Willis CEO Opts Against Severance Payment in Towers Watson Deal

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Dominic Casserley
Willis Group Holdings CEO Dominic Casserley. Source: Willis Group Holdings Plc via Bloomberg

Willis Group Holdings Plc’s chief executive officer, who is taking a lesser role under the insurance broker’s planned merger with Towers Watson & Co., has opted against taking some compensation that he was entitled to get.

“Dominic Casserley will not receive a severance payment on accepting the position of president & deputy CEO in a merged Willis Towers Watson,” Miles Russell, a spokesman for the London-based insurance broker said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

Casserley would be eligible for a payment when he resigns as CEO of Willis because he won’t be the most senior executive at the combined company, according to the terms of his employment agreement in Willis’s April 17 proxy filing. The potential package was valued at $17.7 million as of the company’s Dec. 31 fiscal-year end and included $8.2 million in cash severance and $9.5 million in early equity vesting, according to the filing.

Casserley will resign as CEO of Willis and be appointed deputy CEO of the combined company, according to the merger agreement. Towers CEO John J. Haley will lead Willis Towers Watson.

Willis, the third-largest insurance broker, agreed to merge with Towers Watson in a deal valued at about $8.7 billion to take on larger rivals and add consulting operations.

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