Fitch Ratings has affirmed the “BBB+” long-term issuer rating and related senior debt ratings of Aon Corporation, and its commercial paper rating at “F2,” but has retained its “Negative Outlook” rating.
The actions follow Aon’s second-quarter earnings and its announcement of a $200 million to $300 million pretax charge to be taken beginning in the third quarter of this year to contain costs and restructure. Aon anticipates these initiatives will lead to annualized cost savings of as much as $150 million.
Fitch believes Aon’s year-to-date financial results are supportive of the current ratings despite the permanent loss of contingent commission revenue and a softening rate environment.
However, Fitch retained Aon’s “Negative Outlook” rating because of the brokers’ unproven ability to generate financial results that align with recent history and because of the unknown impact of federal investigations in the insurance brokerage industry.
If Aon’s performance remains stable and there are no material charges, Fitch will likely affirm its ratings with a Stable Outlook.
For more information on the rating, please see Fitch’s Web site at www.fitchratings.com.