Willis Group has aligned its Asia Pacific business with its Middle East and Africa operations under the leadership of Roger Wilkinson as chairman and CEO, effective immediately.

Hong Kong-based Wilkinson, former CEO of Willis Asia Pacific, will report to Sarah Turvill, chairman and CEO of Willis International.

Wilkinson joined Willis in 2005. He led the broker’s Asia operations for five years and was appointed CEO of the newly formed Asia Pacific unit earlier this year.

Previously, Wilkinson was with Marsh for 32 years, where he held numerous senior management roles in Asia Pacific.

In his new role,Wilkinson will be supported by Scott Pickering who has been appointed as president, Willis Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

Pickering was formerly CEO for Willis’ operations in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

Pickering started at Willis last year after working for RSA Insurance as regional CEO for Asia and the Middle East, where he was based in Dubai for two and a half years. Before to this, he held a series of senior leadership roles at ACE Insurance in South Africa and the Asia Pacific.

Together in their new roles, Wilkinson and Pickering will oversee nearly 1,500 associates in 17 countries and 53 offices.

Turvill said that Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa are key growth areas for the future. The aim in aligning the businesses under Roger and Scott’s dynamic leadership is to give the new region increased focus, take advantage of synergies, and bring enhanced specialist and industry expertise to clients.