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MMC to lay off 750 in restructuring


NEW YORK--Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. on Friday announced a $225 million cost-cutting plan, which includes elimination of 750 positions, as a means to enhance operational efficiencies and improve profitability.

New York-based MMC said that while the initiative calls for layoffs affecting less than 2% of its 55,000-member workforce, most of the savings will come from improving efficiencies, including establishing global centers for service, infrastructure and network operations; consolidating data centers and servers; and disposing of excess space.

The plan is expected to yield annualized savings of approximately $350 million by the end of 2008. MMC will incur about $225 million in charges for the plan, with 15% incurred in 2006, 55% in 2007 and 30% in 2008, MMC said.

This is the latest in a series of actions MMC has taken following its October 2004 fraud and bid-rigging suit and the resulting $850 million settlement with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

"Over the past two years, this management team has successfully achieved $800 million in restructuring savings--on time and as promised," said Michael G. Cherkasky, president and chief executive officer of MMC, in a statement. "These past successes are evidence that the savings announced today can be delivered."

Michael Petrullo, MMC's senior vp and chief administrative officer, and Lamar Chesney, vice president of finance operations, will drive the new program.