Aon Chief Acknowledges Employee Violations with Business Conduct Code

December 8, 2004

Insurance giant Aon Corp., whose practices are under review as part of an industrywide investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, said for the first time that some of its employees have violated the company’s business conduct code.

Chief executive Patrick Ryan, in a brief statement Monday, did not elaborate on the violations or say whether they were illegal. He said the company is conducting an internal review.

Spitzer has subpoenaed records but not brought allegations against Aon, the world’s second-largest insurance brokerage and consulting firm behind March & McLennan Cos. He sued Marsh Oct. 14 for bid-rigging, price fixing and accepting incentive commissions from insurance companies in exchange for steering business their way.

Ryan maintains that such steering did not occur at Aon, and told the Chicago Tribune in an interview published Sunday that he was “very comfortable with our past behavior.” He said in Monday’s statement that he wished to clarify his published comments, noting that Aon had “found indications that some employees have not always followed these (company) principles.”

Aon shares have tumbled nearly 25 percent in the past two months.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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