Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ex-boss buys stake in insurance broker
Britain’s most powerful activist investor has secretly built a stake in one of the country’s largest insurance brokers after it was forced to forgo a $30 billion sale to a rival.
City sources said The Children’s Investment Fund, controlled by multi-millionaire hedge fund boss Sir Chris Hohn, quietly raised shares in Lloyd’s of London brokerage Willis Towers Watson, which is listed in the US but headquartered in Britain.
Those were the days: London-based TCI once had Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. employed
London-based TCI, which once employed Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak, made the move after Willis pulled the plug on a sale to rival Aon in late July following US authorities’ opposition to the mega-merger. It is not yet clear why Hohn’s company bought the stake.
According to trade publication The Insurance Insider, TCI contacted Willis management last week to express its view on the strategy.
Typically, TCI buys large stakes and holds the investment for a long period of time. Occasionally, Hohn launches a public campaign if his company’s concerns are not met. In 2007, TCI urged ABN Amro to consider a split, ultimately leading to the bidding war between Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland for the Dutch lender.
Sir Chris also got into an argument with the German stock exchange Deutsche Borse over the proposed takeover of the London Stock Exchange.
A Willis spokesperson declined to comment. TCI did not call back.