As part of a NSW expansion professional services firm Aon has opened a new branch in Wollongong.
Aon has been providing a range of risk, retirement and health solutions across the state for many years including an office in Nowra where it has had a presence for six years.
The firm has 35 offices nationwide and the new Wollongong branch at Corporate Square, 43 Burelli Street, signals and expansion of its offering in south east NSW.
Commercial managing director Kevan Johnston said the addition of Wollongong reinforced Aon's commitment to expand across Australia.
"Building on our existing presence in Nowra, a Wollongong branch provides a strategic position in the heart of the strong southern NSW business corridor from Newcastle, Sydney, through to Canberra".
"One of our stated objectives for 2019 is to develop areas of potential high growth and the investment into this region is a reflection of our belief that this area is a positive, fertile market in which Aon can actively perform".
To lead the regional expansion, Aon has appointed Drew Ferns as regional director for Wollongong, South Coast and the Southern Highlands.
Mr Ferns was born and raised in the Illawarra and has extensive experience in developing insurance strategies to grow local businesses of all sizes.
"Opening a branch here allows Aon to cover a significant network gap that exists today," he said.
"With approximately 13,000 local businesses in Wollongong, the new branch will provide services and solutions to some of the key economic drivers in the area, such as manufacturing, construction, real estate, financial and insurance services and healthcare".
Mr Ferns said the team started working from the Burelli Street office this week.
"We have a team of four in Wollongong," he said.
"We have established that as our initial size. All of them are local, highly experienced and passionate about the region. They are looking forward to moving the business forward. They are already in the new office and ready to go".
Mr Ferns said one of his first events in the new role came after accepting an invitation from Janine Cullen to attend The Illawarra Connection networking dinner in early August. He said he has some experience working in the corporate world in Sydney and had been working for another insurance broking firm in the Illawarra before accepting the opportunity to join Aon.
"I am really passionate about the region and really excited to be working in Wollongong. "It is where I live, it is where I played sport and it is where my family live".
Mr Ferns said an Aon branch gives people a greater choice in the region.
"One of the reasons I joined is we have a highly experienced local team backed by the strength of Aon's offerings and insights. There are able to look at their clientele locally, nationally and internationally to provide really valuable insights, benchmarks and business modelling for local business".
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