In an interview with this publication as part of #ReinsuranceMonth, the number four reinsurance intermediary’s founder said his firm has seen strong growth in 2021, with revenues up more than 30 percent, and has added 100 people to its ranks, primarily from its larger rivals.
“As I look back over 12 months I think the opportunity has presented itself and is probably as strong as it’s ever been,” he commented.
“I see the opportunity continuing. People need solutions and they want answers and we’re having a great time trying to deliver those,” Fox added.
Describing the Aon-WTW saga as “fascinating”, the executive said the opportunity had not changed significantly “because of whatever the new outcome is going to be”.
Willis Re is set to become part of Arthur J Gallagher after WTW agreed to sell its reinsurance arm for an initial $3.25bn, potentially rising to $4.0bn, in what Fox described as a “non-trivial transaction” as a lift-out of an existing organisation that involves shared services.
“Our business plan and success really has nothing to do with Aon or Willis. We’re stable, we’re marching forward, we bring culture, high performance and being great at life and we have a platform of choice for some of the best professionals.
Fox said he bristles at TigerRisk being described as a challenger firm.
“We’ve been around close to 14 years and absolutely have showed we have a place at the table and we look forward to continuing the journey,” he commented.
And the former Benfield executive questioned whether the dominance of the largest firms is healthy for the marketplace as a whole – an argument that was at the centre of antitrust regulators’ concerns over the Aon-WTW transaction.
“The definition of an oligopoly is five or less firms controlling 60 percent of a market, and I think today Aon and Marsh are probably 73 percent, add Willis and you get to the high 80s, so we are operating in a very concentrated market.
“I’ve dealt with it my whole life but you question whether that’s long-term sustainable for our marketplace,” said Fox.