Willis Group Holdings plc announced an agreement to acquire PMI Health Group (PMIHG), an independent healthcare adviser and broker in the UK.

Willis said the deal will significantly raise the company’s presence in the UK employee benefits and healthcare market, and will add greater depth and range to its product offering and skills base.

PMIHG was established in 1986 and is the UK’s largest independent provider of employee healthcare and risk management services, said Willis in a statement. It went on to say that PMIHG offers a range of health and protection insurance, including services targeting absence management and occupational health. One in five of its 128 staff is medically trained.

Willis said it will be able to draw on the client-facing infrastructure and marketing expertise of PMIHG, while existing clients at both businesses will benefit from access to a wider range of services and products.

Nicolas Aubert, CEO of Willis GB, said: “This deal is a major step forward for our human capital and benefits business, and offers strong synergies and future strategic opportunities. Both Willis Employee Benefits and PMI Health Group are recognized for their expertise and outstanding client service, and uniting these two wholly complementary businesses will enhance our competitive edge further.”

Tony Powis, CEO of Willis Employee Benefits, said: “Our combined team will provide the scale, technology and expertise to deliver innovative and compelling value propositions. Organizations of all sizes are struggling to manage their employee risks such as absenteeism and presenteeism, and we are determined to shake this market up through innovative propositions.”

Matthew Baldwin, CEO of PMI Health Group, said: “PMI Health Group has become a leading adviser in the employee healthcare market by having a great team and a unique proposition. We work to keep organizations and employees fit for business through the delivery of employee healthcare advice and services, nurse-led claims management and occupational health services.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q3 2015. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. After completion, PMIHG will use the Willis brand and maintain its operations at its current base in Wincham, Cheshire.

Source: Willis Group Holdings