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Willis on track to hit targets despite Russia withdrawal: CEO

Carl Hess

SAN FRANCISCO – Willis Towers Watson PLC’s three-year financial targets are on track despite its recent decision to withdraw from its Russian business, the brokerage’s top executive said Monday.

CEO Carl Hess said Willis will quantify the impact of the Russian exit in its first-quarter earnings report scheduled to be released April 28.

Mr. Hess made the comments in an interview with Business Insurance at the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.’s Riskworld conference.

The brokerage’s financial targets to grow its revenue to $10 billion and deliver margin improvement of 24% to 25% by year-end 2024 remain on track, Mr. Hess said.

Willis remains a highly diversified business with its broking, consulting and solutions operations across 120 countries, Mr. Hess said.

“We don’t like exiting, but it’s not as if the remaining 119 can’t produce the results we are looking for,” he said.

Willis said in a March 13 statement it intended to transfer ownership of its Russian operations to the businesses’ local management.

“We’ve been in Russia for a long time. The actions of the Russian government don’t reflect the views of our employees there who have been part of the Willis Towers Watson family for decades, but we can’t transact there,” he said.