DEO Press Releases

Governor Scott Announces Willis Group Holdings to Create 157 New Jobs in Tampa

Dec 17, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Willis Group Holdings PLC, a global risk advisory and insurance brokerage firm, has chosen Tampa as the site of its new Operational Center of Excellence in North America. The new center will create 157 new jobs for Tampa families and serve as a southeast regional hub for Willis. The project will also invest more than $9 million in the local community. 


Governor Scott said, “We are excited to announce the creation of 157 jobs for families in Tampa. Willis could have chosen any location for their new Operational Center of Excellence, but they knew that Florida was the best place to grow their business and create new jobs. In order to keep creating these new opportunities, we will stay focused on making sure we diversify Florida’s economy by cutting $1 billion in taxes and creating the Florida Enterprise Fund next year.”


As part of its North America business, Willis currently operates eight retail insurance brokerage offices in the State of Florida, including its existing Tampa retail office. The Operational Center of Excellence will feature teams of insurance professionals providing dedicated support to Willis’s property/casualty business across North America. Additionally, the state-of-the-art facility offers employees a modern work space to innovate and collaborate. Willis’s estimated $9.05 million capital investment will include renovation costs for their office space as well as furniture, fixtures, and computer/IT equipment.


“We are thrilled to establish Willis’s Operational Center of Excellence in Tampa and work together with the State of Florida to drive business development in the professional services industry. After an extensive search, Tampa was carefully selected to provide geographical diversity for our operations. It’s also home to a large insurance community from which to draw talent,” said Jeff Elliott, Director of Operations, Willis North America.  “As global risk advisors, we are committed to helping organizations protect their people, property and business assets. We look forward to building on our world class customer service capabilities through our expansion in Tampa,” he added.


Bill Johnson, CEO and President of Enterprise Florida, said, “Companies like Willis Group expanding in Tampa is a continued sign of Tampa’s success as a financial services hub. By investing in Florida and creating over 150 new jobs, Willis recognizes how great Florida is for business. I look forward to seeing great things from them in the future.”


Florida is home to 129,500+ financial and professional services firms and their 897,500 employees. Nearly one in four business and information services firms in Florida have a presence in Tampa Bay, including some of the nation’s leading corporations in banking, finance, and insurance.


Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Tampa continues to attract new businesses, and that means good jobs for families across the region. This is what happens when you have pro-growth state policies and excellent leadership on economic development at the local level.”


The project was made possible through strong partnerships between Enterprise Florida, the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. 


“With the establishment of Willis’s Operational Center of Excellence, Hillsborough County is strengthening its position as the preferred location in the Southeast for the world’s leading financial and professional services firms,” said the Hon. Lesley “Les” Miller, Jr., Chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. “We are thankful for their investment in our community and look forward to supporting their growth and success.”


“Tampa has earned an international reputation for the excellence of its financial and professional services workforce, a factor that no doubt helped to convince Willis to site its Operational Center of Excellence here,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa. “We deeply appreciate their selection of Tampa over other Southeastern locations that fought hard to win their business and welcome them to our great city.”


Willis joins a growing roster of multinational companies that have recently established major North American and regional operations in Tampa and Hillsborough County, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Ashley Furniture Industries.


“Willis’s choice to expand its presence in Tampa echoes the experiences of other global financial and professional service organizations such as Citi and DTCC,” said Colleen Chappell, Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation and president and CEO of ChappellRoberts. “Once they discover the strengths of the local workforce and location, it makes sense for them to grow in this market. We couldn’t be more pleased to see Willis planting deeper roots in Hillsborough County.”


Interested candidates are encouraged to visit for more information about available positions.



Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisory, re/insurance broking, and human capital and benefits firm. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world’s leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website,, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.



Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is a partnership between Florida’s businesses and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida. EFI facilitates job growth for Florida businesses through recruitment and retention, international trade and exporting, promotion of sporting events, and capital funding programs to assist small and minority businesses.


The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.  Established in 2009 as a partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment within targeted industry sectors, including Corporate Headquarters, Financial and Shared Services, Life Sciences, Defense and Security, and Manufacturing.


The EDC exists because of the generous support of more than 100 corporations, Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.


Hillsborough County, Florida is the commercial and industrial heart of Tampa Bay. The fourth largest county in the state of Florida, Hillsborough is home to nearly 1.3 million residents, with thousands more arriving each year. Its strength is drawn from being one of the most advanced economies and having one of the most educated workforces in the state. Hillsborough County and its three municipalities –Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace – offer a competitive business environment and an abundance of regional assets including Port Tampa Bay, Tampa International Airport, and MacDill Air Force Base. County government is focused on creating economic prosperity for residents and businesses throughout the area. To learn more, visit



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