Chicago-based brokerage giant Aon Corp. announced that it is eliminating its practice of accepting contingent commissions from underwriters. The move most likely is a response to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s suit against New York-based Marsh for the practice. Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO, said: “Because trust and client satisfaction are top priorities for all of us at Aon, we are discontinuing a practice that has created enormous controversy and confusion. We cannot permit even the slightest impression of a conflict between acceptance of these commissions and our paramount obligations to our clients. We will work closely with insurance carriers, regulators and other constituencies to establish a new business model that ensures appropriate linkage of compensation to specific, measurable services in a way that is transparent, accepted and understood by our clients. We provide important services on behalf of underwriters; however, certain current compensation models must change.” Aon reportedly has begun winding down contingent commission agreements and expects to complete the process by the end of 2004.
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