Global insurance broker, risk management and human resource consulting firm Aon Corp. announced that it will move its corporate headquarters from Delaware to London. The company said the move is as “an important step” in its global growth strategy.
The company is keeping Chicago as its headquarters of the Americas and plans additional investment and job growth there and elsewhere in the U.S. Aon said it 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. That will be in addition to the 6,000 other employees it has in Chicago.
“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 said it plans to add more than 1,000 positions across its U.S. operations in 2012 based on continued growth and investment opportunities. The move will not cause job loss in either Chicago or the U.S., according to the company.
The move to change its jurisdiction of incorporation from Delaware to England will require stockholder approval, and if approved, each stockholder will be entitled to receive one Class A Ordinary Share (U.S. dollar denominated) of the newly formed English public limited company in exchange for each share of common stock of Aon the stockholder holds.
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.
Aon said the change provides greater access to emerging markets and takes better advantage of the strategic proximity to Lloyd’s and the London market as a key international hub of insurance and risk brokerage.
Aon said it believes this move will also mean 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.
“The decisions we make today will help drive our global strategy and strengthen our growth opportunities in the years to come,” said Case. “The continued investment in our international operations and emerging markets is important to the growth of our firm.”
Through its more than 61,000 employees worldwide, Aon does business in more than 120 countries.
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