From: Reuters
Published January 3, 2008 10:51 AM

Marsh executive quits, broker unit to reorganize

By Ed Leefeldt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A key executive of the insurance brokerage unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos. <MMC.N> has resigned, and sources said a major reorganization will take place on Thursday at the hands of the unit's new chief, Dan Glaser.

Phil Moyles, chief executive of Marsh's brokerage unit in the Americas, confirmed that he had resigned on Wednesday but said further comment would have to come from Marsh & McLennan spokeswoman Christine Walton. Walton declined immediate comment on both the resignation and the reorganization.

Marsh & McLennan shares rose 2 percent to $27.52 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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The New York-based insurance broker was once the world's largest, but has been surpassed in market capitalization by rival Aon Corp <AOC.N> as internal strife and lower earnings in brokering hurt profits.

Michael Cherkasky, the CEO of the entire company, which includes consulting and other operations, agreed to step down in December, but remains at the helm until a new chief executive is chosen.

Marsh & McLennan also faces challenges from investors, who might want to see the company broken up. On Monday, companies controlled by activist billionaire Nelson Peltz received approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to take a stake in Marsh & McLennan.

Through a spokeswoman, Peltz has declined comment. The Wall Street Journal on Thursday quoted a person familiar with the matter saying that Peltz's stake is a "small" one.

Moyles had been touted by Cherkasky as one of the three leaders who would resurrect the brokerage operation after its setbacks.

The new reorganization by Glaser, a former executive at American International Group <AIG.N>, the world's largest insurer, will also include the departure of Mark Feuer, chief operating officer of the Americas operation.

A new appointment to head operations in the Americas will be named later on Thursday, sources said.

Alex Moczarski, known for improving the international operations in the past year, will be running all operations outside the Americas, the sources said.

Other operations, including the company's reinsurance unit, its human resources and management consulting units and its investigations and risk unit, will not be affected, sources said.

In the third quarter, operating earnings missed forecasts by a wide margin due to a shortfall at the Marsh brokerage unit. Brokers negotiate insurance contracts with companies. By contrast, earnings at Aon rose 92 percent.

(Reporting by Ed Leefeldt, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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