Aon to acquire Willis Towers Watson

*Editor’s note

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Willis Towers Watson and Aon announced July 26 the firms have mutually agreed to terminate their $30 billion business combination agreement and end litigation with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The proposed combination was first announced March 9, 2020, and would have created the largest insurance broker.

Aon agreed Monday to acquire rival Willis Towers Watson, a deal estimated to be valued at $80 billion following a rough week for Wall Street due in part to the spreading coronavirus.

The combined company, which will be named Aon, will continue to serve as a technology-enabled global professional services firm, focused on the areas of risk, retirement and health.

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“This combination will create a more innovative platform capable of delivering better outcomes for all stakeholders, including clients, colleagues, partners and investors,” said Aon CEO Greg Case. “Our world-class expertise across risk, retirement and health will accelerate the creation of new solutions that more efficiently match capital with unmet client needs in high-growth areas like cyber, delegated investments, intellectual property, climate risk and health solutions.”

Also see: How HR can get ahead of a potential recession

Aon will maintain operating headquarters in London. Willis Towers Watson’s CEO John Haley will take on the role of executive chairman with a focus on growth and innovation strategy.

“The combination of Willis Towers Watson and Aon is a natural next step in our journey to better serve our clients in the areas of people, risk and capital,” Haley said. “This transaction accelerates that journey by providing our combined teams the opportunity to drive innovation more quickly and deliver more value.”

Last year, Aon and Willis Towers pulled the plug on a proposed combination less than 24 hours after preliminary talks leaked. Both companies expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2021 after securing regulatory approvals.

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Nick Otto
Nick Otto is HRE’s former senior digital editor. He is a professional communicator with more than a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and trade publishing. He has spent the past five years covering the employee benefits space and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.