S&P Revises MMC Outlook

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NU Online News Service, Nov. 5, 12:40 p.m.EST?New York City-based Standard & Poor's RatingServices has revised its outlook on Marsh & McLennan Companiesto negative from stable and affirmed its double-A-minus/A-pluscounterparty credit rating on the company.

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"The revised outlook reflects Standard & Poor's concern thatthe adverse effect of the highly publicized legal actionsinstituted by the State of Massachusetts and the SEC against itssubsidiary, Putnam Investments, might, over the long term, weakenPutnam's strong business position," said Steven Ader, S&Pcredit analyst, in a statement.

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He continued that this, along with "MMC's industry-leadingposition as the world's largest risk and insurance services firm,is a key underpinning of MMC's diversified business profile."

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S&P noted that despite the naming of a new senior managementteam and the commencement of an independent review of Putnam'spolicies and controls, there could be long-term effects on thecompany as a whole, which could weaken the firm.

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On Monday, MMC replaced Putnam's longtime chief executive,Lawrence Lasser. The move followed recent allegations by theSecurities and Exchange Commission and by Massachusetts officialsthat Putnam permitted illegal market-timed trading by some of itsinvestment managers.

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Mr. Lasser was replaced by Charles Haldeman, senior managingdirector and co-head of investments at Putnam.

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MMC is the parent company of global insurance broker Marsh.

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