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Marsh & McLennan’s focus this year will be on building its small-commercial market insurance agency business–a niche the company’s chief executive said should be highly profitable, but which he conceded the mega-brokerage failed miserably to effectively cultivate in the past.

“We have successfully screwed that up year after year,” said Brian Duperreault, president and chief executive officer of New York-based MMC, elaborating last week on plans announced late in 2008 to develop a new unit within the company to handle small-commercial accounts–Marsh & McLennan Agencies.

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