Activist investors Starboard Value LP and Elliott Management Corp have taken stakes in insurance broker Willis Towers Watson PLC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Starboard, Elliot and Willis Towers did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
The interest from the investors comes a little over two months after a mega $30-billion merger between Willis Towers and Aon Plc was called off due to objections from U.S. regulators that created unacceptable delay and uncertainty.
The merger would have created the world’s largest insurance broker with $20.3 billion in annual revenue.
The presence of the activist investors underlines the immense pressure Willis Towers’ incoming Chief Executive Officer Carl Hess is under to perform on a plan to improve the company’s performance, the WSJ report said.
Earlier this month, Hess said Willis Towers has around $5 billion of capital which could be used for acquisitions. The company also told investors it planned to return at least $4 billion to shareholders through share buybacks by the end of fiscal 2022.