Willis Group Holdings has announced the opening of a captive office in New York City to serve those companies seeking alternatives to the traditional insurance market. Thomas Stokes, previously of PricewaterhouseCoopers, will lead the new venture. He brings demonstrated expertise in developing captive insurance opportunities that have delivered risk management solutions to a broad array of clients.

Mr Stokes will be responsible for bringing clients, service providers and insurance regulators together to create effective and cost efficient alternative risk programs for leading corporations.

Commenting on the appointment, Joe Plumeri, Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings, said: "Tom Stokes joining Willis is yet another indication of our leadership. In this challenging insurance marketplace, clients need a broker who can deliver the best solution for their unique business needs. Sometimes those solutions encompass alternatives to the traditional insurance markets and we are proud to expand our already-strong captive capabilities to New York."

Mr Plumeri added: "Separately, that an industry professional like Tom would join Willis speaks volumes to the organization we are building. We continue to attract the top talent from all sectors of the insurance industry as we build the best global insurance broker."

Guy Ragosta, Practice Leader of Willis North America's Captive Practice, said, "Tom's coming to Willis is a tremendous addition to our team. He is a recognised and respected industry leader who consistently acts in the best interests of his clients. We are pleased to call him a colleague and look forward to his contribution."

Mr Stokes has over twenty years insurance industry and corporate tax experience having served KPMG Peat Marwick and The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company among other companies in various insurance and tax-related positions.