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Willis Expands North America Construction Practice

Posted on 28 Oct 2011

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Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings plc, the global insurance broker, today announced a series of key appointments to boost its construction practice and deliver industry expertise across its platform.

Willis is a leading provider of insurance and risk management services to the construction industry and has made a deep commitment to this industry in North America. The construction practice is comprised of over 600 dedicated professionals in over 40 offices, serving contractors, owners, construction professionals and design firms. The practice offers specialty teams for surety, risk management, alternative risks, and project programs including wrap-ups and professional liability. The entire construction portfolio is supported by Willis’ dedicated safety and claims teams.

The following appointments are effective immediately:

John Nissley has been appointed Practice Leader for Willis’ Construction Practice in Pittsburgh, PA, where he will oversee the operations and administration of this team. He will also focus on business development and aligning resources to deliver quality solutions to clients. Nissley brings over 23 years of industry experience to the role. Previously, he served as Vice President and Construction Practice Leader for the Mid Atlantic and Great Lakes Regions at Zurich Financial Services, Ltd. He is based in Pittsburgh, PA.
Ron Phillips and Bryant Steele have each been appointed Vice President, Willis Construction Practice and will focus on business development in the Midwest region. They will be responsible for creating innovative risk management programs and delivering quality solutions to clients. Phillips brings 13 years of industry experience to the role and previously served as Vice President of Business Development for the Construction Team at Aon Corp. Steele brings over five years experience to the role and previously served as Account Executive at Aon Corp. Phillips and Steele are based in Chicago, IL.

Paul J. Becker has been appointed Senior Claims Consultant, Willis Strategic Outcomes Practice. In this role, Becker will provide construction clients technical and strategic risk consulting to assist in managing losses. This includes senior level advocacy and consulting on high severity or otherwise critical claims, including exposure analysis, disposition strategy and coverage dispute resolution. He brings 30 years of claims and litigation experience to Willis. Previously, Becker served as a Senior Consultant at American Contractors Insurance Group. Becker is based in Dallas, TX.

Brian Sena has been appointed Account Executive, Willis Construction Practice and is responsible for account management on key construction accounts in Northern California. He will focus on creating innovative risk management programs, delivering quality solutions to clients and placing project-specific insurance programs. Before joining Willis, Sena served as Vice President for Wells Fargo Insurance Services. He is based in San Francisco, CA.

Joel Cannon has been appointed Surety Manager for Willis’ Construction practice in the Gulf Region. Cannon is responsible for managing Surety Service teams in Birmingham, Mobile and New Orleans, while expanding Willis’ Surety presence in Alabama. He brings over 20 years of industry experience to the role and previously served as a Contract Surety Underwriter at The Hartford. He is based in Birmingham, AL.
Patrick Conroy has been appointed Senior Vice President, Risk Control where he will serve as part of Willis’ Strategic Outcomes Practice in the South Region. He will provide critical safety and loss prevention services to Willis’ construction clients. Conroy brings over 24 years of industry experience to the role. Previously, he served as Program Director for the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. He is based in New Orleans, LA.
Commenting on the appointments, Rick Hawkinberry, CEO of Willis North America’s Construction Practice said “These appointments demonstrate Willis’ commitment to strengthening our Construction Practice and delivering the best solutions to our Construction clients by our continued focus on industry specialization across the entire platform. At Willis, we thoroughly understand our clients’ needs and industries and utilize our global resources to deliver the best solutions and service.”