Willis Group surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved
year over year on higher revenues in its fourth quarter. Top line
improved on higher commissions and fees. The quarter benefitted
from mid-single digit organic growth in commissions and fees and
the impact of recent acquisitions. Costs savings from Operational
Improvement Program also added to the upside. The company also
witnessed modest growth in reinsurance. Most of the segments
continue to deliver organic growth. Its Operational Improvement
Program through 2017, besides costs savings will help in realizing
operational efficiencies, invest in new growth avenues and
strengthen its client services. On the strength of its solid
operations, the board of directors hiked dividend by 3.3% and
targets $175 million share repurchase for 2015. Its inorganic
developments were impressive following the strategic acquisitions.
The company expects mid-single-digit organic revenue growth in
2015. With solid retention levels and new business growth, we
expect the company to sustain its momentum.
Willis Group Holdings plc (WSH) and its subsidiaries provide a
broad range of insurance brokerage, reinsurance and risk management
consulting services to its worldwide clients, both directly and
through its associates. The company provides specialized risk
management advisory and consulting services to clients engaged in
specific industrial and commercial activities as well as retail
services to small, medium and major corporate houses.
In its capacity as an advisor and insurance broker, the company
acts as an intermediary between clients and insurance carriers by
advising clients on risk management requirements, helping them
determine the best means of managing risk and negotiating and
placing insurance risk with insurance carriers through the
company's global distribution network.
On Sep 24, 2009, Willis Group Holdings was incorporated in
Ireland in order to effectuate the change of the place of
incorporation of the Group's parent company. The company operated
as a wholly owned subsidiary of Willis-Bermuda until Dec 31, 2009.
Later the outstanding common shares of Willis-Bermuda were
cancelled and Willis Group Holdings issued ordinary shares with the
same rights and preferences on a one-for-one basis to the holders
of the Willis-Bermuda common shares. Upon completion of this
transaction, Willis Group Holdings replaced Willis-Bermuda as the
ultimate parent company and Willis-Bermuda became a wholly owned
subsidiary of Willis Group Holdings.
Willis Group operates through three segments: Global, North
America and International. The Global segment (accounted for 32% of
operating revenues in 2012) provides specialist brokerage and
consulting services to clients worldwide for specific industrial
and commercial activities and is organized by specialism. The North
American segment (38%) and the International segment (30%)
predominantly comprise retail operations that provide services to
small, medium and major corporations, accessing Global's specialist
expertise when required.
Willis has more than 400 offices in 120 countries, with
approximately 21,700 employees.
As of Sep 30, 2014, the company had $15.2 billion (down 0.8%
year over year) in total assets, $2.1 billion (down 7.2% year over
year) in long-term debt and $2.3 billion (up 11.6% year over year)
in shareholder equity.
Willis Group Holdings plc (WSH): Read the Full
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