Aon plc (NYSE:AON) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 04, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Aon plc (NYSE:AON) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, and thank you for holding. Welcome to Aon plc's First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all parties will be in a listen-only mode, until the question-and-answer portion of today's call. (Operator Instructions) I would also like to remind all parties that this call is being recorded.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

Now, it is my pleasure to turn the call over to Greg Case, President and CEO of Aon plc.

Greg Case

Thanks very much, operator, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our first quarter 2018 conference call. Joining me today is our CFO, Christa Davies. For your reference, I'd note that there are slides available in our website to follow on with our commentary today.

Before we discuss the financial results for the quarter, I'd like to reflect on Aon overall. On our decade-long mission to be the leading global professional services firm, delivering a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, enabled by proprietary data and analytics.We have taken significant steps to evolve into the firm you see today.

As you know, nearly one1 year ago, we completed the divestiture of our outsourcing platform, a meaningful acceleration of our proven strategy. The divestiture was just one step in our journey.

But it was a step that provided a further catalyst for our actions to unlock the next wave of shareholder value, as it reinforces our focus as a professional services firm; further aligns Aon's portfolio around our clients' highest priorities; generates significant capital to accelerate investment in innovation and emerging client needs; provides a catalyst to unite our firm under one operating model, creating greater efficiency and operating leverage; and reinforces our return on invested capital, decision-making priority and emphasis on delivering double-digit free cash flow growth over the long-term.

Our optimism is built through our conviction that these actions will substantially strengthen our firm on the heels of a decade of industry-leading improvement and innovation for our clients and shareholders. With this momentum, we're already seeing an improvement in our growth profile to provide new investment in high-growth, high margin areas across our portfolio.

Organic revenue was increased from 3% on both 2014 and 2015, to 4% in 2016 and 2017. Our journey continues as we focus on driving greater innovation and more insightful content to deliver improved outcomes on behalf of our clients.

Stronger growth combined with increased operating leverage and free cash flow margin reinforces our long-term outlook and significant upside we anticipate in the value of our firm over the coming years.Now turning to the quarter on Page 5 of the presentation.

Consistent with previous quarters, I'd like to cover two areas before turning the call over to Christa for further financial review. First, our performance against key metrics we communicate to shareholders. Second, overall organic growth performance, including continued areas of strategic investment.

I would also note that the financial results discussed on today's conference call and shown in the presentation slides are all on a comparable basis year-over-year, adjusting 2017 results