Willis China, part of Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, announced today that the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has granted approval for it to open a new office in Harbin, a first for a foreign broker and Willis’ 22nd office in the country.
The Harbin office will be the second new Willis China branch to open this year, following the opening of its Chongqing office in the world’s fastest-growing urban centre. The move firmly cements Willis as the international broker with the largest branch network in China.
Harbin is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in North-East China, as well as the tenth most populated city in the People's Republic of China with a population of over 10 million. In 2011, Harbin's GDP reached RMB 424 billion, an increase of 13.2 % over the previous year.
As a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications hub in North- East China, Harbin is striving to become the region’s main trade and retail centre, with its abundant natural resources (including food and textile-related crops), leading position in power manufacturing and outstanding transport system.
Mitchell Ma, CEO Willis China, commented: "We are very proud to announce the strengthening of our network by opening this new office - our second in the North- East - in one of the fastest-growing regions in the world.
"We look forward to working together with our insurance industry peers in the North- East including the CIRC, for whose support we are most grateful, to help facilitate the growth and protection of companies in Heilongjiang through the provision of local risk management services backed by the global expertise of Willis Group."
Willis China has doubled in size over the past four years and today employs over 350 Associates specialising in offering risk management and insurance services to medium- and large-sized enterprises in China, supported by the global resources of Willis' worldwide operations
. For the fourth year running, Willis has been awarded a 5-Star quality ranking by the CIRC Shanghai and was also named "Broker of the Year" at the Asia Insurance Industry Awards in Singapore last year for being in the "vanguard of providing risk management solutions to help Asian clients mitigate new exposures".