The New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has launched an inquiry into insurance brokerage contingent fee practices. The initial target of the investigation was Marsh, which allegedly accepted payoffs for steering business to insurers at inflated prices. Marsh’s chairman, Jeffrey Greenberg, resigned, as the company sought to avoid criminal prosecution. A lack of confidence in the outcome of the inquiry has led to a decline in Marsh’s earnings, prompting layoffs of as many as 3,000 employees. Spitzer has widened his investigation to include other firms, such as Axis and Aon, and many not yet under investigation are examining their own practices.

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