NEW YORK, Oct. 29 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorney, class…

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorney, class action, law firm news— As a consequence of the recent
revelation concerning Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (“Marsh” or the
“Company”) (NYSE: MMC) and certain major insurance companies, Wolf Haldenstein
Adler Freeman & Herz LLP has commenced actions on behalf of certain Employee
Retirement Plan participants in ERISA Class Action Suits. The violations
concern alleged improper and unsustainable business practices, including
payments of illegal and concealed “contingent commissions” pursuant to illegal
“contingent commission agreements” that violated applicable principles of
fiduciary law, subjecting the Companies to enormous fines and penalties
totaling potentially tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars.

In addition, on October 15, 2004, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz
LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of all persons who purchased the
securities of Marsh (NYSE: MMC) between October 15, 1999, through October 14,
2004, inclusive, (the “Class Period”) against defendants Marsh and certain
officers and directors of the Company.

A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court,
or can be viewed on the Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP website at

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws
by issuing materially false and misleading statements and failing to disclose
material facts regarding the Company’s financial performance throughout the
Class Period that had the effect of artificially inflating the market price of
the Company’s securities.

The Complaint specifically alleges that during the class period Marsh
failed to disclose that hundreds of millions of dollars of the Company’s
profits derive from illegal activities, namely “contingent commissions,”
special payments received from insurance companies that were far beyond normal
sales commissions.

As alleged, these payments were compensation for the
business that Marsh and its independent brokers steered and allocated to the
insurance companies, distinguished by Marsh as compensation for “market
services.” Additionally, the Complaint alleges that Marsh occasionally
solicited bogus bids, in order to mislead its customers into believing that
true competition had taken place. Marsh allegedly did this while it asserted
in public statements that its “guiding principle” was to always regard its
client’s best interests.

The Complaint also alleges that during the Class Period, statements made
by the defendants were each materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts: (a) the
Company had implemented and executed an unsustainable business practice
whereby the Company designed and executed a business plan under which
insurance companies agreed to pay so-called “contingent commissions” in return
for Marsh to steer them business and shield them from competition; (b) the
defendants have described only that revenue attributable to Marsh’s risk and
insurance business consists primarily of fees paid by clients, commissions and
fees paid by insurance and reinsurance companies, interest income on funds
held in a fiduciary capacity for others, and compensation for services
provided in connection with the organization, structuring, and management of

In particular, the defendants stated the revenue generated by
Marsh’s risk and insurance business is fundamentally derived from the value of
the service provided to clients and insurance markets. Although the
defendants stated that commissions vary in amount depending upon the type of
insurance or reinsurance coverage provided, the particular insurer or
reinsurer, the capacity in which the broker acts, and negotiations with
clients, the Company failed to disclose the kick-backs or the bid-rigging
scheme; (c) the Company’s illicit scheme exposed the Company to significant
regulatory penalties and threatened loss of consumer goodwill jeopardizing the
Company’s ability to sustain any performance in its legitimate business
practices; (d) the Company’s revenues and earnings would have been
significantly less had the Company not engaged in such unlawful practices.

If you were an investor, or a participant in an ERISA employee plan
regarding Marsh, you may have a claim.

Wolf Haldenstein has extensive experience in the prosecution of securities
class actions and derivative litigation in state and federal trial and
appellate courts across the country. The firm has approximately 60 attorneys
in various practice areas; and offices in Chicago, New York City, San Diego,
and West Palm Beach. The reputation and expertise of this firm in shareholder
and other class litigation has been repeatedly recognized by the courts, which
have appointed it to major positions in complex securities multi-district and
consolidated litigation.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions, please contact
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New
York 10016, by telephone at (800) 575-0735 (Mark C. Rifkin, Esq., Christopher
Hinton, Esq., or Derek Behnke), via e-mail at or visit
our website at All e-mail correspondence should make
reference to Marsh.

Web Site:

Scroll to Top