Analysts don't expect any major changes when Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. President and CEO Brian Duperreault steps down at the end of this year.
Daniel S. Glaser, currently the company's group president and chief operating officer, becomes president and CEO effective Jan. 1.
"You have to be disappointed that you are losing Brian Duperreault," said Cliff Gallant, managing director of equity research at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods in San Francisco. "Between ACE and Marsh, he's one of the icons of the industry and one of the most successful CEOs that I have ever seen."
He noted that Duperreault "reinvigorated the company and did a great job of getting the engine back on track" after the huge insurance brokerage antitrust litigation affected many in the industry. Duperreault was named CEO in 2008, as MMC was still recovering from accusations of fraudulent business practices, bid-rigging and illegal restraint of trade.
"I think Brian has got the company in a place where, compared to their peers, they are going a little bit faster and margins keep getting a little better, year over year," Gallant said. "It seems like things are going the right way and they are getting a little bit of momentum."
MMC has 52,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues increased to $11.5 billion in 2011.
Gallantsees "a pretty smooth transition" when Glaser takes control. "My guess is their thinking is very much the same and Brian will have a heavy influence in the direction of the company."
Michael Zaremski, a senior analyst in the financial services group at Credit Suisse, agreed. "I don't expect [the transition] to really impact much," he said.
"At the end of the day, Dan has done a very good job," he said. "I would say investors, for the most part, are excited about him taking the helm of the situation....Obviously, he has been groomed for a while. I think most people knew he was going to be named. It wasn't that big of a surprise."
In announcing the transition, Lord Lang of Monkton, chairman of MMC's board of directors, said the company is "immensely grateful to Brian for the significant turnaround the company accomplished under his stewardship. ... There is no doubt he will leave Marsh & McLennan Cos. in a much stronger position than when he arrived.
"In selecting Dan Glaser to succeed Brian, the board recognizes Dan's strong leadership skills and impressive accomplishments since he joined the company as chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh in December 2007."
Duperreault said in the statement that he and Dan "have worked together very closely and I have full confidence that he will continue to capitalize on the strengths of Marsh & McLennan Cos. to deliver superior value to its clients, employees and shareholders."
Prior to joining MMC, Duperreault was CEO of ACE Ltd. He also previously served in senior executive positions with AIG and its affiliates.
MMC is parent company of risk experts and specialty consultants Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer and Oliver Wyman.
--By Anne Freedman
November 1, 2012
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