LONDON — Joseph J. Plumeri, the former head of retail banking at Citigroup Inc., was named chairman and chief executive of Willis Group, effective Oct. 15, the company said Tuesday.

He will succeed John Reeve, who is leaving the insurance brokerage after completing a five-year contract.

Willis Group, which is based in London, calls itself the world’s third-largest insurance broker, specializing in global risk management.

Mr. Plumeri will maintain offices in London, New York, and Nashville, the company’s North American headquarters.

“This is exactly the kind of leadership opportunity I’ve been looking for to focus the next stage of my career,” Mr. Plumeri said in a statement. “I am eager to get to work with the Willis team to motivate our sales force [and] give them the tools they need to best respond to the needs of their clients.”

Mr. Plumeri, who ran Citigroup’s 450-branch domestic network, left the company in December. While at Citigroup, he also served as chairman and chief executive of the Primerica Financial Services division, a post he had held since 1995. Mr. Plumeri was also vice chairman of Travelers Group before it merged with Citicorp to create Citigroup.

Willis Group, formerly known as Willis Corron, was taken private by the leveraged buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in 1998. Willis has 235 offices in 73 countries, and 12,500 employees.

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