Marsh & McLennan Agency: COMPENSATION GUIDE FOR CLIENTS
About Marsh & McLennan Agency
Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (“MMA”) is dedicated to serving the insurance needs of all our clients, with a focus on local service excellence, and outstanding products and solutions that meet their unique needs.
OUR COMMITMENT TO TRANSPARENCY AND COMPLIANCE
MMA prides itself on being an industry leader including in the area of transparency and compensation disclosure. We believe you should understand how we are paid and also understand the services we are providing for the compensation we receive. We are committed to compensation transparency and to disclosing to you information that will assist you in evaluating potential conflicts of interest.
As a professional insurance services provider, MMA and its subsidiaries facilitate the placement of insurance coverage on behalf of our clients. In accordance with industry custom, we are compensated either through commissions that are calculated as a percentage of the insurance premiums charged by insurers, or fees agreed to with our clients.
We are committed to setting the industry standard for ethical business practices and client service. To fulfill that commitment, we pledge to our U.S. clients that we will:
- disclose the role(s) we perform in insurance transaction(s);
- disclose the types of compensation we may receive from insurers or others (see below);
- disclose, upon our clients’ request all quotes and premium indications we receive from insurers on our clients’ behalf;
- disclose, upon our clients’ request, the amount of our compensation from insurers and from other third parties in relation to placements made on our clients’ behalf; and
- promptly respond to client requests for additional information about our compensation.
We have reinforced this commitment with a comprehensive compliance program that includes:
- experienced compliance specialists;
- detailed compliance procedures;
- ethics and compliance training;
- regular transaction monitoring and auditing to make sure we live up to our standards;
- regular reports to our board of directors; and
- a hotline for any questions or complaints.
These initiatives translate into many benefits for our clients, including:
- a clear understanding of how much you are paying us;
- a clear understanding of what you are paying us to do; and
- the ability to evaluate our services and any potential conflicts of interest, much as you evaluate services you purchase from other professionals.
We are compensated in a variety of ways, including commissions and fees paid by insurance companies and fees paid by clients. MMA may receive compensation through one or a combination of the following methods:
- Retail Commissions – A retail commission is paid to MMA by the insurer (or wholesale broker) as a percentage of the premium charged to the insured for the policy. The amount of commission may vary depending on several factors, including the type of insurance product sold and the insurer selected by the client. Retail commission rates can vary from transaction to transaction.
- Client Fees – Some clients may negotiate a fee for MMA’s services in lieu of, or in addition to, retail commissions paid by insurance companies. Fee agreements are in writing, typically pursuant to a Client Service Agreement, which sets forth the services to be provided by MMA, the compensation to be paid to MMA, and the terms of MMA’s engagement. The fee may be collected in whole, or in part, through the crediting of retail commissions collected by MMA for the client’s placements.
- Contingent Commissions – Many insurers agree to pay contingent commissions to brokers who meet set goals for all or some of the policies the brokers place with the insurer during the current year. The set goals may include volume, profitability, retention and/or growth thresholds. Because the amount of contingent commission earned may vary depending on factors relating to an entire book of business over the course of a year, the amount of contingent commission attributable to any given policy typically will not be known at the time of placement.
- Supplemental Commissions – Certain insurers and wholesalers agree to pay supplemental commissions, which are based on a broker’s performance during the prior year. Supplemental commissions are paid as a percentage of premium that is set at the beginning of the calendar year. This percentage remains fixed for all eligible policies written by the insurer during the ensuing year. Unlike contingent commissions, the amount of supplemental commission is known at the time of insurance placement. Like contingent commissions, they may be based on volume, profitability, retention and/or growth.
- Wholesale Broking Commissions – Sometimes MMA acts as a wholesale insurance broker for certain transactions. In these placements, MMA is engaged by a retail agent that has the direct relationship with the insured. As the wholesaler, MMA may have specialized expertise, access to surplus lines markets, or access to specialized insurance facilities that the retail agent does not have. In these transactions, the insurer typically pays a commission that is divided between the retail and wholesale broker pursuant to arrangements made between them.
- Other Compensation – From time to time MMA may be compensated by insurers for providing administrative services to clients on behalf of those insurers. Such amounts are typically calculated as a percentage of premium or are based on the number of insureds
- Other Benefits
- From time to time, MMA may participate in insurance company promotional events or training and development that insurers provide for MMA employees.
- MMA is sometimes reimbursed by insurers for its costs related to promotional marketing (i.e. cooperative advertising and marketing programs)
- MMA also earns interest and other income on premium accounts in financial institutions that hold insurance premiums pending remittance to the insurance company
- MMA may also be compensated for assisting its clients in obtaining premium financing.
RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and its subsidiaries own equity interests in a number of insurers or reinsurers. For further information regarding these interests, please visit: http://global.marsh.com/about/Transparency.php.
AFCO Premium Credit LLC is a joint venture between Marsh USA Inc. and AFCO Credit Corporation that provides premium financing services to insurance buyers.
STATEMENT REGARDING ALTERING COMPENSATION
MMA is prohibited by law in most states from altering the amount of compensation received from an insurer based in whole or in part on the sale of an insurance policy.
This disclosure is mandated by New York State Insurance Department Regulation No. 194 (11 NYCRR 30) §30.3(5). We interpret this provision to refer to the various anti-rebating insurance laws throughout the country, such as New York Insurance Law §2324 which prohibits insurance companies, agents and brokers from sharing or rebating commissions as an inducement to making an insurance contract. MMA makes the above statement based on that interpretation.
QUESTIONS? JUST ASK.
We encourage you to ask questions regarding any aspect of your relationship with MMA. Please feel free to ask a member of your account team.
If you wish to raise issues, express concerns, or file a complaint regarding compensation paid or payable to us by insurers or any other third parties, please contact our Ethics & Compliance line at 800-381-2105, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.