Towers Watson buys a stake in Indian employee benefits brokerage firm Metis

American professional services firm Towers Watson has acquired an undisclosed stake in Metis Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd to foray into employee benefits brokerage space in the country, the company said on Wednesday.

It did not disclose the deal value but said that post acquisition Metis Insurance will be known as Towers Watson Insurance Brokers India Pvt Ltd. This means it is acquiring a significant minority or majority stake in the firm.

The venture will continue to be headed by Sudesh Shetty, the founder of Metis Insurance.

“Our clients are increasingly looking for solutions that have both global consistency and local relevance. As businesses grow more global and borders become easier to traverse, individual and fragmented employee benefit plans in each market no longer make financial or long-term strategic sense. This expansion will allow us to provide seamlessly integrated design, execution and management of employee benefit programmes to multinational organisations," said Andrew Heard, MD — Asia Pacific Benefits, Towers Watson.

Founded in 2003, Mumbai-based Metis Insurance is engaged in providing employee benefits to corporates. The firm has an office in Bangalore.

The services provided by Towers Watson Insurance Brokers India will include the design, implementation, financing and on-going management of health, disability and other insured benefits.

“This partnership will focus on what our clients need in India today. For instance, a recent Towers Watson survey showed that, at 11.4 per cent, Indian employers experienced one of the highest medical cost growth rates globally. While soaring general inflation accounts for some of the medical trend rate, it is still alarmingly high, and we are keen to work with clients to devise innovative solutions to help manage these costs," said Sudesh Shetty, CEO, Towers Watson Insurance Brokers India.

“With this partnership, we will capitalise on the synergies between employee benefits brokerage and wider corporate health and wellness consulting. Forward-looking and progressive employers understand that looking at brokerage by itself is not enough — to maximise value, the right employee benefits package should dovetail with an overarching and holistic health strategy," said Vivek Nath, MD, Towers Watson India.

Towers Watson, which is listed both on NYSE and NASDAQ, helps organisations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. With 15,000 associates globally, the firm offers solutions in the areas of employee benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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