Willis Towers Watson has moved its ILS unit, which was previously sat in the same division as its primary insurance broking business, to be part of its reinsurance arm Willis Re.

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The transfer reflects the growing influence of ILS in the (re)insurance market, the broking house said.

William Dubinsky will continue to lead the ILS team, but will now report to Willis Re deputy chairman Mark Hvidsten.

In the broker’s latest report on the ILS market, Willis said the first quarter of 2018 saw $3.1.bn of non-life ILS capacity issued through twelve catastrophe bonds – making it the largest ever first-quarter issuance in the non-life ILS market, and the third-highest quarter ever.

Willis estimated that the non-life ILS market was worth around $88bn at the end of 2017, slightly below rival Aon’s estimate of $89bn.

James Kent, global CEO of Willis Re said the movement of the ILS business into Willis Re reflects ongoing efforts by the firm to bolster its ILS offering to clients.

“Willis Re’s standing in the ILS market will continue to strengthen as we bring these businesses together in a more effective way,” Kent said.

Rafal Walkiewicz, CEO at Willis Towers Watson Securities said that the restructure mirrors changes in the (re)insurance market, with capital markets becoming an integral part of the industry risk transfer mechanism.

“Our clients no longer decide between traditional reinsurance and third party capital, but expect an integrated solution that serves their long term needs,” Walkiewicz said.

“Capital markets professionals working hand in hand with reinsurance brokers are best positioned to offer strategic advice and continue to develop cutting edge products for our clients.”