The broker plans to form a new joint venture on the sub-continent
Willis plans to appeal a decision by India’s insurance regulator that it is “not inclined to accept” the license renewal application for the broker’s joint venture in India.
The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority rejected an application by Willis to renew the broking license of its joint venture in India, Willis India Insurance Brokers Limited.
In a statement Willis said: “Willis is extremely concerned about the IRDA findings against its joint venture partner, Bhaichand Amoluk Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd., which holds a 74 percent stake in Willis India. Willis announced today that it is in the process of terminating its current relationship with Bhaichand Amoluk as a result of a series of management differences. “
Willis established the joint venture in 2003.
In its decision, India’s regulator cited several problems with Bhaichand Amoluk, including a financial dispute related to reinsurance treaties and its failure “to maintain the ‘insurance bank account’ properly.”
The statement continued: “Willis India is taking all steps necessary and is moving forward expeditiously to appeal to the IRDA and is seeking their support and guidance to ensure business continuity. Until such time as an appeal is heard, Willis India will continue to put the best interests of its clients and employees first.”
“Willis has been in India for nearly two decades and in that time has established a reputation for excellence, integrity and transparency. We are therefore appealing the IRDA’s decision that it is disinclined to renew the licence of Willis India, and are working with them to ensure the well-being of our clients and staff in the process,” said Andrew Hicks, Managing Director of Willis India.
Hicks added that Willis is in advanced contractual discussions with a new joint venture partner and that Willis looks forward to a speedy and successful conclusion of these negotiations. He added that the broker will work closely with the IRDA to obtain all necessary approvals and to facilitate an orderly transition of its business, clients and employees to this new entity.
“Willis remains entirely committed to India, one of the most significant and fastest-growing insurance markets in the world, and to protecting the interests of our clients, policyholders and staff who support our global brand in a country with a growing population of more than 1.1 billion people.”