WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va.–Insurance brokers at an industry meeting here predicted an extended soft market cycle and the head of one leading firm said he sees it accompanied by a variety of problems.

Michael G. Cherkasky, Marsh & McLennan’s chief executive officer and president, said as the downward price pressure focuses the business on cost there is a question whether insurers have the specialists needed to settle and pay claims in the future.

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