Our world is more volatile – economically, demographically, and geopolitically – than ever before. We are also more interdependent. This dynamic creates unique opportunity and incredible uncertainty and risk – risk that is increasingly connected, and more severe.

Greg Case, CEO of Aon, on the heels of the recently overwhelming shareholder vote of approval, discusses how the combination of Aon with Willis Towers Watson is a once-in-a-generation combination that establishes the combined Aon as the firm to help clients navigate today’s challenges and together tackle some of the greatest issues facing society.

Read more about this combination in “Helping Clients Navigate an Increasingly Complex World.”

Q: Aon and Willis Towers Watson are joining to address unprecedented client needs, one of which is navigating new forms of volatility. How will the combination help clients take on the increasing complexity of today?

We live in an interconnected world, driven by technology and challenged by both traditional and emerging forms of risks like climate change, pandemic, cyber threats, and the growing health and wealth gap. This increased volatility challenges all aspects of our global economy and society. That is why it is an imperative to expand traditional risk management to address classes of risks – long-tail in nature – that are increasingly relevant but lack comprehensive solutions that address risk mitigation, incident response, and compensation for loss. The combined organization will help companies prevent, respond to and recover from risks in a way that has previously been unmanageable. As a result, we will help companies create and protect value in the face of increasing complexity.

Q: Clients also need ways to build a resilient workforce. How will the combined firm guide companies in this critical path?

The last decade has seen a fundamental shift in where, how and when work gets done. Automation, artificial intelligence, and the expansion of alternative work arrangements are trends, indeed shifts, challenging companies to rethink their talent strategies. More recently, the pandemic has accelerated new strategies for where work gets done – whether onsite, remotely, or a combination of the two. Going forward, the overarching need will be to find an optimal balance of technology driven and human interaction, as well as the right mix of talent – full-time, part-time, contractors or others. And to attract and retain the best talent, companies will need to offer greater flexibility to provide solutions for workers where they are, on their terms. The combination of our two firms will provide better options for employers and workers so that they can build more resilient workforces by addressing the considerable gap between traditional workplace benefits and rewards and the evolving nature of work while also enabling them to hire, retain and reward employees with solutions that enable them to grow and develop and support their overall wellbeing.

Q: Rethinking access to capital will be essential for clients now and in the future. How will the combined firm help clients with better options?

In the face of increasing risk and complexity, organizations need more creative and effective ways to access capital. While accessing capital has always been critical for organizations, and the health of economies, ongoing changes and market forces are expanding the very definition of capital to go beyond the traditional focus on hard assets and to now include a focus on the value of intangible assets like intellectual property. These non-traditional forms of capital are increasingly critical to economic growth and organizational performance. We will use best-in-class analytics, combined with a deeper data set to build trackers for specific classes of risk, establishing special purpose financial vehicles and improving the value chain for sourcing capital by using leader and follower capacity that industrialize and scale the solution.

Q: Perhaps more important than ever before, addressing the underserved is an urgent imperative. How will the combined firm help clients engage in this critical work?

While our world is more interconnected and interdependent, there are also too many parts of our global society – including industries, economies, communities and individuals – that are underserved or not served at all because of current market dynamics. Whether it is dealing with complexity and vulnerability, accessing capital or navigating an ever-changing workforce, too many entities cannot access solutions because service providers are still tailoring offerings to an obsolete notion of how the world operates. Our combined firm will create more affordable and scalable products that will improve delivery models for a new set of recipients, so we can ultimately broaden access and narrow this underserved gap.

These are just some of the examples that make us excited about this combination. Our complementary capabilities, along with our commitment to continue to invest in empowering our people, will create a firm poised to take on the challenges of this complex world so that we can provide superior outcomes for our clients.

Greg Case, CEO of Aon