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Thursday 22 September 2011
Author: Russell Group

Willis Group Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri has said the industry needs to change its approach to the challenges their clients face.

Speaking in Hong Kong as part of a visit which saw the intermediary open a new office in the financial centre Mr Plumeri told a group of leading Asian businessmen that companies operating in today’s volatile economic, social and political climate require a more holistic approach to risk management.

Speaking at the KPMG “Captains of Industry” lunch hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, he explained that “insurance is not just about coverage and claims, but is about security and survival” against a backdrop of a challenging new risk landscape where threats like reputational damage, terrorism, cyber security, supply chain disruption, regulation and pandemics are on the rise.

Mr Plumeri added: “The right way to look at a company is holistically, not risk by risk or transaction by transaction.” He added that an approach that considers the commercial sustainability of the enterprise “best allows companies to manage their business and realize strategic objectives for the long term”.

His visit to Hong Kong coincided with the official opening of a new headquarters for Willis’ Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa operations. The broker, which has tripled the size of its business in Asia and Hong Kong in the last six years, has taken a new floor in its current location in The Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay. The state-of-the-art new offices will accommodate 100 employees of Willis Hong Kong and will also house the leadership team for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa operations.

Roger Wilkinson, Chairman and CEO of Willis Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said: “Willis has been a proud member of the Hong Kong commercial sector since 1977. The city’s excellent infrastructure and proximity to all our other offices in the wider region makes it the ideal base from which to continue our successful expansion in Asia where we now have over 800 employees and 40 offices in 12 countries.”