Insurance broker Willis Group and professional services firm Towers Watson announced an $18 billion, all-stock, merger agreement today. 

The companies came together because their services are complementary, executives for both firms said in a statement. Towers Watson sees an opportunity to increase distribution of its technology services, including analytics and private health insurance exchanges, to Willis broking customers, who tend to be in the middle market. At the same time, Willis expects to get a lift from Towers Watson's relationships in the U.S. P&C insurance market.

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