PANAMA CITY, Panama, July 24, 2008 – Laying the groundwork for the next phase of the Panama Canal’s expansion, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) awarded the contract for insurance advisory services to Willis Limited today. The firm will now assist the ACP in obtaining construction risk policy and general liability insurance coverage for three contracts under the Expansion Program.

“Willis Limited, with keen expertise and years of solid industry experience, will help the ACP secure the best insurance plan for the remaining projects. We certainly appreciate the interest received from the competing firms and look forward to beginning our new partnership with Willis,” said ACP Contracts Administration Manager for Engineering and Program Management Francisco Miguez.

The well-established ACP bidding system for contracts follows a rigorous and strict transparency process within an open and fair competition. In a public ceremony last week, the ACP received bids from five internationally renowned insurance brokerage firms vying to provide insurance consulting services for the new locks and the fourth and fifth dry excavation projects of the new Pacific locks access channel. This channel will link the new third set of locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal).

After careful review and thorough evaluation of the submissions, the ACP selected the firm with the lowest bid amount that met all of the project’s criteria as described in the request for proposal released June 16. The contract will be renewable on an annual basis for the duration of the Expansion Program with services to begin January 1, 2009.

The chart below shows the companies that submitted bids and their corresponding bid price.

1.   Jardine Lloyd Thompson Ltd. (England) $1,860,000
2.   Arthur Gallagher & Co. (United States) $3,660,000
3.   Willis Limited (England) $695,000
4.   Marsh USA Inc. (United States) $825,585
5.   AON Global (Mexico) $1,167,250

Note: All prices listed in U.S. dollars.

Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, which will double capacity and allow more traffic and longer, wider ships.


About Willis Limited
Willis is recognized as a leading global insurance broker, handling risk management and reinsurance across a wide range of service areas and industries. With nearly 16,000 associates positioned in 300 offices across 100 countries, Willis leaders bring an extensive array of experience in financial planning, global business strategy and senior corporate management. Specific industry experience includes: banking and finance, global markets, international business, healthcare, human resources and law.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s Web site: