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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Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K Consulting Australia

15 April 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Ian Watt has joined L.E.K Consulting’s as a partner and leader of the firm’s Australian Energy & Environment practice. Watt is based in Sydney.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian Watt to L.E.K Consulting,” said Nick Holder, who leads the firm’s operations in the Asia Pacific region and is country leader of the Australia business. “His experience working with utilities to successfully address waves of market disruption and regulatory complexity bolsters our ability to drive value creation for clients.” 

Watt joins from Strategy&, where he worked since 2010, initially with Booz & Company before transitioning to Strategy& through PwC's $1 billion acquisition of Booz in 2014. He brings over a decade of experience advising clients in the energy, utilities, mining and industrials sectors across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. His experiences span the utility value chain, and comprise a mix of growth strategy (strategic planning, go-to-market models), operational transformation (cost, business model, and performance optimisation) and innovation (design of new products and services). 

During his career at Strategy&, Watt worked from the firm’s offices in London, Sydney, and most recently Calgary – he relocated to Canada in 2016 to help launch and build the Strategy& firm in the country. Prior to his consulting spell, he held several technical an economic consulting roles in the engineering industry, having started his career in Mott MacDonald’s consultancy team in the UK.

Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K ConsultingAt L.E.K Consulting, which has over 1,400 professionals globally, Watt will lead the Australian Energy & Environment practice. His appointment comes at a time when the energy & utilities sector is facing major change, with market disruption and regulatory complexity taking hold. According to L.E.K. Consulting, “Primary energy suppliers, OEMs and utilities, among others, turn to L.E.K. to benefit from its experience gathered over decades of tackling major strategic and operational issues in the sector.”

The presence of large energy conglomerates and mining giants means Australia's energy & resources consulting industry is the 2nd largest globally, trailing just the massive market of the United States. Government data shows that the resources sector comprise 15% to 20% of the national economy and up to 60% of Australia’s exports. BHP Billiton (the fourth largest company by revenue in Australia) and Rio Tinto (revenue of $40 billion) are major players in the space, meanwhile beyond mining & resources, companies such as energy retailers (e.g. Alinta Energy, BlueNRG, Click Energy, etc) and energy generators (e.g. AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia) are ramping up their spending on external consultants in a bid to successfully position themselves for future sustainable growth. 

Watt’s move brings the total of new partners at L.E.K. in Australia to three this year. Previously, Joe Sponholtz joined the Sydney office from rival consultancy Partners In Performance, while Melbourne-based Philip Wheeler was promoted internally to partner.

Last week, Bain & Company named a new leader for its Australia and New Zealand division: company veteran Peter Stumbles.