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Milestones of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) Printer version

 Marsh & McLennan Companies' history (video)

The following Marsh & McLennan Companies milestones provide an overview of significant developments in our history:


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies’ progenitor, Dan H. Bomar Company, is founded in Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire.


Henry W. Marsh & Donald R. McLennan
  • Henry W. Marsh leaves Harvard University and joins the Robert A. Waller agency.

  • Donald R. McLennan begins his insurance career at Stryker, Manley & Buck in Duluth, Minnesota.


  • Henry Marsh introduces concept of a broker acting as a buyer of insurance representing the client, rather than as a seller of insurance.


  • Henry Marsh helps pioneer the concept of risk management, setting forth his ideas on a comprehensive risk management plan for U.S. Steel.


Locomotive Engine
  • Donald McLennan establishes a standard for thorough research in assessing risk. He spends 30 consecutive nights on a sleeper, traveling coast to coast across the U.S., to inspect the operations of two railroad lines.


  • Burrows, Marsh & McLennan is formed in Chicago, becoming the world's largest insurance agency with annual premiums of $3 million. The firm is renamed Marsh & McLennan in 1906.


  • Guy Carpenter & Company is acquired a year after its founding by Guy Carpenter. The firm revolutionizes reinsurance coverage.

  • Henry Marsh becomes chairman upon Marsh & McLennan's incorporation.


  • Donald McLennan succeeds Henry Marsh as chairman.


  • Putnam is founded by George Putnam Sr. with the establishment of The George Putnam Fund of Boston, a balanced mutual fund offering a flexible portfolio of stocks and bonds.

  • The Social Security Act of 1937 prompts employers to seek advice on retirement programs.

  • Marsh & McLennan expands consulting services in the pension field; hires first two actuaries in 1938.


  • Charles Ward Seabury becomes chairman.


  • Laurence S. Kennedy succeeds Charles W. Seabury as chairman but dies shortly thereafter; William D. Maus is named chairman. Hermon D. Smith becomes president and CEO.


  • Marsh & McLennan acquires Cosgrove & Company, the West Coast's largest regional broker; expansion in the U.S. continues throughout the '60s.


Bill Mercer & directors
  • William M. Mercer Limited, founded by Bill Mercer in Vancouver in 1945 to provide independent employee benefit consulting in Canada, is acquired. (Bill Mercer, pictured center, with board of directors, including, from left, Kenneth O. Macgowan, Robert White, Laurence Coward, and William D.Welsford.)


  • Marsh & McLennan becomes a public company, reporting revenues of $52 million and net income of $5 million.

  • Correspondent relationships with leading brokers are established in Europe throughout the '60s.


  • Hermon D. Smith becomes chairman.


  • Albert A. Morey succeeds Hermon Smith as chairman; William F. Souder Jr. becomes president, and in 1967, CEO.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies is formed as the parent company, reinforcing the firm's strategy of developing and expanding its professional services.

  • Victor O. Schinnerer is acquired; the firm had developed the first national program of professional liability insurance for architects and engineers.


Illustration of a scale
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies entered the business of investment management in 1970 through the acquisition of Putnam Investments, which grew to become one of the largest mutual fund companies in the United States. Marsh & McLennan Companies exited this line of business in 2007 to streamline its strategic focus on risk management and consulting.

  • Henry W. Otis becomes chairman; he is succeeded in 1971 by William F. Souder, Jr.


  • John M. Regan Jr. becomes president.


  • Equity affiliation established with Faugère & Jutheau in France.

  • John M. Regan Jr. becomes CEO.


  • William M. Mercer, Incorporated is created as a separate employee benefits consulting subsidiary. Sets the stage for the exponential growth of Marsh & McLennan Companies' consulting business.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires equity interests in Henrijean (Belgium) and Gradmann & Holler (Germany).

  • John M. Regan Jr. becomes chairman.


Robert J. Newhouse, Jr., Gilbert A. Cooke, John M. Regan, Jr. & Peter Bowring
  • C.T. Bowring & Co. Ltd. is acquired, enabling Marsh & McLennan Companies to become a Lloyd's broker. The transaction paves way for Marsh & McLennan Companies to establish wholly owned-and-operated offices in the major global marketplaces. (Pictured at signing of merger, from left, Robert J. Newhouse Jr., then president, Marsh & McLennan Companies; Gilbert A. Cooke, then managing director, C.T. Bowring; John M. Regan Jr., then chairman, Marsh & McLennan Companies; and Peter Bowring, then chairman, C.T Bowring.)


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies consolidates its insurance program management business in a separate entity; in 1990, it is renamed Seabury & Smith, Inc. after two former chairmen, Charles W. Seabury and Hermon D. Smith.

  • Henrijean becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.


  • National Economic Research Associates, now NERA Economic Consulting, is acquired.

  • Putnam opens offices in London and Tokyo to meet global investment needs of clients.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies revenues exceed $1 billion.

  • Mercer completes merger with Meidinger and with MPA (Holdings) in the U.K., setting the stage for rapid domestic and international expansion.


  • To create new capacity in the excess liability market, Marsh & McLennan Companies helps form ACE Insurance Company and, in 1986, X.L. Insurance Company.


new chairman/CEO
  • ENCON Group, a specialty insurance program manager in Canada, is acquired.

  • Mercer merges with Duncan C. Fraser & Co., strengthening pension/actuarial services to U.K. employers.

  • Frank J. Tasco becomes chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies. (Pictured, center, with A.J.C. Smith, then president, left, and John M. Regan Jr., retiring chairman.)

  • Lippincott & Margulies, now Lippincott Mercer, is acquired.


  • Mercer and A.S. Hansen merge, creating the largest employee benefit and compensation consulting firm in the United States.

  • Temple, Barker & Sloane is acquired, expanding Mercer's consulting services to include management consulting.


  • Strategic Planning Associates is acquired and merged with Temple, Barker & Sloane; renamed Mercer Management Consulting in 1992.

  • Gradmann & Holler acquisition is completed.


  • Acquisition of Faugère & Jutheau is completed.

  • A.J.C. Smith becomes chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies helps form Mid Ocean Reinsurance Company, Ltd. with Guy Carpenter & Company.


  • An International Advisory Board is formed to advise Marsh & McLennan Companies on global strategy and the development of international business.


  • Consulting revenues exceed $1 billion.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies merges with Johnson & Higgins, strengthening Marsh & McLennan Companies' leadership in risk and insurance services.

  • Mercer integrates Johnson & Higgins' Foster Higgins unit into its Canadian and U.S. operations.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires CECAR, the second-largest insurance broker in France.

  • Corporate Decisions, Inc. is acquired and merged with Mercer Management Consulting.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires U.K.-based Sedgwick Group, further expanding Marsh & McLennan Companies' leadership in risk and insurance services and consulting.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires Brockman y Schuh Group, Mexico's leading insurance broker and employee benefit consulting firm; gains a leading position in the Scandinavian market through the acquisitions of the major insurance brokers in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires Kirke-Van Orsdel, a leading administrator of insurance and health benefit programs for professional associations in the United States.

  • Mercer acquires U.S. compensation practice of KPMG Peat Marwick and Corporate Resources Group.

  • Mercer Management Consulting acquires Dr. Seebauer & Partner, a German management consulting firm.


  • Jeffrey W. Greenberg is named chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

  • Putnam broadens its product range through its venture with Thomas H. Lee Partners, a leading private equity firm.


  • Jeffrey W. Greenberg is named chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies upon A.J.C. Smith's retirement.

  • Mercer acquires Delta Consulting Group and forms Mercer Delta Organizational Consulting, which works on issues of leadership, organization, and change.

  • Mercer Management Consulting acquires Análisis y Desarrollo de Proyectos, a Mexican firm, and St. Gallen Consulting, a Swiss-based firm with operations in Germany.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies suffers profound personal loss when 295 members of its corporate family and 63 business associates perish in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies helps form AXIS, a global insurance and reinsurance company, in response to the market dislocation following the World Trade Center attacks. AXIS is capitalized with more than $1.6 billion.

  • Mercer enhances its global rewards practice by acquiring Strategic Compensation Associates.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies continues its efforts to ease the suffering of families of colleagues lost in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Marsh & McLennan Companies Victims Relief Fund pays out virtually all of its $22 million in contributions to provide support for the health, education, and welfare needs of the families.
  • William M. Mercer changes its name to Mercer Human Resource Consulting.


  • Mercer acquires Oliver, Wyman & Company and forms Mercer Oliver Wyman, a leader in financial services strategy and risk management consulting.

  • AXIS, the global insurance company Marsh & McLennan Companies had helped establish two years earlier, completes a successful initial public offering.

  • Mercer Human Resource Consulting more than doubles the size of its operations in Germany and Switzerland through KPMG and PwC acquisitions. Acquisition of Benefit Network adds strength to Nordic region operations.

  • Marsh acquires Alaska's largest insurance broker Brady & Company.

  • At Putnam, inappropriate market timing by a few investment professionals is discovered. Marsh & McLennan Companies installs new leadership at Putnam and institutes new policies and procedures to strengthen compliance. Restitution is pledged to affected shareholders of Putnam funds.


  • Mercer acquires Synhrgy HR Technologies to offer a broader array of outsourcing services in the United States.
  • Marsh acquires the Australia and New Zealand operations of Heath Lambert.

  • Putnam reaches settlement of market timing issues with the SEC and Massachusetts regulators, agreeing to pay fines and make restitution to investors.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies acquires Kroll, the world's leading risk consulting firm.
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies confronts significant issues raised by New York regulators about improper conduct at Marsh. Marsh & McLennan Companies cooperates fully with the investigation and conducts its own comprehensive internal review. Marsh & McLennan Companies names new leadership, introduces significant business reforms to ensure complete transparency in dealing with clients, and institutes new compliance procedures. Michael G. Cherkasky is named president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies upon the resignation of Marsh & McLennan Companies chairman and CEO Jeffrey W. Greenberg.

  • In keeping with Marsh & McLennan Companies' commitment to adhering to best practices in corporate governance, the five Marsh & McLennan Companies management members of the Marsh & McLennan Companies Board of Directors step down from the board.


  • Robert F. Erburu, an independent director since 1996, becomes non-executive chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies' Board of Directors.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies reaches settlement agreement with New York regulators; establishes $850 million fund for eligible U.S. policyholders.

  • Mercer's consulting businesses are reorganized to be managed as two business areas: human resource consulting and specialty consulting, the latter including management, organizational change, economic consulting, and brand strategy businesses.

  • Putnam wins DALBAR awards for service excellence to shareholders, financial advisors, and annuity contract holders. This marks the 13th year since 1990 that Putnam has been recognized for top quality service, an accomplishment unparalleled in the fund industry.

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies completes the sale of the business of MMC Capital to the management team of MMC Capital.

  • John T. Sinnott is named a vice chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies, joining Mathis Cabiallavetta, a vice chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies since 1999.

  • Marsh's Crump Group wholesale broking operations are sold.


  • Sedgwick Claims Management is sold.

  • Stephen R. Hardis is named non-executive chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies' Board of Directors upon the retirement of Robert F. Erburu.


  • Mercer Oliver Wyman, Mercer Management Consulting and Mercer Delta Organizational Consulting join together under a single brand: Oliver Wyman. The firm combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, organizational transformation, and leadership development. The Oliver Wyman Group also includes NERA Economic Consulting and Lippincott (formerly Lippincott Mercer).

  • Marsh & McLennan Companies completes the sale of Putnam Investments to Great-West LifeCo.

  • Mercer Human Resource Consulting changes its name to Mercer. The global brand initiative reflects Mercer’s full range of consulting, outsourcing and investment services, many of which extend beyond the category of human resource consulting.


  • On January 30, Brian Duperreault is named president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies, replacing Michael G. Cherkasky.


  • Navigating the toughest economic climate since the Great Depression, the Company improves margins, returns the insurance broking segment to profitability, and stabilizes operations. With the sale of Kroll in 2010, the Company streamlines its portfolio and sharpens focus on its core risk and insurance and consulting segments.


  • Marsh & McLennan Companies reintroduces itself to the market with a refreshed company brand, a new visual identity, and a compelling story.


  • Marsh acquires the insurance broking business of Alexander Forbes, strengthening its position in emerging markets and significantly expanding its presence in some of the most vibrant economies in the sub-Saharan region.

  • Mercer and Marsh implement a new collaborative operating model - Mercer Marsh BenefitsTM - for their employee health and benefits businesses outside of the U.S., leveraging the capabilities of both companies to provide clients unmatched service.

  • After four years at Marsh & McLennan Companies' helm, Brian Duperreault retires at year-end 2012.


  • On January 1, Dan Glaser, Group President and Chief Operating Operator, and former CEO and President of Marsh, assumes the role of President and CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies.

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