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Aon's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

New business generation of over $220 million across our Retail Business, with strong growth across many markets including China, Latin America, Italy and New Zealand, just to name a few, highlighting the strength of our global client-serving capability. Investments in new product and service capabilities with the rollout of GRIP and Aon Broking globally and in our core treaty reinsurance business, net new business trends have not been positive for 4 consecutive quarters.

Reflecting on the individual businesses, in the Americas, organic revenue growth improved to 4% as the impact in pricing and exposures are relatively flat, reflecting the continued modest pace of improvement from a year ago. We saw strong management of the renewal book portfolio across all regions, strengthened by the continued rollout of Client Promise. We saw solid new business growth in Latin America. Results reflect strong performance, overcoming continued market weakness in the commercial construction sector.

In international, organic revenue growth improved to 4% against pricing, which was flat to modestly down on average overall, including firmer pricing in catastrophe-exposed regions. We saw strong growth in New Zealand, across many regions in Asia and in emerging markets, including double-digit growth in many areas such as China, Taiwan and Italy. In the U.K. and Continental Europe, market conditions remained soft and macroeconomic conditions remained fragile across many core markets. With leadership positions across the U.K. and Europe, we saw strong retention rates and the management of the renewal book portfolio led to modest growth across almost every region, a solid performance given industry and economic headwinds.

In reinsurance, organic revenue growth improved to 5%, a level of organic revenue performance not achieved since Q3 2006. Results primarily reflect strong new business growth in global treaty placements. The impact of the market from pricing internationally was modestly favorable, partially offset by higher cedent retentions as clients retain more risk. The underlying strength of the book continues to improve as net new business won was positive for the fourth consecutive quarter. This level of performance and the strength of new business generation continues to reflect the Aon Benfield's value proposition for clients of strengthening operational performance and reducing volatility through unmatched data, analytics and advisory capability.

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