Survey suggests Marsh could face problems retaining key corporate accounts

Marsh is predicted to lose ground to rival brokers in key corporate accounts, according to a new US survey.

While Marsh was rated as the leading insurance broker by 33% of risk managers at upper middle market and large companies it continued to lose out to Aon, Willis and smaller brokers.

Aon gained the most with 28% of the vote, versus 24% in November, said the UBS poll of 42 risk managers.

Several risk managers polled said staff turnover at insurance brokers was affecting their quality of service. Marsh was cited most often as having heavy turnover and service issues.

The results also indicated that accepting supplemental commissions may not be wise, with half of the respondents opposing them.

Willis has said it will not accept supplemental commissions because they do not avoid the perceived conflicts similar to those created by contingent commissions. UBS noted that Willis has already benefited from taking a public stance on broker remuneration.

Marsh already discloses ordinary commissions to its clients and is in the process of reviewing its plans for supplemental compensation arrangements. A Marsh spokesman commented: “We remain committed to the principle that we will not accept any form of compensation that is inconsistent with our clients’ interests.”

Dismissing the results of the survey the spokesperson said: “To infer from such a small sample that different brokers are losing or gaining ground borders on being inappropriate.”