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TW > SEC Filings for TW > Form 10-Q on 8-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for TOWERS WATSON & CO.

Form 10-Q for TOWERS WATSON & CO.


Quarterly Report


Executive Overview


We are a global consulting firm focusing on providing human capital and financial consulting services.

At Towers Watson, we bring together professionals from around the world - experts in their areas of specialty - to deliver the perspectives that give organizations a clear path forward. We do this by working with clients to develop solutions in the areas of benefits, risk and capital management, and talent and rewards.

We help our clients enhance business performance by improving their ability to attract, retain and motivate qualified employees. We focus on delivering consulting services that help organizations anticipate, identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities in human capital management. We also provide independent financial advice regarding all aspects of life insurance and general insurance, as well as investment advice to help our clients develop disciplined and efficient strategies to meet their investment goals. We operate the largest private Medicare exchange in the United States. Through this exchange, we help our clients to move to a more sustainable economic model by capping and controlling the costs associated with retiree healthcare benefits.

As leading economies worldwide become more service-oriented, human resources and financial management have become increasingly important to companies and other organizations. The heightened competition for skilled employees, unprecedented changes in workforce demographics, regulatory changes related to compensation and retiree benefits, and rising employee-related costs have increased the importance of effective human capital management. Insurance and investment decisions have become increasingly complex and important in the face of changing economies and dynamic financial markets. Towers Watson helps its clients address these issues by combining expertise in human capital and financial management with consulting and technology solutions, to improve the design and implementation of various human resources and financial programs, including compensation, retirement, health care, and insurance and investment plans.

The human resources consulting industry, although highly fragmented, is highly competitive. It is composed of major human capital consulting firms, specialty firms, consulting arms of accounting firms and information technology consulting firms.

In the short term, our revenue is driven by many factors, including the general state of the global economy and the resulting level of discretionary spending, the continuing regulatory compliance requirements of its clients, changes in investment markets, the ability of our consultants to attract new clients or provide additional services to existing clients, the impact of new regulations in the legal and accounting fields and the impact of our ongoing cost saving initiatives. In the long term, we expect that our financial results will depend in large part upon how well we succeed in deepening our existing client relationships through thought leadership and a focus on developing cross-practice solutions, actively pursuing new clients in our target markets, cross selling and making strategic acquisitions. We believe that the highly fragmented industry in which we operate offers us growth opportunities, because we provide a unique business combination of benefits and human capital consulting, as well as risk and capital management and strategic technology solutions.

Overview of Towers Watson

Towers Watson is a global professional services firm focusing on providing human capital and financial consulting services. Towers Watson provides services in four principal areas: Benefits, Risk and Financial Services, Talent and Rewards, and Exchange Solutions operating from 113 cities in 37 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Towers Watson employed approximately 15,500 and 14,500 full-time associates as of September 30, 2012 and June 30, 2012, respectively, in the following segments:

                                                         September 30,      June 30,
                                                             2012             2012
Benefits                                                          6,700         6,600
Risk and Financial Services                                       2,600         2,500
Talent and Rewards                                                2,400         2,400
Exchange Solutions (a)                                            1,400           600
Other                                                               300           300
Business Services (incl. Corporate and field support)             2,100         2,100

Total associates                                                 15,500        14,500

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(a) The Exchange Solutions segment headcount includes seasonal benefits advisors to supplement our full-time benefit advisors.


We provide services in four business segments: Benefits, Risk and Financial Services, Talent and Rewards, and Exchange Solutions.

Benefits Segment. The Benefits segment is our largest and most established segment. This segment has grown through business combinations as well as strong organic growth. It helps clients create and manage cost-effective benefits programs that help them attract, retain and motivate a talented workforce.

The Benefits segment provides benefits consulting and administration services through four primary lines of business:


Health and Group Benefits;

Technology and Administration Solutions; and

International Consulting.

Retirement supports organizations worldwide in designing, managing, administering and communicating all types of retirement plans. Health and Group Benefits provides advice on the strategy, design, financing, delivery, ongoing plan management and communication of health and group benefit programs. Through our Technology and Administration Solutions line of business, we deliver cost-effective benefit outsourcing solutions. The International Consulting Group provides expertise in dealing with international human capital management and related benefits and compensation advice for corporate headquarters and their subsidiaries. A significant portion of the revenue in this segment is from recurring work, driven in large part by the heavily regulated nature of employee benefits plans and our clients' annual needs for these services. For the three months ended September 30, 2012, the Benefits segment contributed 57% of our segment revenue. For the same period, approximately 38% of the Benefits segment's revenue originated from outside the United States and is thus subject to translation exposure resulting from foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

Risk and Financial Services Segment. Within the Risk and Financial Services segment, our second largest segment, we have three primary lines of business:

Risk Consulting and Software ("RCS");

Investment Consulting and Solutions ("Investment"); and

Reinsurance and Insurance Brokerage ("Brokerage").

The Risk and Financial Services segment accounted for 24% of our segment revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Approximately 67% of the segment's revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2012 originated from outside the United States and is thus subject to translation exposure resulting from foreign exchange rate fluctuations. The segment has a strong base of recurring revenue, driven by long-term client relationships in reinsurance brokerage services, retainer investment consulting relationships, consulting services on financial reporting, and actuarial opinions on property/casualty loss reserves. Some of these relationships have been in place for more than 20 years. A portion of the revenue is related to project work, which is more heavily dependent on the overall level of discretionary spending by clients. This work is favorably influenced by strong client relationships, particularly related to mergers and acquisitions consulting. Major revenue growth drivers include changes in regulations, the level of mergers and acquisitions activity in the insurance industry, growth in pension and other asset pools, and reinsurance retention and pricing trends.

Talent and Rewards Segment. Our third largest segment, Talent and Rewards, is focused on three primary lines of business:

Executive Compensation;

Rewards, Talent and Communication; and

Data, Surveys and Technology.

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The Talent and Rewards segment accounted for approximately 17% of our segment revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Few of the segment's projects have a recurring element. As a result, this segment is most sensitive to changes in discretionary spending due to cyclical economic fluctuations. Approximately 45% of the segment's revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2012 originated from outside the United States and is thus subject to translation exposure resulting from foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Revenue for Talent and Rewards consulting has minimal seasonality, with a small degree of heightened activity in the last quarter of the fiscal year during the annual compensation, benefits and survey cycles. Major revenue growth drivers in this group include demand for workforce productivity improvements and labor cost reductions, focus on high performance culture, globalization of the workforce, changes in regulations and benefits programs, mergers and acquisitions activity, and the demand for universal metrics related to workforce engagement.

Exchange Solutions Segment. Our fourth largest segment, Exchange Solutions has one line of business:

Extend Health.

We established our fourth segment, Exchange Solutions, when we acquired Extend Health in May 2012, and our first quarter of fiscal year 2013 was our first full quarter of operations. The Exchange Solutions segment accounted for 2% of our segment revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Exchange Solutions operates the largest private Medicare insurance exchange in the United States. Our core solution enables employers to transition their retirees to individual, defined contribution health plans at an annual cost that the employer controls - versus group-based, defined benefit health plans, which have uncertain annual costs. By moving to a defined contribution approach, our clients can provide their retirees with the same or better health care benefits at a lower overall cost. Most Exchange Solutions revenues come from the commissions we receive from insurance carriers for enrolling individuals into their health plans. This revenue increases as the number of enrolled members grows. Exchange Solutions experiences seasonality due to the majority of policies beginning on January 1 following corporations' open enrollment periods. In addition, the annual enrollment period for Medicare-eligible individuals coincides with this period. It is expected that the majority of enrollments will occur in our second quarter and we have hired additional seasonal benefits advisors to supplement our full-time benefit advisors and incur higher costs. The associated commission revenue with these new enrollments is deferred until the policy effective date in our third quarter and is spread over the policy period.

Financial Statement Overview

Towers Watson's fiscal year ends June 30.

The financial statements contained in this quarterly report reflect Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as of the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 (September 30, 2012) and as of the end of fiscal year 2012 (June 30, 2012), Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, Consolidated Statements of Other Comprehensive Income for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the three months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011 and a Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Stockholders' Equity for the three months ended September 30, 2012.

Shown below are Towers Watson's top five markets based on percentage of consolidated revenue. The three months ended September 30, 2012 and the fiscal years ended June 30, 2012 and 2011 include data of Towers Watson's geographic regions.

                                   Three Months          Fiscal Year
                                       2013            2012       2011
                  United States               53 %        48 %       49 %
                  United Kingdom              22          23         22
                  Canada                       6           6          6
                  Germany                      4           5          4
                  Netherlands                  2           3          3

We derive the majority of our revenue from fees for consulting services, which generally are billed at standard hourly rates and expense reimbursement, which we refer to as time and expense, or on a fixed-fee basis. Management believes the approximate percentages for time and expense and fixed-fee engagements are 60% and 40%, respectively. Clients are typically invoiced on a monthly basis with revenue generally recognized as services are performed. No single client accounted for more than 1% of our consolidated revenues for any of our three most recent fiscal years.

Our most significant expense is compensation to associates, which typically comprises approximately 69% of total costs of providing services. Salaries and employee benefits are comprised of wages paid to associates, related taxes, severance, benefit expenses such as pension, medical and insurance costs, and fiscal year-end incentive bonuses. We compensate our directors and select executives with incentive stock-based compensation plans. When granted, awards are governed by the Towers Watson & Co. 2009 Long Term Incentive Plan, which provides for the awards to be valued at their grant date fair value which is amortized over the expected term of the awards, generally three years. We also have non-cash stock based compensation related to a plan assumed in our merger in fiscal year 2010 and a plan assumed in our acquisition of Extend Health in fiscal year 2012.

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Professional and subcontracted services represent fees paid to external service providers for employment, marketing and other services. For the three most recent fiscal years, approximately 30 to 50% of the professional and subcontracted services were directly incurred on behalf of clients and were reimbursed by them, with such reimbursements being included in revenue. For the three months ended September 30, 2012, approximately 34% of professional and subcontracted services represent these reimbursable services.

Occupancy includes expenses for rent and utilities.

General and administrative expenses include legal, marketing, human resources, finance, research, technology support, supplies, telephone and other costs to operate office locations as well as professional fees and insurance, including premiums on excess insurance and losses on professional liability claims, non-client-reimbursed travel by associates, publications and professional development. This line item also includes miscellaneous expenses, including gains and losses on foreign currency transactions.

Depreciation and amortization includes the depreciation of fixed assets and amortization of intangible assets and internally-developed software.

Transaction and integration expenses include fees and charges associated with the Merger and with our other acquisitions. Transaction and integration expenses principally consist of integration consultants, contract termination fees, as well as legal, accounting, marketing, and information technology integration expenses.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

There are no material changes from the Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates as previously disclosed in our 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on August 29, 2012.

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Results of Operations

The table below sets forth our condensed consolidated statements of operations, on a historical basis, and data as a percentage of revenue for the period indicated:

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