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Marsh & McLennan Rebrands Consulting Units

May 11, 2007

Marsh & McLennan Cos. said Wednesday, May 9, that it has consolidated its three top management consulting businesses to streamline the operations under one name and better compete for high-value clients.

The Mercer Oliver Wyman, Mercer Management Consulting and Mercer Delta units will be renamed the Oliver Wyman Group. The new group will have combined revenue of $1.3 billion and 2,500 employees in 40 cities around the world.

 

“Our feeling was we should focus the Mercer brand on the human resources consulting area and build a brand on the elite management consulting space,” says John Drzik, chief executive of the new Oliver Wyman Group. “We think they’ll be a more powerful organization together as Oliver Wyman.”

 

Mercer Human Resource Consulting will continue to operate under the same name.

 

Marsh & McLennan formed Mercer Oliver Wyman in 2003 following the acquisition of Oliver Wyman & Co. Since that merger, Mercer Oliver Wyman has become one of the top financial consulting firms in the United States. Most recently, the firm advised Citigroup on how to restructure its business before the firm’s massive job cut announcement.

 

Mercer Management conducts strategic reviews for companies on product development, competition and other issues, while Mercer Delta consults with chief executives and other senior business executives on boardroom issues and management changes. The Oliver Wyman Group will also include Lippincott, a brand strategy consulting firm, and NERA Economic Consulting.

 

The rebranding comes amid speculation that Marsh & McLennan may be preparing to put itself up for sale. The firm recently sold its Putnam unit for $3.9 billion and Deutsche Bank analyst Alain Karaoglan said in a research note on Wednesday that Marsh & McLennan’s first-quarter results increased that possibility.

 

During the first three months of the year, Marsh & McLennan earned $268 million, or 47 cents a share, down 36 percent from a year earlier. Revenue in the latest quarter was flat at $1.1 billion. The latest results included restructuring charges of 5 cents a share. Wall Street had expected a profit of 50 cents a share.

 

Filed by David Jones of Crain’s New York Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.