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Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. and Miller Insurance Services L.L.P. have reached an agreement to combine their respective wholesale businesses to form a London-based specialty wholesale insurance broking firm, Willis said Thursday.
Willis will take a majority 85% stake in the Miller partnership, with Miller partners retaining the remainder. The transaction, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015. The companies announced they had entered exclusive talks last October.
Willis declined to disclose terms of the transaction.
Wholesale broking activities encompassing a series of units will transfer from Willis to Miller, while Miller treaty reinsurance, U.K. corporate client and financial institutions retail teams will transfer to Willis, according to the statement.
The newly formed entity will trade under the Miller brand, managed, governed and regulated as a stand-alone legal entity and separate Lloyd's of London broker, the statement said.
“Bringing together complementary businesses under our respective brands adds further strength and depth to our client propositions,” Willis CEO Dominic Casserley said in the statement. “The deal also brings additional expertise and enhanced value to Willis' combined U.K. retail and global specialty business and its treaty reinsurance team.”
Miller CEO Graham Clarke added in the statement that the deal would “accelerate our growth strategy and enhance our offering to our clients.”
Willis is the third-largest insurance broker in the world, according to Business Insurance’s latest ranking.
Abundant capacity, which is outstripping the demand for reinsurance, led to decreased rates at the Jan. 1 renewal across most territories and lines of business and may increase pressure on some companies to merge or be acquired, according to a report by Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings P.L.C.