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Willis Group Holdings
Type Public (NYSEWSH)
Founded 1828 (1828), London
Headquarters London, United Kingdom

Incorporated in Ireland

Principal executive offices:

The Willis Building,
51 Lime Street, London
EC3M 7DQ United Kingdom
Key people Joe J. Plumeri, Chairman & CEO; Grahame J. Millwater,
Group President
Industry Insurance broking; insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting, and actuarial services
Products Insurance, Risk management,
Human resource consulting
Revenue $2,834 million (2008)
Operating income $504 million (2008)
Net income $303 million (2008)
Employees 20,000

Willis Group Holdings (NYSEWSH) is an insurance broker operating throughout the world.

As an insurance broker, the company acts as an intermediary between its clients and insurance carriers, advising its clients on risk management requirements, helping them determine the best way to manage risk, and negotiating and placing insurance risk with insurance carriers.[1] It has major clients in the aerospace, marine, construction, and energy industries.[2]

As of July 2008, the company placed third in the world among insurance brokers by brokerage revenues, behind Marsh & McLennan and Aon Corp.[3]

It was formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange, and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, but it is now instead listed on the New York Stock Exchange.



The company was founded by Henry Willis in London in 1828, and initially operated as Henry Willis & Co.[4] In 1898 it merged with Faber Brothers (founded in 1886) to form Willis Faber,[4] and then in 1928 it merged with Dumas & Wylie (founded in 1843) to create Willis, Faber & Dumas.[4] It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1976 as Willis Faber.[4]

It expanded into the United States in 1990 when it merged with Corroon & Black (founded as R. A. Corroon & Co. in 1905) to form the Willis Corroon Group.[4] In 1998 in a leveraged buyout the Company was acquired by Trinity Acquisition on behalf of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts,[4] and in 1999 the name Willis Group was adopted.[4] It was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.[4]

Skyline view with Tower 42,
the Willis Building, 30 St Mary Axe,
and the Broadgate Tower, London

Willis moved into the Willis Building, its new London headquarters, in May 2008.[5]

In October 2008, Willis acquired Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs Co. (HRH), one of the largest insurance and risk management intermediaries in North America.[6]

The 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago was renamed the Willis Tower in July 2009. Willis secured the naming rights as part of its agreement to lease 140,000 square feet (13,000 m2) of space in the 3.8 million square foot tower.[7] It was the world's tallest building from 1974 until 1996, when it was surpassed by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[8]

Willis Tower, Chicago

Willis Group Holdings announced plans in 2009 to relocate its headquarters from Bermuda to Ireland.[9] Its shareholders approved the move in December 2009, and the company announced on December 31, 2009, that its reorganization has been completed and the new parent company of the Willis Group - known as Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company - is incorporated in Ireland. [10] [11]


Willis has 400 offices in 100 countries.[12]

External links




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