Richard Bucknall, vice chairman of Willis and chairman and chief executive of Willis Ltd is to retire...

Willis has announced that Richard Bucknall, vice chairman of the group, and chairman and chief executive of Willis Limited, the company's UK operation, is to retire at the end of March.

Willis also confirmed that David Margrett will become Willis Limited chairman and chief executive upon Bucknall's departure. Margrett will maintain his role as chief executive of Willis' Global Specialities unit.

A 40 year veteran of the insurance broking market, Bucknall has spent some 21 years at Willis after an illustrious 40 year career in the insurance broking business, 21 of which with Willis, has indicated his wish to retire.

"I am fortunate to have found such a leader as Richard Bucknall when I arrived at Willis in October 2000," said Joe Plumeri, chairman and chief executive of Willis.

"During the time we worked together," he added, "I have valued his insights, experience and professionalism – and have been the beneficiary of his friendship and counsel. It has been my supreme pleasure to have worked so closely with him for the past six years and I wish him every success."

“It has been an enormous privilege and my distinct honour to have spent the last 21 years of my career at Willis and the last six under the leadership and direction of Joe Plumeri,” said Bucknall. “Joe has seen this company through extraordinary changes in the insurance world – from the events of 9/11 to the investigations that challenged the very core of our business.

"I am leaving Willis today stronger than I found it," he concluded, "and am grateful for all that Joe, Willis and the insurance industry has afforded me."