Aon has high hopes for local operation

By SHARON WROBEL
May 17, 2007 07:17

Aon Corporation, a leading provider of risk management and insurance services, is officially entering the Israeli marketplace with this month's launch of Aon Israel Insurance Brokerage Ltd.

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Aon Corporation, a leading provider of risk management and insurance services, is officially entering the Israeli marketplace with this month's launch of Aon Israel Insurance Brokerage Ltd. "We see a lot of potential to offer our global capability and reach of placing insurance to local clients and on the other hand to offer our services to multi-national companies, who are investing in Israel," Gregory C. Case, president and chief executive officer of Aon, told The Jerusalem Post during his first visit to Israel to launch Aon Israel Insurance this month. "Israel has become very important to the global economy and we cannot miss out on being here, so it is just a natural investment we are making." Aminim Insurance Brokers Ltd. first initiated a business relationship with Aon in 1994, and that relationship gradually evolved until Aon joined Aminim as a strategic partner in 2003 and the company's name was changed to Aon Aminim. Last August in the middle of the Second Lebanon War, Aon Aminim bought Fredy and Ilan Beck Insurance Brokerage Ltd., a leading insurance broker situated in Haifa and the two have merged to become Aon Israel Insurance. "Most companies in Israel are stretching their legs outside of the country and need the global capability which we can provide via Aon Corporation with its networks around the world operating in 120 countries," said Ilan Beck, CEO and Chairman of Aon Israel Insurance Brokerage. "We place about a third of our services onto the international insurance market in the US and London." The merged company operates from two centers, the main office, in Tel Aviv and the office in Haifa, which have a total of about 90 employees, whose various specializations and different professional knowledge provide expert services in the widest range of economic and business fields to 120 companies including Partner, Cellcom, the Israel Electric Company, El Al, Arison Holdings, Azorim Investment & Development and Fischer Pharmaceuticals, among others. The brokerage is a Lloyds insurance cover holder in both marine cargo and property insurance. "The businesses are highly compatible and the resources and intellectual capital fit into our global network," said Case. "We have high expectations of business in Israel and expect to grow fast and expand servicing of mega-corporates and increase our share in this segment." Case did not disclose the financial details of Aon's transactions in Israel but indicated that last year the insurance brokerage invested $180 million on various acquisitions, while over half of Aon's revenues were generated outside the US. Following the Bachar reforms, Beck noted, the pension market in Israel is increasing. "The expected introduction of compulsory pension schemes next year will be a big opportunity," he said. During Case's visit, he met with Yadin Antebi, Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Commissioner; Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu; Izzy Cohen, CEO of Migdal Insurance; and Avigdor Kaplan, CEO of Clal Insurance.


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