Willis Group Holdings has announced that it has reached an agreement with Miller Insurance Services LLP to form a leading London-based wholesale specialist insurance broking firm.
The agreement will combine the firms' respective wholesale businesses to trade under the Miller brand, managed, governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd's broker.
Under the terms of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, Willis will become a corporate member in Miller Insurance Services LLP by taking a majority (85%) interest in the partnership. Partners of Miller will retain the remaining interest so that it can be transferred to new generations of Miller partners in perpetuity.
The transaction combines those businesses of Willis and Miller that are complementary, and selected broking activities will transfer between the two firms. Wholesale broking activities encompassing a series of units will transfer from Willis to Miller and Miller treaty reinsurance, UK Corporate client and Financial Institutions retail teams will transfer to Willis.
Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group, commented:
"This transaction combines the exceptional talent and capabilities of Willis and Miller, creating a platform for significant future growth. Bringing together complementary businesses under our respective brands adds further strength and depth to our client propositions.
"Miller, a pre-eminent specialist independent broker in the London wholesale market, is highly regarded by clients and insurance carriers alike, with a culture and professional approach that aligns closely with Willis' own values-based client service and heritage. The deal also brings additional expertise and enhanced value to Willis' combined UK retail and global specialty business and its treaty reinsurance team."
Graham Clarke, CEO of Miller, said:
"This agreement will accelerate our growth strategy and enhance our offering to our clients. It is a unique opportunity to combine the strengths of two firms for whom client service is paramount. Miller's independent platform and partnership will continue to operate under the Miller brand with the same ethos and continuity of leadership, complemented by Willis' international experience, scale and industry and product knowledge."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.