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Willis Re, a part of  Willis Group (WSH - Analyst Report), has formed Life Solutions Group to offer advice on risk mitigation and financial leverage. Rick Hodgdon, Mike Kaster and Brian Holland will lead the new entity.

Primarily, The Willis Re Life Solutions Group will provide capital management, structuring and advisory, and program enhancement solutions for the Life insurance and Annuity marketplace in North America.

To cater to the rising needs to augment capital efficiency in the Life and Annuity marketplace Willis Re formed Life Solutions Group and with its expert knowledge, it will help its client to enhance their capital efficiency.

Willis reported its first-quarter 2011 adjusted net income from continuing operations of $1.28 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents. The beat may likely be attributable to higher commissions and fees.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter 2011 is 58 cents per share. For full years 2011 and 2012, the Zacks Consensus Estimates are, respectively, $2.86 per share and $3.35 per share.

With Willis recording new business growth along with high client retention and expanding operating margins by virtue of cost reduction, we expect the company to post solid results.

We maintain a Neutral recommendation on Willis over the long term. The quantitative Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) for the company indicates no clear directional pressure on the stock over the near term.

Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, Willis Group Holdings plc and its subsidiaries provide a broad range of insurance brokerage, reinsurance and risk management consulting services to its worldwide clients, both directly and through its associates. Its major competitors are Arthur J Gallagher & Co. (AJG - Snapshot Report), Aon Corporation (AON - Analyst Report) and Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC - Analyst Report).

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