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Dominic Casserley, Willis CEO Designate (Photo: Business Wire)

The Board of Directors of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, today announced that Dominic Casserley will serve as the company’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective January 7, 2013. The Board also announced that Steve Hearn, currently the Chairman and CEO of Willis Global, will serve as Deputy CEO of Willis Group. Joe Plumeri, who has served as Chairman and CEO of Willis Group since 2000 and led the company back to public ownership and steered its global expansion during his 12-year tenure, will serve as non-executive Chairman through July, 2013.

Dominic Casserley, Willis CEO Designate (Photo: Business Wire)

Dominic Casserley, Willis CEO Designate (Photo: Business Wire)

Dominic Casserley, 54, is currently a senior partner of McKinsey & Company, which he joined in New York in 1983. During his 29-years at McKinsey, Casserley has been based in the U.S. for 12 years, Asia for five and, since 2000, has been working across Europe from London. During his time at McKinsey, Casserley led the firm’s Greater China Practice and its UK and Ireland Practice. A noted expert on global financial services, including insurance companies, and the opportunities of expanding into new markets, Casserley has been a member of McKinsey’s Shareholder Council, the firm’s global board, since 1999 and for four years served as the Chairman of the Finance Committee of that board. Casserley, married with three children, is a graduate of Cambridge University. Following a transition period in 2013, Casserley will be based in Willis’ New York office.

“The Board of Directors, which has now concluded a rigorous and thorough search for our next CEO, is thrilled to welcome Dominic Casserley to Willis to inaugurate the next great era for our company. We think Dominic will be an extraordinary leader for Willis, just as Joe Plumeri has been,” said Sen. Bill Bradley, Managing Director of Allen & Co. LLC and Willis’ presiding independent director. “Willis is indebted to Joe for his passionate stewardship of our firm spanning more than a decade in which Willis delivered unrivaled shareholder value among our peers. We are also grateful that Steve Hearn, a great broking industry leader within our own ranks, will step up as Dominic’s partner and Deputy CEO to help bring Willis to the next level,” Bradley added.

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