Willis Group Holdings and Miller Insurance Services LLP announced that they have entered into exclusive talks to combine London wholesale businesses to trade under the Miller brand.
The resulting London wholesale specialist broking firm would be governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd’s broker.
Wholesale activities encompassing a series of units will be expected to transfer from Willis to Miller. Miller’s treaty reinsurance and more retail-orientated activities will move in the other direction—in a transfer from Miller to Willis.
According to the joint media statement, Willis will become a partner of Miller Insurance Services LLP with a majority interest. Partners of Miller will retain a significant partnership interest that will be transferred across generations of new partners as Miller develops and prospers.
The announcement characterized the exclusive talks between the two parties as “advanced,” but stressed that there is no certainty that a deal will actually happen.
“Any proposed transaction between the two organizations will be subject to regulatory and other relevant approvals, including the final approval of the Willis Group board and the partners of Miller.
Willis and Miller do not intend to comment on this matter further unless and until a transaction is agreed, and specifically disclaim any obligation to provide further updates to the market.”
If the deal does proceed, the intention is that Miller will continue to operate under the Miller brand out of its new London headquarters with the same management, continuing to interact directly with clients and markets.
Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group, stressed Willis’ commitment to the London market. He also noted Miller’s high level of client satisfaction as well as a culture that meshes well with Willis.
“Miller is a pre-eminent independent specialist broker in the London wholesale market, highly regarded by clients and carriers alike, with a culture and professional approach that aligns closely with Willis’ values-based client service and heritage,” he said in the statement.
“The proposals under discussion would confirm Miller as a leading London specialist wholesaler, allowing Willis and Miller to draw on each other’s professional strengths, and further demonstrates Willis’ deep commitment to London and the London insurance market.”
On the Miller side, Graham Clarke, CEO of Miller, noted the worldwide breadth and scale of Willis. “The proposed transaction will give Miller access to Willis’ global reach and scale, its industry and product capabilities, and outstanding client support operations, while maintaining the Miller brand and ethos. It will also enable both firms to serve their clients more effectively through improved access to the breadth of their services, markets, and analytical capabilities. This transaction will accelerate our growth strategy and enhance our current platform.”
Miller Insurance Services LLP is a specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, operating internationally and at Lloyd’s. It handles reinsurance, complex large commercial insurance business and programs and facilities. The partnership, dating back to 1902, today has over 580 people and eight international offices in the world’s key insurance markets.
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices.
Source: Miller Insurance Services LLP; Willis Group Holdings plc