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Willis Hires BCG’s Guo in Asia Investment-Banking Push

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May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Willis Group Holdings Plc, the third-largest insurance broker, hired Michael Guo as head of Asia in the capital-markets operation as the company seeks more investment-banking business.

He will be based in Hong Kong and report to Tony Ursano, chief executive officer of Willis Capital Markets & Advisory, the London-based company said today in a statement. Guo joins from Boston Consulting Group Inc. where he was a partner and managing director of the financial-services practice, covering insurance, banking, brokerage and fund management.

The hire “underscores our commitment to becoming a major player in the insurance investment-banking arena in Asia,” Ursano said in the statement. Guo’s experience will be “invaluable as we continue to expand our strategic advisory and capital markets offerings on a global basis.”

The capital-markets unit advises insurers and reinsurers on mergers and acquisitions. It also underwrites insurance-linked securities such as catastrophe bonds, which pay higher-than-benchmark yields to investors who risk losing their principal in the event of disasters that meet predefined conditions.

Willis slipped 0.8 percent to $41.36 at 11:02 a.m. in New York. The broker has climbed 23 percent this year, beating the 13 percent advance in the 78-company Bloomberg World Insurance Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zachary Tracer in New York at ztracer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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