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Willis North America Launches Diversity Partnership Initiative

Posted on 22 Mar 2013 by Neilson

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Willis diversity initiativeWillis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings plc, the global risk advisor and insurance broker, announced the launch of Willis Open, a new practice group focused on meeting the growing demand by public entity and corporate businesses for supplier diversity solutions.

Willis Open features unique resources and industry leading expertise to help firms build strategic alliances with minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) and women-owned business enterprises (WBE). Today, more organizations are seeking quality solutions which include women and minority owned partners as part of their overall diversity and corporate social responsibility strategy. Willis Open will enable companies working with Willis to work with the best minority owned enterprises in today's marketplace. Willis Open has carefully selected a premier group of certified minority owned insurance and consulting firms with technically superior client service capabilities. By combining the strength of these high quality partners with Willis' global resources and expertise, Willis will create solid solutions that deliver a triple benefit to the client - savings, value and credit for supplier diversity spend.

Willis has appointed two key industry specialists to co-lead Willis Open. Kimberly Waller and Phillip Styles have each been named Executive Vice President. Ms. Waller and Mr. Styles will be responsible for business development, partnership development and aligning resources from across Willis' platform to develop integrated solutions for clients.

Chicago-based Ms. Waller brings over 22 years of experience to this role and formerly served as Chief Operating Officer at Aon Cornerstone, a unit of Aon Corporation. Atlanta-based Mr. Styles brings over 11 years of experience to this role and formerly served as Director of Supplier Diversity and Strategic Alliances at Aon Cornerstone. Ms. Waller and Mr. Styles will report to Eric Joost, Chief Executive, Willis North America Specialties.

"We are thrilled to launch a diversity partnership initiative and drive creative solutions to meet market demand," said Vic Krauze, Chairman and CEO Willis North America. "With over $100 Billion in annual minority business enterprise spend, diversity partnerships have become a major strategic initiative for companies. Given the increasing importance of supplier diversity to firms across all sectors, the Willis model provides a winning platform for clients."

Commenting on the appointments, Eric Joost said, "We are excited about Phil and Kim joining Willis and their leadership in this space. They each bring deep experience and a strong track record of success in driving high levels of client satisfaction and business results."