NY Judge Finds Former Marsh Execs Guilty of Bid Rigging

February 22, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New York County Supreme Court Judge James A. Yates Friday morning found two former Marsh Inc. executives guilty of violating the Donnelly Act, New York's antitrust law, by rigging bids for insurance business.

Business Insurance reports that while William Gilman, a managing director and former executive marketing director in Marsh Inc.’s Global Broking unit, and Edward J. McNenney, a former managing director and global placement director, were found guilty of violating the state’s antitrust law, they were acquitted of all other charges, including fraud and larceny. Gilman and McNenney were accused of steering business to selected insurers and preventing a competitive bidding process.

Lawyers for the former executives argued that the men acted solely in the interest of clients, fighting AIG’s grip on the market and securing the best insurance coverage possible, according to Business Insurance.

Gilman, McNenney, and a group of other former Marsh executives were indicted in 2005 on various counts of bid rigging and fraud by then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and former State Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills. The officials accused the executives of colluding with employees at various insurers to rig the market for excess casualty insurance between November 1998 and September 2004.

The former executives and others involved in the alleged scheme would predetermine which carriers won business, set “targets” for the predetermined winner to submit as a bid, and obtain “losing bids” from employees at the accomplice companies, the indictment charged, according to the news report.

In January 2005, Marsh’s parent company Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) – a key target in the insurance bid-rigging probe -agreed to set up an $850 million fund to compensate clients hurt by business practices it called “shameful.” (See MMC Settles ‘Shameful’ Bid-Rigging Case )