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FEATURE: Small and medium brokers

03 August 2011

The big three insurance brokers loom large, but opportunities still exist for smaller brokers. Reactions asks the CEOs of Arthur J Gallagher, BMS, RK Harrison, Lockton International and RFIB their strategies for success.

Read more: Arthur J Gallagher BMS RK Harrison Lockton International RFIB pat gallagher paul bridgwater marsh willis

The broker empires carved out by the big three insurance intermediaries - Aon, Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) and Willis - appear to dominate the insurance and reinsurance market. The broking industry has consolidated rapidly within the past few decades. The biggest three firms have come to claim roughly 80% of market share for reinsurance business, according to Henry Keeling, president and chief executive of international operations at Guy Carpenter - itself part of the MMC group.

Against this backdrop, can the medium and small-sized brokers continue to flourish on a smaller scale? Can they hold on to their own niche specialties; or have they been left fighting for the scraps?

Talking about the big three brokers, Paul Bridgwater, chief executive of RK Harrison, says: "Their approach is simply to use their scale as leverage. Leverage in every way: on behalf of the client but also in terms of the income they can squeeze...


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