Willis has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in Almondz Insurance Brokers Private Limited.
Almondz is a leading Indian insurance broker with nearly 300 associates in nine offices in India serving clients with a broad range of products and services across diversified industries and segments.
The joint venture will combine Willis’s global network and expertise with Almondz’s skilled team and wealth of experience in India. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Almondz has a wholly owned subsidiary which is engaged in reinsurance broking services, so today’s announcement means that, upon the closure of the transaction and the receipt of regulatory approvals, Willis will be able to offer both insurance and reinsurance services in the Indian market.
Willis acted swiftly on recent legislative changes in India that increased the Foreign Direct Investment cap in the insurance sector from 26% to 49%, which makes this investment and the planned future expansion of Almondz's existing operations even more compelling.
Adam Garrard, Regional CEO of Willis Asia, said: “We are delighted to partner with Almondz, with whom we have a solid relationship based on mutual trust and respect. We are excited about the prospect of continued growth and development in the Indian insurance sector.
“This joint venture will allow us to fully participate in this dynamic market, whilst enabling us to provide our global clients with the levels of service and expertise that they expect from Willis's operations around the world."
Rohit Jain, Managing Director of Almondz, said: "It is a great pleasure to announce the signing of definitive agreements for a joint venture with Willis, a company with a rich heritage in the insurance industry. It is a credit to all my fellow associates that such a world-renowned broker has decided to form this partnership with Almondz.
“I am confident that the combination of our Indian experience and footprint, coupled with Willis's deep risk and insurance expertise and global reach, will reap great benefits for our clients, our staff and the insurance sector in India."