(Reuters) - Aon Corp (AON.N), the world’s biggest insurance broker, will move its headquarters to London from Chicago to improve its access to fast-growing emerging markets and boost its presence in the British capital’s global insurance centre.
“The continued investment in our international operations and emerging markets is important to the growth of our firm,” Aon Chief Executive Greg Case said in a statement on Friday.
Aon, which competes with Willis WHN.N and Marsh & McLennan (MMC.N) in negotiating insurance and reinsurance policies for corporate clients, said no jobs would be lost in the move, unveiling plans to add 1,000 positions in the United States this year.
Aon’s move could boost London’s status as one of the pre-eminent global hubs for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, alongside Zurich, Bermuda and Singapore.
“This is very good news for the London insurance market and for Lloyd’s,” said John Nelson, chairman of the Lloyd’s of London insurance market.
“It will help reinforce London’s position in the global insurance marketplace.”
Lloyd’s, founded 327 years ago, is at the centre of a cluster of insurers and reinsurers in London, backed by specialist bankers and lawyers, which attracts business from across the globe.
Aon’s move still requires shareholder approval. Chicago will continue to be Aon’s base in the United States, the company said.
Shares of Aon, sponsor of English Premier League football club Manchester United, were down 1.6 percent at $45.9 by 1640 GMT.
Reporting by Satyanarayan Iyer in Bangalore and Myles Neligan in London; Editing by Maju Samuel and Will Waterman