Reinsurance News

Aon & WTW both pull business from Russia

14th March 2022 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Broking giants Aon and WTW have both announced plans to withdraw all businesses from Russia, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following the lead of Marsh McLennan last week, this means the world’s three largest insurance brokers have now all severed ties with Russia.

Insurers such as Generali have also exited the country following its widely-condemned invasion of Ukraine, while specialist re/insurance marketplace Lloyd’s has firmly lent its support to the sanctions imposed by the UK government.

“We continue to be dismayed by the crisis in Ukraine,” said WTW CEO Carl Hess. “WTW remains steadfast in our support for all our colleagues and their families in the region who have been affected. We wholeheartedly wish for a peaceful solution.”

The CEO went on to explain that WTW will transfer ownership of its Russian businesses to local management who, going forward, will operate independently in the Russian market.

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“While we strongly believe this is the right decision, it was not made in haste nor without consideration for our dedicated Russian colleagues,” he added.

Aon meanwhile, has made the decision to suspend its operational activity in Russia, and intends to put all colleagues in Russia on paid leave.

“The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine continues to cause the senseless loss of life to innocent civilians, and the intentional destruction of schools, civilian property and infrastructure,” said Aon CEO Greg Case.

“Right now, our primary focus is on the safety and well-being of our colleagues in Ukraine and our colleagues’ families, and those in Russia who might be adversely impacted. And we will continue to monitor the situation to determine if we will take further actions.”

While Western nations have stopped short of becoming directly involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, they have introduced an unprecedented set of sanctions designed to isolate Russia from the global financial system and cripple its economy.

Among these are measures that aim to prevent Russian businesses from accessing international insurance and reinsurance services, with the UK having recently introduced rules that prevent Russian companies in the aviation and space industry from accessing the UK insurance sector.

Additionally, in response to the conflict, a coalition of NGOs and groups around the world have called on financial institutions most exposed to Russian oil, gas, and coal to cease all ties with these companies, with many of the largest global insurers and reinsurers specifically named.

SCOR has already elected to postpone its March 29th Investor Day to July, citing the geopolitical situation, humanitarian and global impacts of the Russian invasion.

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