SOURCE: Acordia, Inc.

April 19, 2005 10:00 ET

New HLA Global Implements Network Changes to Compete With Major Brokers

Expanded Network, New Management Team Welcomes New Members, Capabilities

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2005 -- HLA Global, the world's largest network of independent brokers, announced the restructured board of directors and new management team of HLA Global (Guernsey) Limited today to serve as the focal point of its network. David Zuercher, Executive Vice President and Group Head of International, Correspondent Banking and Insurance Services for Wells Fargo will serve as Chairman, with Paul Welling, Managing Director of Heath Lambert Overseas Limited as Deputy Chairman. This joint venture between Wells Fargo's Acordia, Inc. and the Heath Lambert Group has instituted a number of changes to its structure, operation, and membership to better manage its central decision making, ensure that all members are given a voice, and make the entire operation more independent of its individual members. Most notable is the decision to increase the number of new, independent members abroad and in the U.S.

"Expanding the HLA Global family to include these high quality, independent brokers demonstrates that our network truly is a viable alternative to our competitors' owned operations," said Frank Witthun, Chief Executive of HLA Global. "Combining HLA Global's traditional strengths with the professionalism, local market knowledge, influence and flexibility of members with a financial interest in their own business provides our clients an advantage of more local, uniform service and commitment."

The network will now welcome new partners in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines and Russia. Having originally been established primarily as a retail service network for multinational clients, HLA Global's expansion into wholesale and reinsurance business offers all members direct access to the major insurance markets and the opportunity to deliver a complete range of insurance placement services to their clients. Members also enjoy the support of other members' well established, market-leading specialist brokering teams, and an opportunity to share in the profits of HLA Global.

HLA Global

HLA Global is a partnership network between Acordia, Inc. (a Wells Fargo company), Heath Lambert Group and carefully selected local brokers in all of the world's main markets. Network companies between them have a combined annual revenue of circa US$1.3 billion and over 10,000 employees. HLA Global (Guernsey) Limited, is a joint venture between Acordia, Inc., and Heath Lambert Group.

From over 250 locations in over 80 countries, HLA Global can provide clients with local service and advice in more than 100 territories.

For more information please visit

Acordia and Wells Fargo

Acordia, Inc., headquartered in Chicago, Ill., is the fifth largest insurance brokerage and the largest bank-owned insurance brokerage in the U.S., with over 150 offices in 38 states. Its 4,500 insurance professionals place in excess of $6.5 billion of risk premiums with expertise in property, casualty, benefits, international, personal lines and life products.

Acordia is a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, a diversified financial services company with $428 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,000 stores and the internet ( across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the United States to receive the highest possible credit rating, "Aaa," from Moody's Investors Service.

For more information about Acordia, visit or call 312.423.253

Contact Information

    Ellen Sievert