Towers Watson and Willis in £11.5bn merger

Willis Group and Towers Watson are merging in an £11.5bn merger that will create a combined global consultancy named Willis Towers Watson.

The merger will create an integrated global advisory, broking, and solutions provider with approximately 39,000 employees in over 120 countries, and pro forma revenue of around £5.2bn.

A statement from Willis says cost synergies will create savings of between £63m and £80m a year.

Willis chairman James McCann will become chairman of the merged business while Towers Watson chairman and CEO John Haley will take the role of chief executive. Willis CEO Dominic Casserley will become president and deputy CEO. The new company’s board will consist of 12 directors total – six nominated by Willis and six by Towers Watson, including Towers Watson’s and Willis’ current CEOs. Roger Millay will be CFO.

The company will continue to be domiciled in Ireland.

Haley says: “This is a tremendous combination of two highly compatible companies with complementary strategic priorities, product and service offerings, and geographies that we expect to deliver significant value for both sets of shareholders. We see numerous opportunities to enhance our growth profile by offering integrated solutions that leverage Willis’ global distribution network and superb risk advisory and re/insurance broking capabilities to deliver a more robust set of analytics and product solutions across a broader client base, including accelerating penetration of our Exchange Solutions platform into the fast growing middle-market. We also expect to realize substantial efficiencies by bringing our two organizations together, and have a well-defined integration roadmap to capitalize on identified savings, ensure the strongest combination of talent and practices, and realize the full benefits of the merger for all of our stakeholders.”

Casserley says: “These are two companies with world-class brands and shared values. The rationale for the merger is powerful – at one stroke, the combination fast-tracks each company’s growth strategy and offers a truly compelling value proposition to our clients. Together we will help our clients achieve superior performance through effective risk, people and financial management. We will advise over 80% of the world’s top-1000 companies, as well as having a significant presence with mid-market and smaller employers around the world.”