Aon Executives, 70% of Employees Taking Pay Cuts Amid Coronavirus Uncertainties

By | April 27, 2020

  • April 27, 2020 at 10:58 am
    Dodie says:
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    Why????

  • April 27, 2020 at 12:27 pm
    Mr. Integrity says:
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    What they are not saying is the executives have been handsomely compensated, perhaps overpaid, for many years and a temporary 50% cut in their salary has no material impact on their lifestyle.

    • April 27, 2020 at 1:13 pm
      Otis Wong says:
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      Also to keep stock shares up which they own.

    • April 27, 2020 at 1:53 pm
      Actuary says:
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      On the other hand, since they were probably overpaid, reducing their salary probably has a material effect on the company’s short-term cash flow which says something about their compensation.

  • April 27, 2020 at 4:32 pm
    You're Not Fooling Me says:
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    Haha. Don’t be fooled. The execs are not participating in the pay cut to the same extent everyone else is.

    In 2018, most recent published data, Greg Case’s base salary was $1.5 million. Case’s total 2018 Aon compensation, according to salary.com, was $16,2 million. His base salary is less than 10% of his comp. The article states the officers “have agreed to a temporary reduction in their base salary.”

    Now, we don’t know what his salary is for 2020, or what his total comp will be. But, based on 2018 numbers, a 50% reduction in his base salary is only a 4.6% pay cut. Hmmmm!!!

    I think it would be much better for the execs to agree to a fixed amount. For example, this seems reasonable: “Greg Case has agreed to cap his total comp for 2020 at $500,000” and the comp for other executives will be set off of that. They will remain at those levels until compensation for everyone else is set to pre-COVID-19 salary and is made whole (their reductions are paid back).

    • April 27, 2020 at 7:14 pm
      Frankie Vee says:
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      Aon is in the risk business, isn’t it? (Rhetorical question!) People have been discussing the risk of pandemics for years. Twenty percent is a huge pay cut these people have to take. They don’t deserve such treatment.

      Think about this – The leadership of this company that is “supposedly” giving advice to other companies about risk was obviously not prepared to manage this risk. How can Aon help anyone else?

      Instead of managing its own risk, there was greater interest in fattening the bank accounts of executives.

      I see a fee things that should happen:

      The entire executive team (definitely top people listed in the article, and probably another level or two, even three or four levels) should be shown the way out the door. The entire Board should be canned.

      I don’t know how well-prepared Willis was for the situation. If Willis is in a better situation, maybe its execs and board should be given the reigns after the Aon team is booted. If Willis didn’t do any better, maybe an entire new team should be brought in.

      It is puzzling how anyone at Aon could try to sell the company’s risk expertise if the company can’t even manage its own risk. And it is even more puzzling how any company would hire Aon to provide guidance on managing risk.

      • April 27, 2020 at 8:18 pm
        Sum Ting Wong says:
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        Have a friend who works at Aon. Told her to check out these comments. She said Case delivered message in video to employees to tell them about pay cut and he was practically crying at the end. But he NEVER apologized to employees for mismanagement and not being prepared. She said management just does a lot of things like employee surveys about how they feel about company and employees are afraid to answer truthfully, Then management gives itself a standing O about how great they are.

        • April 28, 2020 at 7:30 am
          Sum Ting Wong says:
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          Clarification: My friend who works at Aon read the comment above and asked me to clarify one thing. When she told me Case was practically crying at the end of his video for Aon employees, they were crocodile tears. She said her coworkers agreed it was not sincere. It was a big show.-

        • April 28, 2020 at 1:54 pm
          TommyJ says:
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          I would argue that having the plan to cut employee pay during an economic downturn is a Risk Management strategy. They’ve sold the idea that we’re on all a team to the employees so they will be more willing to accept a paycut. Remember, the purpose of Aon is to generate revenue by providing Risk Management services. There mission is not to maintain employee pay levels.

          Also, as distasteful as it is, these corporate executives have shown outstanding Risk Management for themselves. They extracted as much money as possible from the organization during the good times so they could personally weather whatever economic storm may come. The more disgusting part is that executives sell the “we’re on a team” mentality during the good times while they are selfishly taking as much money out of the organization as possible. Let this serve as a lesson to all employees that you are not on a team with your boss. They are looking out for themselves and you need to always act in your best interest as well in order to minimize risk for yourself. In recent years, convincing employees that you have a great corporate culture and are on a team has become a way of keeping employee employees happy without actually having to pay them more money. That’s why we see the gap in executive pay is at all time highs. I don’t need Tuesday morning Yoga or office lunch. Just pay me a real wage.

          • April 29, 2020 at 8:54 am
            Bang Ding Ow says:
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            My initial reaction when I read the first sentence was “Is TommyJ really Greg Case?” Then I read on.

            “These corporate executives have shown outstanding Risk Management for themselves. They extracted as much money as possible from the organization during the good times so they could personally weather whatever economic storm may come.”

            Through the rest of your message, you captured the “disgusting” Aon culture and management actions perfectly. I hope many people looking for jobs, or potential clients of Aon, see these messages so they understand the true culture promoted by the terrible leadership.

            Your sarcasm is brilliant! This is a very bad and UNDESERVED situation for Aon employees, but I still laughed so hard at your brilliant sarcasm, I fell off my chair. Bang Ding Ow.

      • April 27, 2020 at 8:32 pm
        Jimbo says:
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        But really, this was a much better option then actually laying people off, no? Considering millions (or a billion+?) of people are losing their jobs right now due to the pandemic. They’re an insurance broker and risk specialist, but ultimately their revenue comes from their clients, and if the clients are shutting down, ceasing expansions and projects, then what can they do? What’s truly unfortunate is that all the other fish in the pond are going to follow what the big fish do now, since “somebody else has done it.”

        • April 27, 2020 at 9:04 pm
          Frankie Vee says:
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          Yes, pay cuts are better than losing jobs. But my points were not about merits of pay cuts vs lost jobs. My points were first that Aon executive team was not prepared and had not prepared the company, and second that Aon “supposedly” gives advice to companies about risk management, so if they can’t handle their own risk, who is going to take advice from Aon. I think your use of “risk specialist” to describe Aon is an oxymoron,

          I agree fully with your point that other companies will be announcing cuts soon and that is very unfortunate.

        • May 13, 2020 at 4:05 pm
          Gilda says:
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          What they aren’t saying is although no one will be laid off for Covid-19, they can easily lay off people because of the merger with Willis. A 50% pay reduction for someone who makes 16 million is hardly the same thing as a 20% pay cut for people who makes a fraction of the execs pay.
          Aon claims to invest in it’s employees but the reality is the average employee means nothing. Every department is expected to do more work with less people until their job is eliminated and moved offshore.

      • April 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm
        Outer Space says:
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        Risk management isn’t about eliminating all risk, so I’m not sure any company could have been better planning for this situation. But I do get you point. The problem I have with this is it’s clearly a one size fits all, simplistic, short sighted response to a very complex issue.

        Why 20%? What if revenue drops by 50% for the the next several global insurance industry? Wouldn’t we need layoffs then? How temporary is it? What if the economy takes 10 years to bounce back? How about 4 months? What if there are some good therapeutic meds identified a few months from now and small businesses surge? Will the employees that work in areas that will see zero drop in work (or an increase) get assistance from those in areas of the company that will basically be shut down?

        A 20% pay reduction for everyone is just so lacking in any creativity.

        • April 29, 2020 at 10:46 am
          Frankie Vee says:
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          I agree with your point that Aon’s response (20% pay cut) is not well thought out and lacks creativity.

          I think your comments about risk management need some help. You wrote “Risk management isn’t about eliminating all risk.”

          Actually, risk management may involve effort to eliminate risk, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, risk management is about – as the name implies – managing risk. Here is one definition: “Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization’s capital and earnings. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters.”

          Another definition: (in business) the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.

          Aon obviously failed “to avoid or minimize their impact.”

          Your sentence continued “so I’m not sure any company could have been better planning for this situation.” Tell me, WHAT PLANNING did Aon do? Having to cut pay 20% after less than two months and when the turnaround is beginning doesn’t seem like there was a good plan in place.

          Pandemics have been around forever, and as others have mentioned in comments, pandemics are something that is part of risk management. Whether Aon risk management considers this the case, I can’t say. But other companies involved in risk management include pandemics as something that should be covered. So, either Aon had a poor plan, or didn’t consider pandemics part of risk management. Either way, the company failed its clients and its employees.

          • April 29, 2020 at 11:35 am
            Buckeye35 says:
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            I’m going to reiterate my point that I don’t think this situation has anything to do with Aon’s “risk management” strategy or lack thereof.

            This is a short term “cash grab” by management to get people to leave now and not in a year when they integrate Willis and have to start cutting positions and paying out severances.

            If this was really about “sharing the load” and being “part of a team,” as CEO Case indicates, why don’t the employees get some of their payment in stock or options so that they can “share in the upside” for their current sacrifices? Their CEO sure isn’t giving up his equity compensation, the vast majority of his $16 mil annual pay.

          • April 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm
            Frankie Vee says:
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            I agree with you, Buckeye35. There is definitely a “cash grab” element involved and it is sinister.

            But, I think that lack of a risk management plan and poor leadership and management are reasonable points of discussion, too.

            I don’t want to go off in another direction here, but I wonder if there is any legal action that could be taken against Case, other execs, and Board. If anyone has legal expertise and can comment, maybe he or she could start another thread.

          • April 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm
            Outer Space says:
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            I have no idea why planning Aon did (or did not do). Nor do I see evidence any other broker or insurer has a better plan, The general consensus as far as I can tell is “we don’t know yet what impact this will have on salaries or staffing levels”. Just because they haven’t done anything yet isn’t evidence they have a great pandemic plan.

            I do not see how they have failed their clients. In fact, promising to keep their service teams in place is a positive for the clients. As to whether or not they have failed their employees, we don’t know that yet and won’t for some time.

            But the key to this disagreement is in your second to last paragraph. You think things are beginning to turn around. I do not. I think the effects will be felt for many years, and we likely have not seen the worst financial impacts yet. Just MHO.

            At the end of the day, Aon may be proven right. But I think not mainly because their plan lacks the flexibility to make more dramatic cuts if needed. Also, it fails to get more granular and instead assumes one size fits all. Of course it may turn into a “read my lips” scenario at some point.

          • April 30, 2020 at 8:13 am
            Frankie Vee says:
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            Outer Space, you wrote “But the key to this disagreement is in your second to last paragraph. You think things are beginning to turn around. I do not. I think the effects will be felt for many years, and we likely have not seen the worst financial impacts yet. Just MHO.” (Reference to message posted on April 29, 2020 at 10:46 am)

            Up until your making that comment, we were discussing Aon’s risk management plan – or what I said was the lack of a plan and merely a reaction. I agreed with your assessment that the reaction (the pay cut) was not well thought out and lacked creativity.

            But, if you want to change the focus of the discussion to the turnaround, fine. You acknowledged that your comments were “just MHO” and I respect that. Let me offer facts to support my position that the turnaround has begun.

            You write that you don’t think things are beginning to turn around. Have you paid your cable bill? Watch the news and you will see and hear that restrictions are being lifted: stores, restaurants, and other businesses are opening. Take a drive: Where I live, there has been a noticeable increase this week over just last week in vehicles on the road. I’ve spoken with friends in other cities and states, and their observations are the same.

            Businesses are putting in policies and procedures that will give people confidence.

            Testing is increasing and that will make management of the disease more effective and efficient.

            Scientists are optimistic about the prospects of the treatments and vaccines being developed. The development has been much faster and more efficacious than development of treatments and vaccines in previous situations.

            Now, let’s look at a few facts, while accepting the fact that data are changing. We are learning that the situation is not anywhere near as bad as early assessments, when we had less data, showed.

            In early-mid-March, the death rate was thought to be about 3.5% of cases. The latest data show it is in the range of 0.11% to 0.12% (the initial factor being more than 30 times the current factor.)

            The majority of deaths are people with other risk factors, including age. While you will find no one who has more respect for the senior members of society than me, people die when they get old. It’s an undisputed fact. Also, It is likely that at least some, if not many, deaths attributed to COVID-19 are really due to something else.

            I am not an epidemiologist or statistician, so I am not going to get into a discussion about what is likely to kill someone, but COVID-19 is not be the most dangerous risk we face in our daily living.

            If we use our “smarts” we can do much, if not all, of what we did pre-COVID-19.

            I will agree that there may be some long-term lingering effects. However, I have great confidence and faith in the ingenuity, creativity, and RESILIENCY of people. I think the turnaround has begun (I listed evidence of that above) and will continue at an increasingly faster rate.

    • April 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm
      ..... says:
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      …and of course they will get the dividend payment so probably this decision while making almost the majority of their workforce worse off will leave them better off….

  • April 27, 2020 at 4:43 pm
    Mrs Doubtfire says:
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    I think there is something more to this reduction. When do you think the firm will restore pay? Will firm make up reductions?

  • April 27, 2020 at 5:34 pm
    TommyJ says:
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    If Aon is anything like our agency, (We are much smaller) 30% of the employees are commission based producers whose pay automatically goes down in a bad economy. So when they say 70% of employees are taking a paycut, they effectively mean everyone is.

    • May 5, 2020 at 12:31 pm
      Aon Employee says:
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      The 30% that is not affected are those who make under a certain threshold of income. The 70% with the pay cut includes the commission based producers.

  • April 27, 2020 at 5:51 pm
    Jimbo says:
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    Which really sucks for Marsh and the rest of the brokers. Now that that the world’s biggest broker (after their acquisition of Willis) has gone this route, the rest of the brokers and issuers will all follow suit. They were just all waiting for who would be the first to start. Within a month….

    • April 30, 2020 at 4:38 pm
      Buckle Up says:
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      Not anytime soon or at all. Our CEO, Dan Glaser, just announced that the company established a new $1b credit facility. This is in addition to the $1.8b credit facility the company already has.

      I feel bad for the AON folks…20% is a lot and their leadership should have looked elsewhere to make reductions. You do salary cuts as a last resort.

      Peace Out!

      • May 1, 2020 at 6:49 am
        Frankie Vee says:
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        Hey Buckle Up, are you saying you’re not expecting pay cuts or layoffs at Marsh Mac? I would assume that applies to Mercer, too. Someone told me Mercer was furloughing (some) ees one day a week. Any truth to that?

        • May 4, 2020 at 11:53 pm
          Buckle Up says:
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          Haven’t heard about that, but I will ask some of the Mercer peeps.

      • May 1, 2020 at 11:30 am
        Buckeye35 says:
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        Buckle Up,
        I don’t know why you think Aon’s management team did this over other options.

        THIS WAS DONE ON PURPOSE! AON WANTS PEOPLE TO QUIT!

        This is a job cut by another name. They are using this as a scheme to get rid of redundancies before the Willis acquisition is completed. That way they don’t have to pay out as much in severances.

        It’s disgusting they are using a national tragedy to make job cuts.

        • May 5, 2020 at 12:01 am
          Buckle Up says:
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          I agree. I said in another post that their actions were fishy. Peace out!

  • April 28, 2020 at 6:35 am
    Jon says:
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    As an employee I am disgusted by this action – they are still paying a dividend to shareholders and Case earned USD16.2 million in 2018 of which only USD1.5m was cash, salary so a 50% reduction in salary wont impact his lifestyle. What people also forget is that we have had 10 years of below inflation or mostly nil pay rises, whilst exec pay has increased year on year. Vile leadership team.

    • May 4, 2020 at 2:05 pm
      CB says:
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      Also here in The Netherlands the same story Jon. As a Dutch employee of Aon I’m lucky that in The Netherlands an employer needs to have permission of each individual employee to agree with a salary cut. Although our management is convinced that the majority of the employees will agree, I think they will be surprised by the outcome on May 12th. Wishful thinking I supose.

      Cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I was when I’ve heared this news.

      • May 17, 2020 at 11:57 pm
        Curious1 says:
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        So how did the May 12th vote go ?

  • April 28, 2020 at 9:14 am
    Former Marsh, Now Willis Employee says:
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    I find this announcement very concerning and sad for some of my former colleagues at AON. When I was considering leaving Marsh, I never interviewed at Aon. Why? Because a former McKinsey Consultant is at the helm, someone who did not grow their career from the foundations of this business (broking, consulting, underwriting, etc), is very likely to make business decisions based on metrics that benefit shareholders and not to the benefit of employees and customers and the overall business. Hey consultants, just an FYI, sometimes if you manage a business well enough for the sake of customers and highly talented employees that alone can maximize returns to shareholders rather than cutting corners on numbers for short-term gains with long term, dire consequences (case in point – AIG when Peter Hancock was at the helm and relied on consultants to re-org the business in the worst way possible to no one’s benefit).

    If you look at AON’s revenue vs compensation since 2017, revenue has increased by 10.15% and compensation & benefits have increased by +0.8% – if that doesn’t speak volumes as to how they’ve historically treated their employees relative to the company’s success and now looking to cut compensation by 20% for the majority of employees when there hasn’t even been an immediate negative financial impact is very concerning especially coming from an employee from a soon-to-be acquired company. A few things are also very telling: that they are not re-evaluating/postponing the Willis acquisition nor reconsidering paying out a dividend in the future.

    If they were able to evidence financial issues in the short term with the company or re-evaluate overall compensation paid to executives (see other people’s posts on stock awarded in years prior relative to salaries for executives) that would be one thing, but there is going to be no shortage of work in the next few months for people on the ground level and although some clients may go out of business which will impact revenue, the hard market for most lines coverage still exists (especially in umbrella/excess) and increase in revenue on any commission based accounts. I’m really keen on seeing the financials for Q1 of this year as I’m sure they will not be in the red or negative warranting such a drastic action.

    Lastly, if AON is willing to treat their employees like this, do you think anyone intelligent at Willis is looking forward to being greeted with pitchforks and potentially a pay cut? What if the job market goes back to normal in the next few months for the rest of the industry?

    Someone wasn’t thinking holistically when they made this decision and time will tell of the ramifications of this.

    • April 28, 2020 at 10:08 am
      Cancel the Deal says:
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      Thank you! Excellent and very enlightening commentary. Yes, Willis Towers Watson employees should be disturbed by what our leaders are doing to us. This is not what we need or want. Should we ask John Haley and others Willis executives to explain why the are making this move? How much do they each stand individually to make from the deal? Can you say “Follow The Money”?

    • April 28, 2020 at 11:31 am
      Outer Space says:
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      Well said. And you hit the nail on the head that the work is not going away any time soon for most. That’s the real reason why there are no layoffs (yet), the work isn’t being reduced in at least the next 4-6 months.

      As to revenue impact, it remains to be seen. I think smaller agencies will be hardest hit with auditable policies and Clint bankruptcies. For more diversified companies like WTW with a broad range of consulting services, reinsurance (where the hard market is dramatically increasing revenue), etc I don’t think anyone can predict the impact for certain at this point.

      Aon’s jump to do this is a money-grab from their employees just because they are can, pure and simple.

    • April 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm
      Jimbo says:
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      I remember when in the financial crisis of 2008, tthey announced ZERO bonuses and a few months later, announced an $80M sponsorship contract with Man U to have Aon’s names on their jerseys.

  • April 28, 2020 at 10:48 am
    Joe says:
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    The 20% pay cut could rightly be seen as an investment in the equity of the company. After all the dust settles maybe Aon should compensate those taking the 20% pay cut with equivalent stock.

  • April 28, 2020 at 11:04 am
    Psh...Unreal says:
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    Just like others have said, Case’s total comp is $16M. Half of his salary is barely a drop in the bucket.

    Now if I was a client, this news would worry me. Why would I stay with a risk management company who cannot manage their own risk? That’s like hiring a plumber who cannot clear a drain or a financial advisor who only loses money. The 20% for normal employees is life changing. That, for me anyway, would be a mortgage payment (which is NOT going away). Very bad move by Aon.

  • April 28, 2020 at 11:31 am
    Buckeye35 says:
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    This is all about the Willis acquisition!

    They know they will have duplicative positions and will be overstaffed when the deal closes. The thought process here is to make everyone take a 20% paycut so they’ll quit. Then Aon doesn’t have pay out as much in severance and unemployment claims. Plus the bad PR impact will be lessened if job cut number is reduced following the acquisition.

    Incredibly short-sighted. A situation like this provides the best opportunity for an insurance brokerage to prove their value to client.

  • April 28, 2020 at 11:55 am
    Xavier says:
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    This is well deserved for the lazy executives and senior leaders in the brokerage community at large, most of whom demand ever increasing commissions despite doing persistently less and more useless work for their insureds and the carriers they interact with. The only skill needed to demand 20 plus percentage points of commission nowadays for most of these brokers is how to click the forward e-mail button. That said, they’re not the only ones at fault since this industry is full of incompetent yet securely employed underwriters that encourage this behavior. Unfortunately, many of those brokerage employees who actually make a meaningful contribution are left out to dry by the bungling and lazy senior leaders and executives that run most of these firms, especially at Aon. As usual, the world continues to reward inept, greed, and people who bully their way up the corporate ladder.

  • April 28, 2020 at 12:11 pm
    Xavier says:
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    This is well deserved for the senior management and executive level members of these brokerages who persistently press for ever increasing commissions yet contribute less and more useless work for their clients and the carriers they interact with. While commissions continue to climb, the only skill demanded of many brokers nowadays is how to click the forward e-mail button and copying and pasting the “About” section of their insured’s websites – forget about actually understanding their insured’s business and controlling for the quality of the submissions they present to underwriters. That said, there are many incompetent underwriters who contribute to this by bending over backwards for brokers, especially since their job security is virtually guaranteed. Unfortunately, many competent and thoughtful employees at these brokerages are left hanging due to the bungling, avaricious, and lazy senior managers and executives who did nothing to prepare for this other than lining their own pockets. As usual, the world continues to reward inept, greed, and people who bully their way up the corporate ladder.

  • April 28, 2020 at 1:47 pm
    Tiger88 says:
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    Dear Mr. Case: What, your firm, under your direction, didn’t buy any type of event triggered parametric insurance/instrument? The kind your brokers have been pushing to their corporate clients for years in the case of war, economic disruption, hurricane and pandemics? Oh…OK, I’m afraid the shareholders would like your keys and ID badge back. Good luck on future endeavors.

    • April 29, 2020 at 10:06 am
      Bang Ding Ow says:
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      Well said, Tiger!

      I am glad you asked for his keys and ID back. :) On behalf of all Aon employees, thank you! Like many Aon employees, I don’t trust the guy at all. Look at the picture Case uses. It’s probably from 15 years and 50-75 pounds ago (when he started at Aon). I am not age-shaming or fat-shaming him; he’s doing that himself by using an old picture because he is embarrassed to use a current picture. Who would use an old picture that doesn’t even look like him, especially with technology that has his current image all over the place in videos and other pictures? Only someone who is deceitful and arrogant, and who looks down on everyone else, that’s who. Certainly not someone who inspires other.

  • April 28, 2020 at 2:45 pm
    Some Guy says:
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    Aon’s “clients” are not their insureds – its their stockholders. That’s ALL that Aon has ever cared about – especially since Case took over.,

    • April 30, 2020 at 5:53 pm
      Willis Guy says:
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      Same goes for Willis.

      Dominic from McKinsey completed WTW.

      Within 3 years, another acquisition happens…

  • April 29, 2020 at 1:01 am
    Jonathan Shaw says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 29, 2020 at 9:08 am
      Bang Ding Ow says:
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      Greg Case, is Jonathan Shaw your pseudonym?

    • April 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm
      Frankie Vee says:
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      You write, “It could be argued that they are managing the risk.”

      Well, go ahead and make the argument. Your response is silent on an argument about what Aon is doing other than cutting pay. That is not “managing the risk.”

      Here are the important points that have been raised, Jonathan Shaw, aka Greg Case (or Greg Case surrogate):

      1. At best, Aon’s cutting pay is a reactive response (not managing the risk) because Aon had no risk management plan.

      2. There are valid and credible comments above that describe Case’s (and Aon’s) misguided leadership and management, limited concern for employees, etc.

      3. Most sinister, consider what Buckeye35 wrote: “This is a short term “cash grab” by management to get people to leave now and not in a year when they integrate Willis and have to start cutting positions and paying out severances.” This might be on the mark!

      • April 29, 2020 at 8:15 pm
        Jonathan Shaw says:
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        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

        • May 1, 2020 at 6:36 pm
          josh hoffman says:
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          But think about the scope of things. Aon spends about $2B/year(2010-2020) on share buybacks and about $6B/year on salary (2018). 20% reduction saves ~$100M/month. If Aon banked just half of the buybacks from any of the last 10 years, they would have 10 more months of burn and employed wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden. Equity stake holders benefited substantially more than employees in the past 10 years. They should be the ones now taking the hit, not employees.

  • April 29, 2020 at 9:35 pm
    Frankie Vee says:
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    Oh my. You are either Case or a Case stooge!

    1. It is reactive because Aon did NOT have a plan to manage risk. Look at my response above to a thread started by You’re Not Fooling Me; there is a definition of risk management. There was no risk management plan and cutting pay was the reactive action the company had to take. The planning for the hit began almost immediately because the execs knew they had no plan. Case made the statement that no employee will lose a job, but “everything else is on the table.” His statements were very general, even though you would have had to be a BIG DUMMY if you didn’t know what “everything else is on the table” means. Again, that came out very quickly because the execs were caught without a plan.

    Note also that the numbers mentioned in previous threads. The executive reductions are advertised at 50% of basic salary, but basic salary is only a tiny percentage of their pay.

    2. You wrote “Also we don’t know what incentives Aon have made to employees who opt for the salary reduction.” That is a 100% uninformed statement.

    What the heck to you mean by “Also we don’t know what incentives Aon have made.” YES WE DO. There are NO INCENTIVES. In addition, employees have been told that the reduced pay will NOT be made up and there is NO PLAN to do anything for the employees.

    Also, what the heck are you talking about “employees who opt for the salary reduction.” This wasn’t something employees opted for. The option was accept it.

    The announcement said 70% of employees will have a reduction, but this is not because employees are opting in. The 30% that don’t have a reduction are those that are making $50k or less (with slightly higher thresholds in some metropolitan areas). There is a phase-in so no one is reduced below the respective threshold.

    Regarding stock ownership, you wrote “that many employees will own Aon stocks.” Depends how you define many, but there are a lot of employees who NOT own stock. And the majority of the ones who do are senior level (VPs and above).

    3. It may be that 1 in 3 Americans will lose their jobs. A few points. (1) That is a worst case scenario according to most experts. (2) We are already opening the economy. (3) While it is sad that anyone will lose his or her job, most of those loses will be in other fields, not the fields where Aon employees are. You CANNOT apply general statistics to a specific situation.

    Lack of planning, misguided management (documented by others), executive greed (mentioned by others) are all factors. And I give a lot of credibility to Buckeye33’s comments about the “cash grab.”

    • April 29, 2020 at 10:03 pm
      Jonathan Shaw says:
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      It seems you don’t actually no as much about this announcement then you think. This is a global company. Do you really think they can just roll out a 20% salary cut globally while abiding by every local employment laws? there are definitely opt in, opt out requirements and incentives for doing so.

  • April 29, 2020 at 10:18 pm
    Frankie Vee says:
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    You can say what you want about what I know (not “actually no”), but I will counter your comment by saying you either did not read the article or do not comprehend what is clear.

    Read the second line of the article:

    In addition, 70% of its global workforce will see a 20% reduction in their salaries, while approximately 30% of Aon colleagues will see no reduction.

  • April 29, 2020 at 10:28 pm
    Frankie Vee says:
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    Yes, the thresholds mentioned in my prior message are for USA. Thresholds and variations will be adjusted for local conditions, but the bottom line here is that the 20% pay cut applies to all employees earning more than the respective threshold. About 30% of employees will not be affected because of the thresholds. The intent is to have a uniform reduction. So, perhaps it is you who (using your words with grammatical correction) does not know as much as you think!

    • May 1, 2020 at 11:21 am
      Buckeye35 says:
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      The “30% will not be affected” is just straight up baloney.

      This is an INSURANCE AGENCY! Those 30% are commissioned employees (Producers)! They are already feeling the pain from clients not paying or client staff reductions.

      Aon wants people to quit and is using COVID 19 as an excuse. No way there staff doesn’t understand this!!!

  • April 29, 2020 at 10:43 pm
    Jonathan Shaw says:
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    We will see my friend, we will see :)

  • April 30, 2020 at 7:21 am
    Frankie Vee says:
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    Headline in online version of Crain’s Chicago Business on April 29:

    Did Aon’s pay cuts have to be so steep?

    A Crain’s analysis suggest the 20 percent salary reduction most Aon workers are facing could have been half that if CEO Greg Case had reduced shareholder dividends to cope with economic crisis.

    Several contributors to this discussion commented on the emphasis Case has placed on shareholders, and shareholders includes Case and other execs who have significant holdings, which are publicly reported. (You commented about employee shareholders. I doubt any individual “regular” employee has anywhere near the shares Case and other execs have.)

  • April 30, 2020 at 9:41 am
    Willis Guy says:
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    I don’t want to work for Aon…

    • May 1, 2020 at 6:45 am
      Frankie Vee says:
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      You are a Smart Man, Willis Guy.

      I wish I could speak with you (but we cannot share contact info here). My advice to you and other Willis team members would be to get Willis Towers Watson executives to reconsider (see Cancel The Deal’s 04/28 message above) or to begin looking for positions elsewhere.

      Good luck!

  • April 30, 2020 at 6:43 pm
    Buckle Up says:
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    Something smells fishy and it ain’t cat food!

    BFD…unless the executives give up their equity compensation (or a meaningful portion of it), they are not taking a pay cut. Trying to trick their staffing into thinking they are doing something noble and sharing the pain of the common person. These money grabbers think their employees are that stupid??? What an insult to the folks that work at this joint.

    I wonder when and where the first lawsuit gets filed? Will it be California or New York?

    Peace Out!

    • May 1, 2020 at 11:15 am
      Buckeye35 says:
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      Totally correct Buckle Up!

      This is in no way “sharing the pain.” Maybe if the employees got their 20% in stock you could make that argument, but this is a straight up cash grab.

      They want people to quit over this, that’s the whole point.

  • May 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm
    Aon employee says:
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    Actually is 19.9% pay cut. Severance pays at 20%. Friend immediately quit but was told by HR she doesn’t qualify for severance.

    • May 6, 2020 at 2:53 pm
      Aon Employee also says:
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      Where did you get info about severance pay kicking in at 20%? I was looking and couldn’t find anything?

  • May 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm
    Aon Employee says:
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    Want to know what kind of company Aon is? The reduction is 19.9% so they don’t pay severance which is triggered at 20%.

    • May 5, 2020 at 12:04 am
      Buckle Up says:
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      Rat b@stards!

  • May 4, 2020 at 10:32 am
    Shot in the Foot says:
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    If the pay cut does indeed have the hidden motive of pushing employees out the door, remember it’s the strongest swimmers who jump ship first. You’ll get headcount down, but be left with less than the best of your workforce. Good luck competing well when things turn around when some of your best employees have left for competitors…

    • May 6, 2020 at 10:10 am
      An Actuary says:
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      Aon’s not worried about that. They know their best employees left years ago.

  • May 5, 2020 at 9:28 am
    Frankie Vee says:
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    Need to repeat what Buckle Up wrote above:

    “Something smells fishy and it ain’t cat food!”

    Each day I do a Google search for “Insurance Journal Aon pay cuts.” This version of the article posted on 04/27 was always returned as the result. Today (Tue 05/05), the result is a link to the same article with a date of 05/04. But there are no comments. I found the URL in my history.

    Does someone want the comments hidden?

    Any thoughts about this? Do you think Aon asked Insurance Journal to repost the article with a current date so people will find that one? Think about what Buckle Up wrote.

    • May 5, 2020 at 10:22 am
      Andrew G. Simpson says:
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      Thanks for the inquiry. Hold off on the conspiracy theories please.
      The link you are using is from our magazine edition, where a version of the article has been used. Thats’s a common practice by IJ. The original online story — along with all comments– is still where it always was:
      https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2020/04/27/566445.htm

      Nothing fishy about it:)

  • May 8, 2020 at 9:52 am
    Dumb Move Aon says:
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    But think about the scope of things.

    Aon spends about $2B/year(2010-2020) on share buybacks and about $6B/year on salary (2018). 20% reduction saves ~$100M/month. If Aon banked just half of the buybacks from any of the last 10 years, they would have 10 more months of burn and employed wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden. Equity stake holders benefited substantially more than employees in the past 10 years. They should be the ones now taking the hit, not employees.

    Nice to see WTW and MMC value their employees – recent press releases by both, confirming no cuts. Shots Fired! Aon deal or no deal is done – no longer has any trust amongst their staff. I have several friends at AON – moral at all time LOW.

  • May 15, 2020 at 5:30 pm
    Another Aon employee says:
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    In addition to the ‘smidge under 20%’ paycut, they are encouraging employees to take their vacation [& go where, everything’s closed, plus who has money for vacation now?] instead of waiting toward the 3rd & 4th quarter. Why? Methinks they are definitely planning layoffs before the year is over (vacation time doesn’t carryover) so even less money they’d have to shell out to people. I don’t care, am saving as much of my time as I can since I don’t trust them. They are a disreputable company. Run away as fast as you can!

  • June 30, 2020 at 9:34 am
    An Aon Employee says:
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    For those interested – The 20% cut in pay has been lifted as of June 30 with a full return of previously withheld pay plus an additional 5% on top of what was withheld. Most Aon employees expected to have the withheld amount returned at some point (I assumed at the end of the year). The additional 5% is a nice bonus. Executive officers and the Board are maintaining their 50% reduction in pay.

    • June 30, 2020 at 2:23 pm
      An Aon Employee too says:
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      Of course…. Thank you Aon for return us our money!.
      The damage for the firm was already done. Your bad decisions are not going to be fixed as easy…



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