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LOCKTON FORGES TIE WITH FORBES

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan.-Lockton Cos. is expanding its list of international brokerage partners through a reciprocal service agreement with Forbes Group of South Africa, which recently bought Nelson Hurst P.L.C. in London.

The agreement will formalize existing working relationships between Lockton, Forbes and Nelson Hurst but will not include any commitment to exclusively deal with each other, said Tim Higgins, senior vp-international at Lockton.

The agreement complements existing reciprocal agreements that Lockton and Nelson Hurst had with FDG S.A., a Luxembourg-based group that comprises the international insurance brokerage interests of Funk Group GmbH in Hamburg, Germany; Diot S.A. in Paris; and GrECo International A.G. in Vienna, Austria. The three brokerages operate in 14 European countries. (BI, Feb. 5, 1996).

The agreements enable the brokerages to access offices in Europe through FDG; the United States through Lockton; and South Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United Kingdom through Forbes/Nelson Hurst, Mr. Higgins said.

"As far as Lockton is concerned, this satisfies our principal needs for the immediate future," he said.

Meanwhile, as Lockton grows its network of international agreements, UNISON, the former doyen of all international brokerage networks, continues to crumble.

Last week, J&H Marsh & McLennan bought Bonnor & Co. A/S in Virum, Denmark, for an undisclosed amount. Bonnor was the Danish member of UNISON.

Bonnor had a premium volume of 400 million Danish Kroner ($58.6 million) in 1996 and handles 450 large and mid-sized companies in Denmark.

Bonnor will be merged with the Danish operations of J&H Marsh & McLennan.

John Bonnor, managing director and founder of Bonnor, will be chief executive officer of the new Danish company, which will be named Bonnor Marsh & McLennan.

The purchase of Bonnor marks another step in the decline of UNISON since its largest part-ner, Johnson & Higgins, was bought by Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. in March (BI, March 17, 1997).

Since then, the UNISON membership of Gras Savoye in Paris was thrown in to question after Willis Corroon P.L.C. agreed to buy a one-third stake in the brokerage (BI, July 14), and the German UNISON member, Jauch & Huebener KGaA in Hamburg, this month announced its sale to Aon Group Inc. (BI, Sept. 22).