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  1. Business

Global insurance firm Willis Group to bring at least 157 jobs to Tampa

TAMPA — Joined by Gov. Rick Scott, executives from the Willis Group, a global risk advisory firm and insurance broker, said Thursday they've picked Tampa as home for the company's new North American operations center, creating at least 157 jobs here.

Willis also is spending $9 million on its newly renovated office at 3407 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Scott said.

The company will receive $785,000 in state and local incentives, and the new jobs will pay at least $54,006 on average, according to its agreement with the state Department of Economic Opportunity.

"I'm sure they're going to bring a lot of people here to see what's going on," Scott said.

Willis considered more than 350 locations for its operations center but chose Tampa because it believes it can find employees with insurance experience here, said Jeff Elliott, director of operations in North America.

Elliott said workers in the new center will give behind-the-scenes help to its retail offices by putting together coverage packages for commercial clients, among other tasks. Willis Group of London has 18,000 employees and more than 400 offices globally, including eight in Florida.

"Don't think of us as a call center," Elliott said. "The people who sit in these cubes are insurance professionals."

Interested applicants can search for openings at

Contact Thad Moore at Follow @thadmoore.