US - Mercer's retirement consulting revenues were flat overall in 2004 with declines in the UK and US markets, said parent company Marsh & McLennan.
Reporting its 2004 financial results, MMC said declines in the UK and US were offset by good growth throughout the rest of the world, leading to a flat result overall.
Total Mercer revenues increased 13% in 2004 to US$3.1bn from US$2.7bn in 2003.
MMC’s investment management arm, Putnam, saw a fall in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2004 down to US$421m. Average assets under management in the fourth quarter were up from US$209bn in the third quarter to US$211bn in the fourth, MMC said.
Mutual fund assets were US$143bn and institutional assets were US$70bn at year-end, compared with US$140bn and US$69bn respectively at the end of the third quarter.
Michael Cherkasky, president and CEO of MMC described 2004 as “the most difficult year” in the company’s financial history.
“We confronted major regulatory issues at both Marsh and Putnam,” he said. “The settlements we have announced are important steps forward for the company.
“We do not underestimate the task ahead… Marsh has begun to implement significant business reforms to ensure complete transparency in its dealings with clients. It is restructuring its operations, improving efficiencies, eliminating unprofitable accounts and simplifying its management structure while maintaining its commitment to being a full-service leader in insurance broking.
“We believe that in 2006, Marsh will be a stronger, more streamlined company, delivering profitable growth with an operating margin in the upper-teens, and with the opportunity for further margin expansion.”
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