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moneyhandsThey say that he who pays the piper calls the tune. So why don’t more risk managers just pay their brokers a set fee like they do their lawyers, accountants, consultants and other professional advisers, rather than complain about contingent commissions corrupting the insurance placement process?

That was the main question on my mind after all the fuss made about contingent commissions here in Boston at the RIMS conference. Full disclosure of broker compensation should be a given, but why bother trying to figure out whether brokers are steering business to suit their own bottom lines, when such conflicts can be avoided altogether by simply paying directly for brokerage services?

The debate over contingent commissions raged anew during the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s annual conference. 

Joe Plumeri, CEO of Willis, launched a Web page here this week–www.ClientsBeforeContingents.com–to “educate” risk managers about the evils of such fees, and to urge buyers to vote with their wallets by patronizing brokers (like Willis) that refuse such bonus commissions. (You can read more about the Willis initiative here:  http://bit.ly/cRBR8q.)

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