Global insurance and reinsurance broker Willis Group has expanded the reach of its Willis Capital Markets & Advisory (WCMA) unit by opening a new office in Sydney, Australia, to support the firms Asian expansion ambitions.
Managing Director, John D. Philipsz, has relocated from Willis’ London office in order to establish WCMA capital market focused operations in Sydney, Australia. Willis feels that the new office will complement WCMA’s existing presence in Hong Kong, led by Michael Guo, Head of WCMA Asia who joined the firm in May 2013.
Philipsz first joined WCMA in 2010 from Bank of America in London, where he was a Director in the Financial Institutions Group. He has broad experience across the financial services space, having executed numerous M&A and financing transactions for both public and private clients, primarily in the insurance sector. Prior to Bank of America, Philipsz worked in the Financial Institutions Group at Noble & Company in London, and at Merrill Lynch in New York and Tokyo.
Tony Ursano, CEO of WCMA, commented on the announcement; “The new WCMA platform will reinforce our activities across Asia, which is a high-growth region for both investment banking and insurance. Under the leadership of Michael and John, WCMA is well-positioned to support clients as economies across Asia continue to expand. John has been fundamental to the success of WCMA from London and will continue that success from Sydney.”
WCMA is Willis’ unit that focuses on capital markets transactions and advisory, including insurance-linked securities (ILS) such as catastrophe bonds, collateralized reinsurance arrangements, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and other investment banking related services.
The additional reach into Australia and Asia will help the firm to broaden its ambitions as the reinsurance industry increasingly requires capital markets expertise and advisory services.