MMC Hit With Second Rating Action

NU Online News Service, Nov. 10, 11:21 a.m. EST ? Fitch Ratings, out of Chicago, hit Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. with more unfavorable rating news?placing the firm’s senior debt rating on rating watch negative.

Fitch placed the “A-plus” senior debt of MMC on rating watch negative and affirmed the company’s short-term rating at “F-one.”

The announcement followed last week’s action by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, based in New York City, which revised its outlook for the company from stable to negative.

The actions follow news of investigations of the company’s investment service arm, Putnam, which is accused by regulators of allowing illegal market timed trading by some of its investment managers.

MMC is the parent company of the Global broker Marsh, which is regarded as the world’s largest insurance broker.

Fitch indicated that the actions at Putnam would not affect Marsh, saying that “cash flow quality in MMC remains very strong, supported by strong results in the risk and insurance services business over the past several quarters.”