Willis Towers Watson builds on Asia push with further key appointments

06 September 2018 Consultancy.asia 6 min. read

Willis Towers Watson has made a further series of executive appointments in the Asia Pacific following a string of recent announcements, with Terence Montgomery to lead M&A for the region, Jeffrey Fan to head up the benefits advisory & technology line of the firm’s regional Health & Benefits practice, and current Head of Asia Scott Burnett to have his role expanded.

Following a long roll-call of senior appointments made by global advisory Willis Towers Watson in the Asia Pacific over the past twelve months, including, recently, Ken Brown, Simon Weaver and Peter Rink to head division roles for the region, the firm has continued its local push with additional pieces of key leadership personnel shuffled into place – with Scott Burnett, Jeffrey Fan and Terence Montgomery promoted to new roles over the past few weeks.

Scott Burnett

In the most recent announcement, Scott Burnett, Willis Towers Watson’s current Head of Asia, will have his role expanded to include Head of Corporate Risk & Broking for Asia with immediate effect. Taking on the Asia lead role at the start of 2016, Burnett has been with firm for over 15 years, joining the New York office in 2003 before eventually taking up a managing director role for Singapore for six and a half years prior to his Head of Asia promotion.

Earlier in his career, Burnett was engaged for a brief stint as a Director Account Manager for Watson Wyatt Worldwide – one branch of the Willis Towers Watson heritage, which would arrive at its current guise through the mergers of Watson Wyatt and Towers Perrin in 2010 and Towers Watson with the Willis Group six years later. Prior to Watson Wyatt, Burnett spent four years in the area of human capital consulting as a Principal with PwC and a Business Psychologist with Kaisen Consulting – a leadership consultancy later bought out by fellow Big Four firm Deloitte.Willis Towers Watson builds on Asia Pacific push with further key appointmentsAccording to the firm, Burnett’s fresh elevation is part of an ongoing strategic growth push for its corporate risk & broking line in Asia – a region which, the firm states, has over the past two years already seen strong growth; particularly in the markets of North Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Altogether, spanning from Pakistan to Japan, Willis Towers Watson has upwards of 40 offices dotted throughout Asia with 7,000 employees covering 15 markets, including Singapore – where Burnett will continue to be based.

Adam Garrard, Willis Towers Watson’s current Head of International and former CEO of Asia for Willis prior to the Towers Watson merger, said of Burnett’s expanded role; “We see tremendous opportunities to increase market penetration and continue our business growth in this region. Scott is an astute strategist who sees the future very clearly and aligns strategies accordingly. I am confident that he will apply these attributes in leading and strengthening the CRB teams in Asia, bringing superior solutions to our clients.”

Burnett said in response; “There are key opportunities for us to accelerate our focus on directly serving clients in Asia with an end-to-end value proposition. Today’s global business environment continues to evolve with ever increasing speed… As trusted risk advisors, it is our role to anticipate and help mitigate risk for our clients… For the next phase, we will continue to deepen our risk analytical and advisory capabilities, and deliver innovative and integrated solutions that will address the risk and people challenges our clients face.”

Jeffrey Fan

In addition to Burnett’s appointment, Willis Towers Watson last week named Shanghai-based Jeffrey Fan as its new Regional Head of Benefits Advisory & Technology Proposition for the firm’s Asia Pacific Health & Benefits business, along with the earlier recruitment of Terence Montgomery to lead the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Transaction Solutions practice for the Asia Pacific from his base in Hong Kong. Both have been tasked with accelerating the firm’s development in Asia with respect to their individual portfolios.

Fan brings 20-plus years of experience with global consulting firms and insurers in North America and Asia, the firm said in a statement, with the past decade spent in China leading the health and benefits business of Mercer Consulting among other engagements. “Having worked in both the North America and Asia regions for an extended period of time and across the health and benefits value chain, Jeffrey has gained deep and unique insights in this dynamic space,” Cedric Luah, the firm’s Asia and Australasia Head of Health and Benefits said. 

Terence Montgomery

Terence Montgomery meanwhile crosses to Willis Towers Watson from a near three-year term as a Director with Risk Capital Advisors (RCA) in Asia, prior to which he spent close to ten years with Norton Rose Group as a Senior Advisor in the field of corporate law, advising clients on M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and equity raising among other areas of expertise – altogether gaining more than 12 years of M&A experience in the region and across industries, including as a lead on large and complex cross-border transactions.

“We are excited to have Terence leading our Asia Pacific M&A Transaction Solutions unit,” said Namit Mahajan, Head of the firm’s Financial & Executive Risks line in Asia, under which the M&A practice falls. “Terence has deep understanding and experience of the Asia Pacific M&A landscape. His addition to our business will further cement our position as a global market leader in the M&A advisory space and our clients will benefit from our superior value proposition integrating both transactional risk solutions and human capital advisory services.”

Recently, Willis Towers Watson was named captive insurance consultant of the year at the inaugural Asia Captive Review Awards.