Chicago - Global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd., London, has acquired Chicago-based InsuranceNoodle, an Internet distributor of small business insurance.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. InsuranceNoodle offers Willis a proprietary Web-based technology platform for online application and quoting from multiple carriers for a variety of commercial insurance products.

InsuranceNoddle's technology will provide a foundation for Willis Small Commercial to pursue the small business insurance market, according to the firms.

Willis is also getting an electronically linked managing general agency, Noodle Specialty Brokers, which is also designed for the small business market.

InsuranceNoodle says it currently works with more than 2,500 active agencies across the country.

Joe Plumeri, Willis chairman and CEO, said InsuranceNoodle, with its technology and relationships with insurance carriers and agents across the country, offers "a greatly improved, lower-cost way to reach and service this key market in the "

"We are very excited about this acquisition. Small business is a big business growth opportunity for Willis," Plumeri said.

Don Urbanciz, InsuranceNoodle holding company CEO, will become North American CEO for Willils Small Commercial. Urbanciz said he sees the alignment with the large broker leading to more product and service offerings and deepened access to carriers.

"We in turn provide an innovative technology that offers a distinct market advantage. InsuranceNoodle gives independent agents a service edge by streamlining the placement of commercial business in an insurance agent's office and providing elevated levels of choice and speed to their clients," Urbanciz said.

Kathryn Emmerson will remain CEO of InsuranceNoodle, which will continue to operate under its brand name as a division of Willis Small Commercial.

Andrea Paris, who prior to the transaction was promoted to lead the centralization of Willis' small commercial business, continues in that role and will assist the InsuranceNoodle management team in integrating its business model into the company.

Source: Willis

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