Willis Group deputy chief executive Steve Hearn will take on the additional role of head of Willis Insurance UK

Willis Insurance UK chief executive David Martin has been promoted to a newly created role as global leader of placement.

It means that Willis Group deputy chief executive Steve Hearn will now take on the additional role of Willis Insurance UK chief executive.

In his new role Martin will oversee Willis’s insurance placement activity worldwide.

He will also work closely with the firm’s global network of placement leaders and will also oversee the development of Willis’s proprietary global placing system, WillPLACE.

WillPLACE links specialist software with a database to help Willis staff match clients’ insurance needs with the most appropriate insurers.

Hearn, appointed group deputy chief executive in 2012, will lead on the firm’s UK-based retail and global specialty operations.

Willis said the appointments formed part of the group’s ongoing strategy to create a new and collaborative model of client service.

The Connecting Willis initiative was announced to investors and the market in July 2013.

Willis Group chief executive Dominic Casserley said: “Steve, as one of the architects of the Connecting Willis programme, is ideally placed to lead the continued drive to transform the way we serve our clients, including those in the UK market, exploiting the many synergies between our business units for the benefit of our clients.

“The integration of our UK retail and global specialty businesses, which David has led this year, has been one of the key pillars of our global drive to bring the best of Willis’ risk advisory and broking capabilities to all of our clients. 

“David’s pivotal role in driving connectivity at Willis, alongside his wealth of retail and specialty experience as both carrier and broker, gives him the unique blend of leadership skills, technical know-how and market perspective to drive the development of our global placement capabilities and services.”