Global broker and advisory Willis Towers Watson has announced that it is to integrate its insurance-linked securities (ILS) offering into its reinsurance broking division Willis Re, a step that will differentiate it from other brokers that keep ILS in their investment banking unit.
Willis Towers Watson said that the move is designed to “enhance its client offering.”
It will align ILS and catastrophe bonds as an option alongside reinsurance, perhaps another step in shifting ILS more towards being a complementary reinsurance or retrocession product, rather than being viewed as an alternative.
The ILS business was previously part of the Willis Towers Watson Securities business unit, which dealt with investment banking, M&A and other capital market activities.
It will now be integrated into Willis Re, with Bill Dubinsky set to continue to lead the ILS business for WTW, reporting directly to Willis Re Deputy Chairman, Mark Hvidsten.
James Kent, Global CEO, Willis Re, commented, “The movement of the ILS business into Willis Re reflects ongoing efforts to evolve our company and better align our portfolios in order to continue to effectively serve our clients. Willis Re’s standing in the ILS market will continue to strengthen as we bring these businesses together in a more effective way.”
Rafal Walkiewicz, CEO, Willis Towers Watson Securities, also said, “The insurance industry is changing faster than ever and capital markets are becoming an integral part of the industry risk transfer mechanism. Our clients no longer decide between traditional reinsurance and third party capital, but expect an integrated solution that serves their long term needs. Capital markets professionals working hand in hand with reinsurance brokers are best positioned to offer strategic advice and continue to develop cutting edge products for our clients.”