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Willis Can Take Contingents But Will Not

Source: Willis

Posted on 17 Feb 2010

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Willis Group Holdings plc, the global insurance broker, today entered into agreement with the Attorney General and the Superintendent of Insurance of the State of New York to amend and restate the 2005 Assurance of Discontinuance and Stipulation (the AOD).

The new agreement specifically recognizes that Willis substantially has met its obligations under the AOD over the last half decade, and ends many of the requirements imposed by the current agreement. Willis welcomes this development. The new agreement relieves the broker of a number of technical compliance obligations that have imposed significant administrative and financial burdens on its operations that it did not believe benefit its clients. The new agreement no longer limits the types of compensation Willis can receive and has lowered the compensation disclosure requirements to clients that the AOD originally imposed.

Nevertheless, Willis’s stand is clear: on issues of trust, transparency and disclosure, according to its press release, "have been guided by principle – doing what is right – rather than waiting for regulation to tell us what we must do. Indeed, we voluntarily began disclosing compensation to our retail clients and refusing to take contingent compensation in our retail brokerage business before we signed the AOD in 2005. Neither of those commitments will change today, whether or not our competitors follow our lead."

Willis will continue to disclose to its retail clients the compensation it receives from insurance carriers. Willis also will continue to refuse to accept contingent commissions from carriers in its retail brokerage business. Willis is proud of the position it has taken with regard to contingent commissions that its believes is squarely in the best interests of our retail clients.