Willis Towers Watson names Simon Weaver head of Australasia

23 January 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Leading brokerage and human capital consultancy firm Willis Towers Watson has named Simon Weaver as its new Australasian head. Weaver will take over from longtime leader Andrew Boal, who is stepping down after 27 years with the company.

“Andrew led the company with distinction, taking it through a stage of intense integration and consolidation,” said Adam Garrard, Head of International for Willis Towers Watson (WTW). “We are now streamlining the Australasian operations to bring them into line with the structure we have in other geographic regions that form part of our international group.” 

Weaver’s role as head of WTW’s corporate risk and broking business will be merged with his new appointment. His knowledge of this industry, coupled with his connections with clients and personal drive to spur business growth, will be a great aid in his transition. “Willis Towers Watson focuses on delivering seamless client service, and we will leverage our deep expertise in risk modelling, risk management, analytics, and risk engineering to address the dynamically changing risk environment impacting businesses across the region,” Weaver told Insurance Business Magazine.

Weaver will lead Willis Towers Watson’s operations in Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. Weaver gained international experience in the company when he held a lead role during the integration of insurance brokerage firm Willis Group with benefits and assets consultancy Towers Watson - an $18 billion deal that created the current Willis Towers Watson. The merger closed in 2016.Willis Towers Watson names Simon Weaver Australasian headIn an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Weaver said he aims to fully capitalise on the Willis Group-Towers Watson merger, which is more obviously beneficial in countries such as the US and Britain. There, pensions and other benefits such as life insurance are provided by employers to employees. These businesses are the target market for insurance brokers, creating a prime opportunity for a firm such as Willis Towers Watson to cross-sell. 

In Australia, however, there is a compulsory superannuation system, in which regular payments are made into a fund by an employee for future pension. This makes the concept of – and path to – cross-selling rather unclear. Still, Weaver said, there are “significant scopes” to doing so.

"There is a big opportunity for us to take more market share on the broking side of the business,” he said. “We've got a fabulous global set of analytical risk tools, which can help us analyse the different insurable exposures that businesses have, and I want to deploy those quite aggressively.” 

Across its portfolio, Willis Towers Watson help companies target and highlight “critical intersections” between talent, assets, and ideas within their organisations. The firm has more than 40,000 employees serving clients in more than 140 countries.

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