Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group, has signed a definitive agreement to buy the assets of Avalon Actuarial, a Canadian employee benefits brokerage and actuarial consulting services firm, for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the transaction, Avalon Actuarial’s staff of 45 and management team will join Willis Canadian operations and continue to serve customers from its existing offices in Montreal and Toronto.

Willis North America chairman and CEO Vic Krauze said that the acquisition will enable the company to boost its footprint in the Canadian employee benefits market.

Under terms of the agreement, Avalon’s Jean-Robert Elie will be appointed as executive vice president and Canadian Human Capital Practice Leader; Christine Raymond will act as executive vice president, non-traditional covers; and Claude Emond will serve as a consultant to Willis.

All the aforementioned executives will report to Rick Hynes, president and CEO of Willis Canada, and the deal is likely to complete during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Montreal-based Avalon Actuarial offers products and services pertaining to group insurance, retirement and pension plans, and other risk management services for corporations and public organizations.

Willis Group manages over 400 offices in approximately 120 nations, and employs nearly 17,000 staff to deliver professional insurance, reinsurance as well as risk management services, among others.