Marsh Agrees to $7M Settlement of Bid-rigging Charges

January 7, 2009 ( - Nine states have reached a $7-million settlement with New York-based insurance broker Marsh, Inc., a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., resolving a four-year investigation into Marsh's role in a nationwide bid rigging scheme.

The Wall Street Journal reports the settlement is being divided among Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The Florida Department of Financial Services and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation also joined in the settlement.

According to the news report, under the terms of the agreement, Marsh must disclose to its clients all compensation received from insurance companies in connection with the placement of an insurance policy, obtain the client’s written consent to the compensation, and disclose at the end of each year annual totals of compensation received in connection with a client’s policy.

Marsh was accused of making arrangements whereby brokers entered into agreements with insurers to receive undisclosed compensation and engaged in anticompetitive conduct in the market for commercial liability insurance.

In January, 2005, Marsh & McLennan agreed to a settlement with then-New York Attorney general Eliot Spitzer over similar allegations. The Marsh parent company agreed to set up an $850-million fund to compensate clients (see MMC Settles ‘Shameful’ Bid-Rigging Case ).

In February, a New York County Supreme Court Judge found two former Marsh Inc. executives guilty of violating the Donnelly Act, New York’s antitrust law, by rigging bids for insurance business (see NY Judge Finds Former Marsh Execs Guilty of Bid Rigging ).