Joe Plumeri

GLOBAL insurance broker Willis, which has a major presence in Ipswich, has extended the contract of the man who has led the company through a decade of expansion.

GLOBAL insurance broker Willis, which has a major presence in Ipswich, has extended the contract of the man who has led the company through a decade of expansion.

Chairman and chief executive Joe Plumeri's extended deal runs until July 2013, with his previous agreement having been due to expire in April next year.

Willis, which employs around 1,200 in Ipswich where its iconic black glass-clad building opened in 1975, is listed on the New York stock market and ranks as the world's third largest insurance broker, with more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries.

In a joint statement, the Willis board said: “Under Joe's leadership, Willis has advanced its competitive position around the world and successfully navigated the strong headwinds of the continuing soft insurance market and the global economic downturn.


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“Since joining in 2000, Joe has led the company through a decade of expansion through quality client service, a commitment to transparency, strategic acquisitions and sector-leading margins. We are delighted that Joe has agreed to stay at the helm to continue the company's progress well into 2013.”

Mr Plumeri responded: “The extraordinary story of how far Willis has come over ten years is a credit to the tireless efforts of our executive team and our nearly 20,000 associates, the sound counsel of our board of directors and the continued support of our clients and shareholders.

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“I am as proud of and as passionate about Willis as I've ever been and look forward to leading the company through its next stage of growth.”

Mr Plumeri joined Willis is October 2000 after a 32-year career with Citigroup, where he had a reputation as a highly effective motivator of large sales teams.

Under his leadership, Willis

has been transformed into one of the most aggressive insurance brokers in the market place, as reflected in its US$2.1billion (�1.1bn) takeover of US rival Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) in June 2008, the biggest deal in the sector in a decade.

Willis also created a stir last year when it acquired the naming rights to what was traditionally known as the Sears Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the western hemisphere.

The company is due to report its final quarter and full year trading figures for 2009 on February 3.

For the nine months to the end of September, the company reported net income (profit) of US$357million (about �220m at current exchange rates), up from US$241m (�149m) for the same period in 2008, on revenues of US$2.439billion (�1.504bn), up from $2.035bn (�1.255bn), with both figures boosted by the HRH acquisition.

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