Money & Banking

We want to be the risk concierge for large, complex risks: Willis Towers Watson head

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on December 27, 2019 Published on December 27, 2019

Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory, broking and solutions company, wants to be the preferred “risk concierge” in India for all large and complex risks, a top official of the Indian unit said.

“We have got the technologies, the platforms and proprietary methodologies to do this. One of the new platforms — Connected Risk Intelligence — was soft-launched here recently,” Rohit Jain, the head of Willis Towers Watson in India told BusinessLine.

Willis Towers Watson is now working with a few top-notch private sector banks in India to design a risk strategy for them from the operational risk perspective. It is using its proprietary methodology CRI, which is based on hardcore actuarial algorithms, for this purpose, he said. With the help of CRI, companies can have absolute certainty that their risk strategy is exactly right for their business; that their risk exposure is at the optimal level; and that they are paying precisely what they should to protect themselves, according to Jain.

The advantages could be to reduce spend, reduce risk to release risk capital for deployment elsewhere in the business, or an optimal blend of both. Willis Towers Watson, with roots dating to 1828, has more than 45,000 employees in140 countries and markets, and is the largest employer of actuaries in the world. In India, Willis Towers Watson has 600 employees in broking and consulting units. Jain said that ‘risk’ has now become a board-level issue in India and noted that as a “risk concierge”, Willis Towers Watson could decode the entire journey of risk, from inception to the end, including handholding the client. “People talk of risk only as risk transfer, which is insurance. It starts much before that — assess, protect and recover. We want to focus on the recovery as well,” added Jain.

Willis Towers Watson also sees itself emerging as one of the “principal drivers” of InsurTech in India with the help of partnerships with Plug and Play and CB Insights. “With the rise of digital ecosystems and shifting customer needs, we are gearing up to play an integral part in insurtech. We are also working with several start-ups and seeing how we can fit into the regulator’s sandbox,” said Jain.

Jain said that he foresees a sizeable advocacy play for Willis Towers Watson in disaster risk management landscape. Already, initial steps have been initiated in interacting with various stakeholders across various forums, he said.

Inorganic route

Jain also said that the Willis Towers Watson India Broking — a joint venture in which Willis Towers has a 49 per cent stake — is open to taking the inorganic route for growth.

He also indicated that Willis Towers Watson may also be open to raising its holding in the venture to 100 per cent now that the government policy allows 100 per cent FDI in insurance intermediaries (like insurance broking). “Willis Towers Watson is keen to explore opportunities for 100 per cent ownership pursuant to FDI relaxation; we will initiate discussions at appropriate time,” he said.

The inorganic strategy piece may gather steam once Willis Towers Watson gets 100 per cent holding in the Indian broking unit, Jain added.

“For us, insurance broking is the fastest-growing vertical. Opportunity is maximum in insurance broking. The compounded annual growth rate in the last two years has been 20 per cent. We need to beat the industry on a sustained basis. So, we should be growing at beyond 20 per cent. I think we are well equipped to do this and the huge scope the market is giving us to bring differentiated offerings,” he said.

Published on December 27, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor