Ex-Marsh Executives, Convictions Tossed, Sue for Bonuses

October 28, 2010

Two former Marsh & McLennan Cos. executives, whose criminal convictions in an insurance bid-rigging scheme were thrown out, sued their former employer, accusing it of depriving them of stock bonuses and severance.

In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court, plaintiffs William Gilman and Edward McNenney said the New York-based company has wrongfully withheld the payouts after having fired them without cause in the fall of 2004.

The complaint does not specify the total damages sought, but said each plaintiff had earned several thousand restricted shares, plus severance based on their lengths of employment and prior bonus awards.

Gilman worked at Marsh for 28 years and McNenney for 14 years, the complaint said.

Marsh and a lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In January 2005, Marsh agreed to pay $850 million to settle civil charges by then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer over the alleged rigging of bids on insurance contracts.

Marsh was at the time the world’s largest insurance brokerage.

Gilman and McNenney were each found guilty in February 2008 on one count of restraining trade, a felony antitrust charge, in connection with the case, following a 10-month bench trial.

Those convictions were reversed in July 2010 after new evidence surfaced that called the convictions into question.

Gilman had been an executive marketing director in the Marsh Inc. brokerage unit who negotiated revenue-sharing agreements with insurance carriers, while McNenney was a Marsh global placement director.

They were among eight insurance executives, including seven from Marsh, indicted in September 2005.

The remaining defendants were either acquitted or had their criminal charges dropped.

The case is Gilman et al v. Marsh & McLennan Cos et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-08158.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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