Broker prepares to outsource multi-million pound global claims operation

Willis is preparing to outsource its global claims handling operation with Crawford & Co understood to be the frontrunner to take the multi-million pound account

Market sources said the lack of a centralised claims division for Willis' franchises, which span 180 countries, has prompted the search for an outsourcing partner.

The source said: "Willis chief executive Joe Plumeri has emphasised that he wants the broker's global resources to be more 'glocal' and to customise services.

"The only way Willis can achieve this is by putting the claims handling operation into the hands of global outsource company. At the moment its claims management is too disparate."

Willis and Crawford are believed to be in negotiations over an outsourcing deal after the loss adjuster recently won a number of major claims handling accounts on a global scale such as Nokia.

Crawford also has a track record of global third party administration agreements with other broking houses.

Crawford & Co chief executive Ian Muress said he could not comment on any specific talks with Willis. But he confirmed that the company does work with Willis and other broking houses on certain contracts.

"One of Crawford's strengths is meeting the requirements of multinational corporate clients and finding claims handling programmes that are cross-territory. This is what we are offering Nokia," he said.

Willis was unavailable for comment.