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Guy Carpenter's Q1 organic growth 'probably' topped internal expectations

GuyCarpenter & Co. LLC generated underlying revenue growth of 3% on ayear-over-year basis during the first quarter in a result that Alex Moczarski,president and CEO of the Marsh& McLennan Cos. Inc. subsidiary, said was "probablystronger than we had expected."

Marsh& McLennan reportedunderlying revenue growth of 4% on a consolidated basis during the quarter,marking what the company said was the 12th-consecutive reporting period inwhich the measure of organic growth had risen by at least 3%. Companyofficials, speaking during a conference call, affirmed their confidence in acontinued ability to generate underlying revenue growth in a range of 3% to 5%for the full year — something Marsh & McLennan has achieved, in spite ofheadwinds, for six years in a row.

Presidentand CEO Daniel Glaser attributed underlying revenue growth of 2% at Marsh the continued strong performance of the middle-market Marsh & McLennanAgency business, though he declined to specify the rate of growth it attained.Company officials also identified several headwinds the Marsh business isfacing, including what unit CEO Peter Zaffino described as "an abundanceof capacity" and a "little bit" of resulting pricing pressure inthe insurance market.

"Itdid temper," Zaffino said of the pricing pressure, "but it's beenhappening for the better part of the last few years."

AtGuy Carpenter, Glaser credited "strong new business growth in globalspecialties," particularly in marine and the Europe, Middle East andAfrica region, for the reinsurance brokerage unit's expansion.

"Wehad strong new business and the pipeline remains good," Moczarski said,noting that Guy Carpenter had produced organic growth 27 times in the past 29quarters.

"Newbusiness was very good in the specialties area, in EMEA," he added. "Butthe other regions were strong, particularly on the retention side. … We have avery nicely balanced organization, and we think that we'll be able to continuewith moderate growth for the rest of the year."