Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Creating ‘high value’ jobs in Ipswich is my ‘greatest achievement’ says outgoing WTW managing director Mark Parker

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 December 2017

Mark Parker, managing director of Willis Towers Watson. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mark Parker, managing director of Willis Towers Watson. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The outgoing managing director of one of Ipswich’s biggest employers has talked about his pride in overseeing the creation of 300 ‘high value’ jobs in the town during his tenure - at a time when work was also being shipped out to offshore centres in India and the Philippines.

Mark Parker, who heads up Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in Ipswich, is due to retire at the end of 2017 after 34 years with the global insurance brokerage firm.

During his time with the company Mark lived in India for five years after he was appointed chief executive officer of WTW’s Mumbai service centre in 2006.

Upon his return to the UK in March 2011, he became managing director of the Ipswich operation, then known as Willis Ipswich, and was given strategic responsibility for growing the group’s existing service centres in Ipswich, Nashville and Mumbai, which had opened in 1992. He was also charged with opening new centres in Dalian in China, Tampa in Florida and Manila in the Philippines.

Mr Parker said: “When we started in India all hell broke lose - everyone thought it would be the death of Ipswich. And actually, here we are 25 years latter in better shape than ever.”

He said his “greatest achievement” at WTW has been to grow the business’s centres abroad - Mumbai’s workforce has swelled by over 2,000 in six years to 3,500 people, and more than 1,000 workers are employed in Manila - while also expanding the operation in Ipswich, where since 2011 some 300 new roles have been created, increasing the number of employees at the Friars Street offices to 1,400.

Mr Parker continued: “When people read we are moving 200 roles to India, they assume that we are losing jobs in Ipswich but where we can, we have redeployed people in new positions. And the roles that have come here have been more client-facing, higher value and more interesting.”

“We couldn’t afford not to offshore - we would have gone out of business - but we managed it in a way that hasn’t impacted on clients, and locally we have made sure there are lots of opportunities for bright people in roles like IT, accountancy, finance and HR, as well as core insurance.”

Mark Parker will be replaced by WTW’s current accounting and settlements director, Richard Brame, who is due to take up the new role in March.

The countdown to an international cycling spectacular sweeping through the heart of Suffolk in June has stepped up a gear – as a high-profile dignitary swapped her civic chain for a bicycle one.

An Ipswich man allegedly confessed to a friend that he had stabbed father-of-five Dean Stansby but hadn’t meant to kill him, a court has heard.

Schools in Ipswich are among the most under-funded in Suffolk according to new figures obtained by a union-sponsored website.

In 2012 the Woodbridge teenager had just become an internet sensation.

A black tie charity ball is taking place to collect cash for an Ipswich-based baby bereavement support group.

Rail conductor/guards working on Greater Anglia trains have called a second one-day strike in early May – but the company insists passengers will not be affected.

The harshest winter for years is set to cost Suffolk County Council millions of pounds according to a report by officials.

Politicians from across the political spectrum have joined together to recognise the achievements of Aldeburgh born suffragist Dame Millicent Fawcett as a new statue was unveiled in her memory.

If you are desperate for a three-day weekend you will be happy to hear that you don’t have long to wait.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has given his first-ever interview on camera - and revealed that he plans to appoint a new Blues boss ‘towards the end of May or early in June,’ plus admitted that raising season ticket prices last year was a mistake.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24