The chief executive of Willis Group Holdings Ltd. defended thecompany's spending on recruitment and retention, which led to a 35percent decrease in net income in the third quarter, missinganalysts' earning estimates by five cents a share.

Joe Plumeri, the insurance brokerage firm's chairman and chiefexecutive officer, speaking to analysts today during a conferencecall, said the company's strategy is to grow the firm throughsales. The only way to do this, he noted, is to invest in peoplecapable of achieving growth.

"We plan to grow revenue through aggressive expansion of oursales force," Mr. Plumeri said. "We spend money purposely withgrowth [in mind] for the future."

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