Outlook: Sedgwick falls in the end game
Wednesday 26 August 1998
The way things are going, it can only be a matter of time before the clearing banks follow suit. Sedgwick and Willis Corroon, both UK-listed companies, were third and fourth in the global market. You might have thought that would be enough to sustain them as independents, but oh no. If other industries are consolidating, insurance brokers must too.
There's quite a history to this end game. As the insurance market has sagged over the last few years, Sedgwick's chairman, Sax Riley, has been seeking a tie-up with Willis Corroon to create a giant British broker capable of standing on its own. Unfortunately, his opposite number, John Reeve, refused to play ball. He was just determined to run his own show. Eventually he persuaded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to buy him out.
Why should a client - or for that matter a colleague or a customer - care about a broker's nationality? Ian Smith, the chairman of Marsh & McLennan, says it is out of date to tag a company to the location of its headquarters. Sedgwick's business mostly involves consulting, selling and broking commercial insurance for multinational clients; it is a global business, and ownership doesn't matter.
Fair enough, but that's not what Sedgwick used to say. Up until quite recently it consistently argued that the interests of customers were best served by having more brokers, not fewer. Right now there are only four global brokers of any size left - Marsh & McLennan, its US rival Aon, Sedgwick and the now American-owned Willis Corroon.
Big commercial customers already have precious little chance to reject a broker on grounds of price or service. With three companies rather than four, the position is unlikely to improve.
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Why it matters 26 million people have changed their Facebook profile picture to a rainbow flag
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Ex-Scientologist Carmen Llwyelyn blasts 'cult' and her treatment after divorce with Jason Lee
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This extremely successful and well-established...
Competitive with monthly bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced FX...