Willis sues Aon over Miami-based fac team resignation in latest ‘talent war’ development
Willis Towers Watson has sued Aon and seven former employees from its facultative operations in Miami, Florida, alleging client pilferage and breach of contracts.
Willis’s WTW CAC unit is arguing that its blue-chip rival’s Aon Re subsidiary conspired with its former employees to orchestrate a mass resignation and “begin to pilfer” its reinsurance brokerage clients, according to court documents filed late last week and reviewed by Inside P&C.
“This unlawful scheme has already caused significant and irreparable harm to WTW CAC because several of its longstanding clients have transferred their reinsurance business to Aon Re,” Willis’s subsidiary claimed in the lawsuit filed in the courthouse of Miami Dade county.
In the suit, Willis named Universal Insurance – the largest local insurance company in Puerto Rico – and Seguros Sura, among others, as examples of clients that moved to Aon since the fac team’s departure last August.
Willis believes the simultaneous resignations were arranged over lunch at the restaurant Graziano’s in Coral Gables, a few days before the executives submitted their resignation letters.
The broker has asked the judge for an immediate injunction to prevent Aon from soliciting its clients while the case unfolds.
In August, this publication revealed that Luke Reeve-Tucker and six other staff from Willis Towers Watson’s facultative operations in Miami had resigned and moved to rival broker Aon.
According to the court documents, Reeve-Tucker stepped down at 14:58 on August 18, and soon after, between 15:01 and 15:14, the other six executives filed their resignations.
Reeve-Tucker was joined by Kevin Crawford, Charles Beuzelin, Aurys Cova, Mark Ferguson, Raul Alba and Maria Gonzalez.
In the complaint, Willis also brought up the lawsuit that Aon filed against Marsh over similar allegations against its rival in Miami, which highlighted the ongoing industrywide talent war.
In late June, Aon sued Marsh after more than 40 employees abandoned the broking goliath in a matter of days to join the blue-chip rival.
In that case, which is currently in the discovery phase at the Miami-Dade courthouse, Judge William Thomas has set a trial date for October 31, 2022.