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Peiser to lead Aon’s commercial risk for North America after Willis exit

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Willis Towers Watson’s departing global head of broking Joe Peiser will join Aon as its commercial risk leader for North America, Inside P&C can reveal, as Aon makes its first big hiring swoop on its former merger partner.

After the initial news yesterday that Peiser will be leaving after a seven-year stint at Willis, this publication can report that the executive will take on the major newly created role, where he will dual report to Lambros Lambrou, CEO of commercial risk solutions and Jennifer Bell, CEO for North America.

Peiser will also join Aon’s global commercial risk leadership team, along with its North America leadership team.

The high-profile departure illustrates scope for Aon to strategically pick off high-value talent in Willis with non-solicit provisions falling away followin the termination of the Aon-Willis merger. Detailed integration work means that Aon will have a clear view of which staff at Willis could be most valuable if lured across.

When Inside P&C contacted Willis for details on the succession plan following Peiser’s departure, the broker issued a statement on two key leadership roles.

Mike Liss, head of corporate risk and broking at Willis, North America, said that Jon Drummond will be the broking leader for Willis Towers Watson’s corporate risk and broking for North America, and that Joe LaRocco will continue to lead the broker’s carrier management team.

Liss added: “While we are sorry to see Joe leave we are extremely confident in Jon and Joe’s leadership and excited about the growth of our global broking business.”

Peiser has led broking at Willis’s corporate risk and broking business since 2019, having previously been executive vice president and head of broking for Willis North America. He was head of casualty from 2015 to 2017, having joined Willis from Brown & Brown in 2014.

Amid a stream of departures, Willis is also losing John Atkinson and Michael Pokora to Marsh, where the two will co-lead a new senior housing and long-term care practice for both the US and Canada. Sources said that Atkinson was a major producer of long-term care business at Willis.

Aon did not issue a statement but did confirm the news.

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