Strong end to 2014 for global broker Willis

The Willis building in Ipswich.

The Willis building in Ipswich.

Global insurance broking and risk mangement group Willis has posted reported net income of US$362million (£234m) for the year to December 31, largely unchanged from the 2013 total of US$365m.

The annual figure reflects a strong final quarter which reported net income was 11.8% up on the same period a year earler.

Total commissions and fees for 2014 were $3.767billion (£2.438bn), compared with US$3.633bn for the previous 12 months, including organic growth of 3.8%.

Reported operating income and reported operating margin were US$647m (£419m)and 17.0%, respectively, compared with US$663m and 18.1% a year earlier.

The underlying operating margin for 2014 was 18.0%, a decrease of 60 basis points from 18.6% in 2013. Excluding the net impact of acquisitions and disposals, organic operating margin was 18.2%, a decrease of 20 basis points from 18.4% in 2013.


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Willis group chief executive Dominic Casserley said: “We finished 2014 with strong top-line growth driven by both another quarter of mid-single digit organic growth in commissions and fees and the impact of our recent acquisitions.

“We continued to make good progress on managing our organic cost growth and implementing our Operational Improvement Program. We achieved all this despite some ongoing challenging markets, demonstrating the strength of Willis’ diversified business model and our intense focus on executing our strategy.”

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He added: “We continued to reshape Willis to improve earnings, both organically and through acquisition. During the quarter, we welcomed new colleagues from Max Matthiessen, SurePoint Reinsurance, and IFG into Willis and, early in 2015, reached an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Miller Insurance Services.”

Willis, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, has a major presence in Ipswich and is a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk.

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