Aon moves corporate headquarters to UK

Chicago remains headquarters for the Americas

Aon Corporation plans to move its corporate headquarters to London, UK.  The move provides greater access to emerging markets and takes better advantage of the strategic proximity to Lloyd’s and the London market as one of the key international hubs of insurance and risk brokerage.

Responding to the news that Aon will move its corporate headquarters to London, Chairman of Lloyd’s John Nelson said, “This is very good news for the London insurance market and for Lloyd’s. It will help reinforce London’s position in the global insurance marketplace.”

Aon’s focus on identifying global opportunities in emerging markets will strengthen its ability to drive future growth, build innovative products, develop talent and deliver shareholder value, stated a press release. The firm believes this move will also have several near- and long-term financial benefits, including increased financial flexibility and improved capital allocation. As the proportion of Aon’s revenue from international operations continues to grow, the ability to allocate capital for investment and growth will be vital to the firm’s continued success.

Transaction summary

As part of its global growth strategy, Aon will change its jurisdiction of incorporation from Delaware to England. The change in corporate domicile will occur through a transaction that will require stockholder approval, and if approved, each stockholder will be entitled to receive one Class A Ordinary Share (US dollar denominated) of the newly formed English public limited company in exchange for each share of common stock of Aon the stockholder holds (the “Transaction”). Aon UK expects to be listed on the NYSE and to report earnings and other financial statements in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, including dollar denominated financial statements. The Transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2012.

Chicago headquarters for the Americas

Chicago will continue as headquarters of the Americas for Aon and will benefit from significant investment and local job growth.

Building on its base of 6,000 employees in Chicago, Aon will be moving 750 jobs into the Aon Center in downtown Chicago where the company recently signed a letter-of-intent for a 15-year lease.

“Chicago is the foundation of one of our most important markets, and as the headquarters of the Americas will continue to be central to the success of the firm,” said CEO Greg Case.

Aon plans to add more than 1,000 positions across its US operations in 2012 based on continued growth and investment opportunities. The move will not cause job loss in either Chicago or the US.

Case added, “The decisions we make today will help drive our global strategy and strengthen our growth opportunities in the years to come. The continued investment in our international operations and emerging markets is important to the growth of our firm.”

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