Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC), parent to insurance broker Marsh, announced that five members of its board of directors, who are also executives of the company, have stepped down from their positions on the board in keeping with promises to change the governance of the corporation.
The company’s board of directors now consists of Michael G. Cherkasky, the company’s president and chief executive officer, and 10 outside members of the board.
Those leaving the board include Mathis Cabiallavetta, vice chairman, MMC; Peter Coster, president, Mercer Inc.; Charles A. Davis, vice chairman, MMC and chairman and chief executive officer, MMC Capital, Inc.; Ray J. Groves, senior advisor, Marsh Inc.; and A.J.C. Smith, chairman, Putnam Investments and former chairman, MMC.
Robert Erburu, lead director of MMC’s board of directors, said: “This step is in keeping with the company’s commitment to adhering to corporate governance best practices. The board appreciates the services of these executives.”
The company also announced that the board of directors decided to defer its decision with respect to the company’s dividend for the first quarter of 2005, pending completion of its review of Marsh’s business model and ongoing regulatory matters.
At the same time, Marsh & McLennan Companies announced that Peter J. Beshar, a litigation partner at the firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, has been named senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of the company.
Beshar’s appointment is effective Nov. 22, and he will report to Cherkasky.
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Beshar served as the co-chair of Gibson, Dunn’s Securities Litigation Group. He has a background in securities litigation and regulatory investigations.
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