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Managing Capital Market Transactions – The View from In-House Counsel

Managing Capital Market Transactions 

by J. Ammon Smartt, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Willis Towers Watson

Over the past several months, the treasury department at Willis Towers Watson has been very busy executing a capital management strategy that resulted from the business combination of two large and well respected financial services firms:  Willis and Towers Watson.  The planning for the new capital structure of the combined companies began over a year ago.  In recent months, the treasury team, together with many other internal and external stakeholders, have achieved some significant milestones.  

In March of this year, we closed a $1bn US bond offering.  In May of this year, we also closed our first ever €540m Eurobond.   Along the way, we affirmed many of the lessons learned from prior deals and further refined our approach to capital market transactions. 

Capital market transactions can be very complex and affect a number of internal and external constituencies—especially in large organisations.  Legal, tax, compliance, treasury, accounting, auditors, secretariat, banks, rating agencies, regulators, stock exchanges, investor relations, directors, and executive management all play a role.  To ensure a successful transaction, we have learned there are a few things you can do to help move things in the right direction at the right time.