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Willis Towers Watson Plc (WLTW): No, ValueAct’s Position Isn’t A New Activist Stake

ValueAct Capital filed a brand new 13D regarding Willis Towers Watson Plc (WLTW) shares this week. This isn’t a brand new activist position though. ValueAct has been holding shares of both Willis Group and Towers Watson before their merger. Now that the merger is completed it filed a brand new 13D to update its position in the new company. According to the filing ValueAct held 8.1 million shares of Willis Towers Watson Plc valued at $962 million at the end of March. By the way, ValueAct had $895 million invested in Willis Group and $93 million invested in Towers Watson at the end of December.

Willis Towers Watson Plc will probably earn close to $8 this year, giving it a price earnings ratio of 14. The stock is trading at a material discount to its peer Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) which has a P/E of 18. If WLTW is able to generate synergies from this merger, it should be a good investment over the next 3-4 years. We believe this is a core, long-term position for ValueAct.

ValueAct’s reputation recently took a hit because of its long-term involvement in Valeant as well as the merger deal between Halliburton and Baker Hughes. However, ValueAct has one of the best long-term track records as an activist investor and its investments are generally long-term in nature. That’s why we believe Willis Towers Watson has the potential to beat the market by a large margin over the next 3 years.

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Ownership Summary Table

Name Sole Voting Power Shared Voting Power Sole Dispositive Power Shared Dispositive Power Aggregate Amount Owned Power Percent of Class
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%
S.S. OR 0 0 8,108,015 8,108,015 5.9%

Page 1 of 13 – SEC Filing

Washington, D.C. 20549
Under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934

Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company
(Name of Issuer)

Common Stock
(Title of Class of Securities)

(CUSIP Number)

Allison Bennington, Esq.
ValueAct Capital
One Letterman Drive, Building D, Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 362-3700
(Name, address and telephone number of Person
Authorized to Receive Notices and Communications)

March 31, 2016
(Date of Event which Requires Filing of this Statement)

If the filing person has previously filed a statement on Schedule 13G to report
the acquisition that is the subject of this Schedule 13D, and is filing this
schedule because of 240.13d-1(e), 240.13d-1(f) or 240.13d-1(g), check the
following box [ ].

Note: Schedules filed in paper format shall include a signed original and five
copies of the schedule, including all exhibits. See Rule 240.13d-7 for other
parties to whom copies are to be sent.

*The remainder of this cover page shall be filled out for a reporting person’s
initial filing on this form with respect to the subject class of securities,
and for any subsequent amendment containing information which would alter
disclosures provided in a prior cover page.

This information required on the remainder of this cover page shall not be
deemed to be “filed” for the purpose of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 (“Act”) or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section of
the Act but shall be subject to all other provisions of the Act (however, see
the Notes).

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