Crain’s Headlines: Medical Association Cancels Conference Amid Coronavirus Fears

The American College of Cardiology has called off its upcoming conference at McCormick Place due to coronavirus concerns, adding to a run of cancellations at the Chicago convention center because of the outbreak.

The D.C.-based association was set to host more than 29,000 visitors at its Chicago expo later this month, which would have accounted for nearly 41,000 hotel room nights. That makes it the second-biggest McCormick Place event to cancel so far because of the virus.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Last week, the International Housewares Association, software giant Oracle and Ace Hardware all axed events at McCormick Place. Those three events would have drawn more than 75,000 people.

Meanwhile, insurance giants Aon and Willis Towers Watson agreed to merge in an almost $30 billion transaction, creating the world’s largest insurance brokerage.

The all-stock deal, the largest ever for the industry, will combine the second- and third-largest brokers and comes almost exactly a year after previous talks between the two companies broke down. Combined, the two companies employ roughly 6,000 people in the Chicago area.

Though it is now headquartered in London, Aon was founded in Chicago and lends its name to the gleaming Aon Center overlooking Millennium Park, the structure once known as the Standard Oil Building.

Willis Towers Watson, meanwhile, is the namesake of the former Sears Tower on the other side of the Loop, once the world’s tallest building. No word yet on what will happen to naming rights of either building in the wake of the merger, though some observers speculate that United Airlines, currently a major tenant at Willis Tower, could be interested in naming rights there.

And finally, the jobs of nearly 1,000 State Farm Insurance workers in Bloomington are up in the air thanks to the company’s decision to exit the banking business.

State Farm announced late last week that it is transferring deposit and credit card accounts to Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank as part of a strategic decision to end State Farm Bank, which the insurer launched 21 years ago.

State Farm said the decision would broaden the set of products available to its banking customers, with U.S. Bank adding car loans and business loans—capabilities State Farm didn’t have.

But the decision is a significant blow to the insurer’s headquarters town of Bloomington, which has seen State Farm move other types of jobs to other markets.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors