Aon retires Risk Solutions and Benfield brands

Aon is retiring both the Aon Risk Solutions (ARS) and Aon Benfield brands as the business moves to operating under one combined brand. The decision to bring the two operating units together will see Eric Andersen and Michael O’Connor, chief executives of Aon Benfield and Aon Risk Solutions respectively, appointed co-presidents of the firm with immediate effect. Andersen and O’Connor will report into Greg Case, Aon’s CEO. As the company explained, both the integration of ARS and Aon Benfield as well as the new titles handed to Andersen and O’Connor “are designed to increase the rate of innovation across the firm and make it easier for colleagues to work together to bring the best of Aon to clients”. The moves are the latest example of Aon’s bid to increase colleague connectivity and accelerate reinvestment in innovation that serves clients, the business said. This process, which is being overseen by Aon’s chief financial officer Christa Davies, has already seen the firm retire the Aon Hewitt brand. That came about after the business sold off Aon Hewitt’s benefits administration and human resources outsourcing operation to Blackstone in late 2017 as part of a $4.3bn deal. Case said: “By almost any measure, Aon has never been stronger or better positioned in the marketplace. That strength comes from the depth of our senior leadership team. I’m grateful to them for their support of these decisions and for agreeing to take on additional responsibilities. Our other exceptional solution line leaders, Cary Grace, CEO of retirement solutions, and John Zern, CEO of health solutions, as well as our chief operations officer, John Bruno, will each add substantially to their remit.” Grace, Zern and Bruno have all been given additional responsibilities as part of the new structure. Grace will now be responsible for Aon’s global mergers and acquisitions integration while Zern will take on the additional role of CEO North America for the firm’s commercial risk solutions arm. Bruno has been given the additional responsibilities of CEO for data and analytic services, working alongside both Case and Davies. Aon’s planning for the future has also seen both Case and Christa ink deals which will see the two executives remain with the business until 2023. “Aon's evolution into a leading global professional services firm has been driven by the tireless efforts of colleagues to work across our portfolio to deliver the best advice and solutions to clients,” said Case, adding: “This announcement recognises those efforts and takes steps to remove structural barriers so that we can innovate new sources of value and realise the full potential of our firm.” Andersen said he was excited to work alongside O’Connor, adding: “As much success as Aon has enjoyed, I believe that we have only just begun to realise our potential. By working together more closely, we can create more value for clients and exciting new opportunities for colleagues." O'Connor himself said: “I look forward to taking on this broader role and am energised by the idea of doing so with Eric. Our new global operating committee has an opportunity to further unite the business in a way that makes the whole of Aon greater than the sum of its parts. In doing so, we can bring our best to clients and deliver on the full potential of our integrated firm.” End of an era The retirement of the Aon Benfield brand brings its close to a decade-long existence to an end. Aon agreed its approximately $1.75bn deal for Benfield in late August 2008 in the lead up to that year’s Monte Carlo Rendez-vous. The deal closed in November 2008, and saw the then Grahame Chilton-led Benfield merged into Aon Re Global which, at the time, was headed up by Andrew Appel. The transaction created a new, enlarged entity called Aon Benfield Re, the name of which was later shortened to Aon Benfield.

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