Marsh (company)

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Marsh, LLC
Subsidiary (LLC)
IndustryProfessional services
Key people
  • John Q. Doyle (President & CEO)
  • Keith Walsh (CFO)
  • David Batchelor (Vice Chairman)
  • Liz Cole (CHRO)[1]
ProductsInsurance brokerage and risk management
Revenue$5.98 billion (2016)[2]
Number of employees
~30,300 (2016)[3]
ParentMarsh & McLennan Companies

Marsh is a global professional services firm, headquartered in New York City with operations in insurance broking and risk management. Marsh is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies and a member of its Risk & Insurance Services business unit.[4] Marsh's $5.98 billion in 2016 revenue accounted for 45% of the parent company's total fiscal year revenue.[2]


Marsh's insurance brokering and risk management business began in the first decade of the twentieth century, when it was formed by Henry Marsh and Donald McLennan with operations in New York and Chicago, where McLennan had studied railroad risk and insurance needs by spending 30 days riding the rails.[5] At the time, the company was known as Marsh & McLennan (M&M).[6]

Today, Marsh's insurance brokerage unit operates as a separate business, known simply as Marsh, in a holding company structure, yet many media reports still erroneously refer to this brokerage unit as Marsh & McLennan.[7][8]

The 1960s era was a particularly notable period for the company, including an initial public offering in 1962 and a 1969 reorganization that brought about the holding company configuration, whereby the company began to offer its services under the banners of separately managed companies.[9]

In 2001, as the company continued to expand globally, Marsh acquired South African company Alexander Forbes’ African risk management and brokerage businesses in 11 countries for $115.5 million.[10]

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which resulted in the deaths of many employees of both Marsh and Marsh & McLennan, Marsh's risk management division formed a crisis consulting practice, led by Paul Bremer, and formed an alliance with Control Risks Group, a security and crisis-management specialist.[11]

In 2004, Marsh was involved in a brokerage bid rigging scandal that plagued much of the insurance industry, including brokerage rivals Aon and Willis Group, and insurer AIG.[12] In a lawsuit, Eliot Spitzer, then New York State’s attorney general, accused Marsh of not serving as an unbiased broker, leading to increased costs for clients and higher fees for Marsh. In early 2005, Marsh agreed to pay $850 million to settle the lawsuit and compensate clients whose commercial insurance it arranged from 2001 to 2004.[13]

After the scandal, Marsh had nearly two years of financial struggles, with lagging profits and decreased brokerage revenue. But, by Q3 2006, brokerage revenue had stopped declining, and the company's profits again began to grow, thanks in part to a cost-cutting regime.[14]

By 2011, Marsh had largely recovered, and the share price of its parent Marsh & McLennan increased by 20% that year. Dan Glaser, who joined as Marsh CEO in 2007, said that by 2011, Marsh had essentially entered an optimization stage following the turmoil.[15]

In April 2011, Marsh named Peter Zaffino as CEO, succeeding Glaser, who then became chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan, only to later be named group CEO.[16][17] In 2016, John Doyle, previously of AIG, joined Marsh as president.[8]

In July 2017, Marsh expanded Doyle's role, naming him President and CEO after Zaffino's departure to AIG. As both president and CEO of Marsh, Doyle oversees the firm's global brokerage businesses and assumes responsibility for Marsh's Global Risk & Specialties, portfolio businesses and operational functions.[18]

Business activities[edit]

In its core brokerage business, Marsh represents commercial businesses searching for insurance and arranges for coverage with other companies that actually offer the policies themselves.[5] Marsh's clients in this area include large multinational companies, high growth middle-market businesses, small commercial enterprises, and high net-worth private clients.[3]

Marsh's risk management services include business risk analysis of the geopolitical environment, cybersecurity consulting, business interruption potential, and regulatory issues.[4] Risk modeling, big data, and advanced analytics have led to more effective Marsh risk management services.[19]


  1. ^ "Marsh Leadership". Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dyson, Ben. "Marsh parent's 2016 broking profit jumps in 'excellent' year". Insurance Times (02 Feb 2017). Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Marsh & McLennan Companies 2016 Form 10-K". SEC Edgar. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Marsh & McLennan Companies 2015 Annual Report". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  5. ^ a b Arenson, Karen (5 May 1984). "Marsh's Enduring Strategy". New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ Bogardus, John (Sep 2003). "Formulas for Success: History of Marsh & McLennan and Alexander & Alexander". International Risk Management Institute. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  7. ^ Dulaney, Chelsey (4 Feb 2016). "Marsh & McLennan Revenue Growth Tops Expectations". Wall Street Journal (5 Feb 2016). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Basak, Sonali; Katz, Lily (8 Mar 2016). "Marsh & McLennan Hires AIG's Doyle for Brokerage Unit". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ St. James Press (2002). "History of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc". International Directory of Company Histories. 45. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Marsh Acquires Alexander Forbes' African Risk Business". Reuters. 1 Sep 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  11. ^ Oster, Christopher. "Marsh & McLennan Unit to Unveil Plan To Launch a Crisis-Consulting Practice". Wall Street Journal (11 Oct 2011). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  12. ^ Treaster, Joseph (24 April 2004). "Insurance Investigations Under Way Over Fees". New York Times (24 April 2004). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  13. ^ Treaster, Joseph (1 Feb 2005). "Insurance Broker Settles Spitzer Suit for $850 Million". New York Times (1 Feb 2005). Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  14. ^ Treaster, Joseph (2 Nov 2006). "Profit Soars at Marsh, Aided by Cost-Cutting". New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  15. ^ Elstein, Aaron (26 Feb 2012). "Marsh regains its mojo after scandals". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  16. ^ "MMC announces new Marsh, Guy Carp CEOs". Reactions. Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. 20 Apr 2011.
  17. ^ Jacobs, Marci (28 Oct 2013). "Marsh & McLennan Rebounds to Level Before Spitzer's Suit". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Doyle Named to Succeed Departing Zaffino as CEO of Marsh". Insurance Journal (06 Jul 2017). Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  19. ^ Dipietro, Ben (30 May 2016). "Why the Global Risks for Companies Are Growing". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 July 2016.

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