9 February 2023Insurance

WTW recouped post-Aon broker losses, shifts to ‘opportunistic’ hiring

Global insurance broker  WTW can shift into more opportunistic hiring to patch up more specifically targeted growth needs after a year of wholesale onboarding in 2022 designed to recoup talent lost when a major merger plan fell through, a top official has claimed.

“We are continuing to hire opportunistically,” CEO Carl Hess told his company’s Q4 earnings call. Hiring will become more “varying, based on our needs,” Hess said.

“The word ‘opportunistically’ is key: coming into 2022 we had had more pronounced needs all across the organisation.” WTW moved to major hiring after losing production teams after its planned merger with rival Aon ran into regulator resistance.

WTW hired over 9700 in 2022 to finish the year with over 46.6k, Hess said. That puts WTW back at headcount levels from about 2019, despite interim divestitures, he noted.

The impact on top line volumes can be found under the surface of the 2022 P&L, but will become considerably more visible as 2023 progresses.

“Our efforts resulted in revenue growth in 2022 and we expect this to continue to 2023,” Hess said in support of his company’s vow for mid-single digit organic revenue growth in 2023 to follow 5% in 2022. “We continue to build momentum; recent hires are becoming more productive.”

WTW claims a 12 to 18-month ramp up period in which new hires hit full speed, although the impact on volumes and revenues might vary based on how the tenure matches up with the timing of insurance renewals, Hess said.

“Someone we brought on as great front office talent in 2022 will be hitting their stride in 2023 and beyond,” he said. “We've already seen positive trend as we've gone through 2022.”

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