Florida and Bermuda insurance and reinsurance industry executives recently expressed “widespread support” for the sale of Willis Re and certain other Willis Towers Watson (WTW) assets to Arthur J. Gallagher (Gallagher), according to analysts at KBW.
It was announced last week that Gallagher had agreed a $3.57 billion deal to acquire the majority of Willis Re and certain other assets from WTW, as part of Aon’s efforts to satisfy European competition concerns over its $30 billion combination with WTW.
Considering the agreement, analysts at KBW spoke with executives from across the Florida and Bermuda re/insurance market.
“There was widespread support for the recently announced sale of several WLTW properties – primarily Willis Re, at least for the reinsurance-focused group we met – to AJG, as it preserves three legitimate global reinsurance brokers,” say analysts.
Additionally, most executives KBW met with welcomed the outflow of broking talent to a range of other reinsurance brokerages that, as of yet, do not have global footprints or the technological capacity to fully compete with the big three.
The deal with Gallagher is contingent on the closing of the Aon and WTW combination, which is expected in the second half of this year.
Of course, antitrust regulators outside of Europe have highlighted their own competition concerns regarding the merger.
But as we reported yesterday, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has become the first local regulator to give explicit approval that we’ve seen.
Other regional competition authorities are now expected to make announcements over the coming weeks, especially now the remedy package for the EC is coming together and additional divestments are expected in the U.S.