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Willis Chief: Insurance Industry Evolving from Transactional to Value-Added

Source: Willis

Posted on 22 Sep 2011

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Companies operating in today’s volatile economic, social and political climate require a more holistic approach to risk management. This was the message delivered by Joe Plumeri, the Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings plc, the global insurance broker, to more than 100 leading Asian CEOs at an event in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

Speaking at the KPMG “Captains of Industry” lunch hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Plumeri explained that “insurance is not just about coverage and claims, but is about security and survival” against a backdrop of a challenging new risk landscape where threats like reputational damage, terrorism, cyber security, supply chain disruption, regulation and pandemics are on the rise.

Highlighting these and other major risks facing businesses today, Plumeri said that “The right way to look at a company is holistically, not risk by risk or transaction by transaction.” He added that an approach that considers the commercial sustainability of the enterprise “best allows companies to manage their business and realize strategic objectives for the long term”.

Plumeri’s visit to Hong Kong coincided with the official opening of a new headquarters for Willis’ Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa operations. The global broker, who has tripled the size of its business in Asia and Hong Kong in the last six years, both in terms of revenue and staff, has taken up a new floor in its current location in The Lee Gardens at 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The state-of-the-art new offices will accommodate 100 employees of Willis Hong Kong and will also house the leadership team of the broker’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa operations.

Commenting on the new office space, Roger Wilkinson, Chairman and CEO of Willis Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said, “Willis has been a proud member of the Hong Kong commercial sector since 1977. The city’s excellent infrastructure and proximity to all our other offices in the wider region makes it the ideal base from which to continue our successful expansion in Asia where we now have over 800 employees and 40 offices in 12 countries.”