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Our History

A strong client focus, an emphasis on teamwork, unwavering integrity, mutual respect and a constant striving for excellence are the values at the core of WTW’s rich history. Many of our clients have been with us from our earliest days. Whether they first came to us for brokerage services or actuarial work, they were met with respect, a strong sense of advocacy and an emphasis on excellence. These values will continue to define our approach to business and our relationship with our clients, now and in the future.

  • Lloyd’s in the 1800s

    In 1841, Henry Willis applied for membership of Lloyd’s, where he started to broker insurance for the cargoes of commodities he sold on commission.

  • Wall Street in the 1860s

    In 1865, New Yorker David Parks Fackler founded one of the first actuarial firms in North America.

  • Manchester Unity

    Manchester Unity was R. Watson & Sons’ first client in 1878. This friendly society (an organization that provides health and burial benefits to its members) continues as a client today.

  • Arithmeter

    The arithmeter was a cylindrical slide rule used by actuaries in the late 19th century for life insurance calculations.

  • Actuarial Society of America

    In 1889, David Parks Fackler helped create the Actuarial Society of America, a predecessor of today’s Society of Actuaries. The society’s first banquet was held in the Astor House at Broadway and Barclay Street in New York.

  • The Titanic

    By 1912, Willis had a huge marine account and was broker for the ill-fated Titanic. The hull claim of $1 million was settled in full within 30 days.

  • Willis, Faber & Dumas

    Willis grew in prestige through mergers with other Lloyd’s speciality brokers: first, Faber Brothers and subsequently, Dumas & Wylie to form Willis, Faber & Dumas in 1929

  • Early Clients

    Our early pension clients included Eastman Kodak Company and Cadbury. Major post-war clients included Imperial Tobacco and Shell Oil.

  • Computers

    In 1953, we were among the first actuarial consulting companies to make use of computers. Today, actuarial and financial modeling software play a major role in our work.

  • The Moon Buggy

    Post-war, Willis’ non-marine and reinsurance businesses grew. In 1971, Willis was broker for the moon buggy.

  • New Headquarters

    In 1976, a new Willis headquarters — 10 Trinity Square — was purchased, and the company became publicly traded for the first time.

  • 21st Century

    The 21st century poses new threats, and WTW helps clients remain resilient as they face them.

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