Willis Hires Fish Farm Underwriting Expert to Lead Expanding Aquaculture Practice

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Willis is growing its agri-business division with the appointment of Dan Fairweather to head up aquaculture insurance broking and risk management.

Hughes-Gibb, the specialist agri-business division of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, has appointed Dan Fairweather to head up its expanding aquaculture insurance broking and risk management division.

Recent studies show that wild fish stocks around the world are declining faster than feared – with more than half of fisheries worldwide facing shrinking stocks. As a result the demand for farmed fish is intensifying and the aquaculture industry is now the fastest growing agricultural and food production sector globally. More than half of all seafood consumed today is produced by aquaculture.

In recognition of this expansion and strong demand for better risk management practices, Hughes-Gibb is strengthening the services that it offers clients to include more risk audits and consulting.

Fairweather, who previously underwrote aquaculture risks at RSA Insurance and on behalf of Lloyd’s Syndicates at the Global Aquaculture Insurance Consortium, will lead this expansion, reporting to Chris Williamson, Managing Director of Hughes-Gibb.

“Aquaculture is high risk and the management of these risks is fundamental to the success of any aquaculture operation,” explained Fairweather. “Furthermore, with rapid expansion in production come new challenges for fish farmers, both in terms of competition for space and resources, but also in the culture and husbandry of new species.

“As fish farms become larger and technology develops to enable farms to move further offshore, or to produce fish in higher densities onshore, new risks emerge and more sophisticated risk management is required to deal with these complexities,” continued Fairweather. “And in the wake of recent global disease outbreaks and large mortality events the ability to identify, analyse, report and monitor risks becomes even more vital.”

Williamson added: “Risk transfer is a valuable tool for aquaculture producers – but in some instances insurance can be too expensive and producers will be expected to carry a significant portion of the risk. By having a comprehensive risk management programme in place that clearly identifies, monitors and reports risk, producers will have more control over their operations and be able to make more informed decisions around the purchase of insurance and drive improvements in the pricing of their risks.”

“At Willis we have the ability to provide clients with risk management services ranging from risk audits, management workshops and advice on how to offset risk through insurance products where necessary and appropriate.” concluded Williamson.

Now part of the Willis Global Specialty businesses, Hughes-Gibb was founded in 1959 as the first broker in London exclusively dedicated to bloodstock insurance, and has expanded to become the only truly global bloodstock, livestock, aquaculture and crop/forestry broker.

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global insurance broker. Through its subsidiaries, Willis develops and delivers professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 17,000 employees serving clients in virtually every part of the world. Additional information on Willis may be found at http://www.willis.com.

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Nathan Hambroook-Skinner
Willis: Media Relations
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