, US and Canada, Willis Specialty operations, and key locations in Latin America and Europe including Brazil, Argentina and Germany. After this phase of the rollout is complete, more than 70 percent of premium that Willis places into the insurance market will go through WillPLACE.

Speaking at recent carrier launch events in London and New York, Grahame Millwater, Willis Group President said, “WillPLACE successfully brings to life a key tenet of what we call ‘The Willis Cause,’ namely our commitment to develop client solutions with the best markets, prices and terms. WillPLACE has been developed to bring 21st Century technology directly into the traditional broking process, breaking the mould of how business has been done in the industry, enhancing transparency and giving clients the best information to help guide their insurance decisions.”

Alastair Swift, CEO, Willis Global Placement, said, “WillPLACE enhances the face-to-face, personal interaction between client and broker with a tool that identifies the most suitable potential markets for that client’s needs. It puts the power squarely in the clients’ hands so that they can sit alongside a Willis professional and reach across the world to find the best insurance market.”

While WillPLACE is centred around the client, insurers can also benefit from the system with access to paid-for benchmarking data delivered in a format that assures the confidentiality of Willis clients and other insurers. This data will help insurers pinpoint where, why and how they are gaining or losing business and can help guide their strategies accordingly, raising the bar for the industry’s performance as a whole.

Some insurers will provide Willis with an additional fee on placements matched through the WillPLACE system. These insurers receive additional reporting and consultative services for that fee. Clients may direct Willis to opt out of this additional remuneration.

The WillPLACE tool includes information on all of the insurers with which Willis does business, regardless of whether or not the insurer purchases benchmarking and other data available through WillPLACE. This ensures that clients have full access to the complete range of high quality insurers offering placement to Willis around the world.

In keeping with the Willis commitment to integrity and transparency, the existence of potential insurer remuneration under the WillPLACE system is fully disclosed to all Willis clients prior to the binding of any coverage.


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