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WTW reports revenue rise after recruitment drive

Carl Hess

Willis Towers Watson PLC reported a slight first-quarter increase in revenue in its brokerage operations but a double-digit rise in organic revenue as the unit continued to rebuild its operations following WTW’s failed merger with Aon PLC.

WTW, which lost numerous staff before the deal fell apart in 2021 due to regulator concerns, has since recruited aggressively, including several senior hires.

“Last year's key hires have begun to contribute to our performance in a meaningful way, as exemplified by the solid organic growth this quarter, and we continue to expect to ramp up in production this year,” Andrew Krasner, chief financial officer of WTW, said on a conference call with analysts Thursday to discuss the company’s first-quarter results.

Overall, WTW reported $2.24 billion in revenue for the first quarter, a 3.9% increase over the same period last year and up 8% on an organic basis, which excludes the effects of foreign exchange fluctuations and mergers and acquisitions.

Its risk and broking operation reported $904 million in revenue for the quarter, a 1.5% increase over the prior-year period and up 10% on an organic basis.

The rise in organic revenue reflected new business and increased business retention, particularly in aerospace, financial solutions and natural resources, WTW said in its earnings statement.

In its “health, wealth and career” segment, which includes its employee benefits consulting business, WTW reported $1.29 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 3.5% overall and 6% on an organic basis.

The company reported net income of $206 million for the quarter, up 65% from the year-earlier period.

The company has largely completed its staffing rebuild, CEO Carl Hess said on the call.

“We don’t have major gaps anymore, the way we did in late 2021, 2022,” he said. “We'll always be on the lookout for good talent, because this is a people business and good talent is how you continue to grow this business, but we’re happy with our human capital situation right now.”