The shareholders of Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson have approved $18bn merger of the two firms.


The deal, which was first announced by both firms in July this year, is expected to create an integrated global advisory, broking, and solutions provider that will serve a broad spectrum of clients in the existing and new business lines.

The shareholders also accepted proposals to change the name of the combined company to Willis Towers Watson, after the completion of the deal.

Towers Watson chairman and CEO John Haley said: "We are confident that combining Towers Watson and Willis will accelerate both companies’ long-term strategies and create substantial incremental value for shareholders."

Willis CEO Dominic Casserley said: "With the support of our shareholders, we are now focused on completing the transaction, successfully integrating the businesses and realizing the combination’s full value creation potential."

Willis Group is a global risk advisory, re/insurance broker and human capital and benefits firm, which provides services in all continents. It has around 400 offices with about 400 offices.

With around 16,000 associates, Towers Watson is a global professional services firm that provides consulting, technology and solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management

Subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of certain regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to complete early next year.

Image: Willis Tower in Chicago, US. Photo: courtesy of Kelly Martin.