Marsh & McLennan forms new insurer to deal with Sept. 11 attacks

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New York--B-to-b financial company holding giant Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. has formed Axis Specialty Ltd., an insurance and reinsurance subsidiary meant to deal with claims and business resulting from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.Marsh & McLellan, which owns institutional mutual fund company Putnam Investments L.L.C., will invest $1 billion in Axis, which is to begin underwriting in the fourth quarter. One of Axis' main focuses will be compensating for the lack of insurance and reinsurance capacity anticipated as a result of the attacks. Marsh & McLellan also owns Mercer Consulting Group Inc., a New York-based b-to-b consulting firm."Marsh & McLellan is sponsoring the formation of Axis Specialty in response to demand for reinsurance and insurance capacity at a time when it is most needed in the marketplace," Marsh & McLellan CEO J.W. Greenberg said in a statement.The financial impact of the terrorist attacks on Marsh & McLennan are unclear. But its human toll from the attacks is immense. At least 295 employees who were working at its offices at the World Trade Center are missing.J.W. Greenberg is the son of Maurice Greenberg, chairman-CEO of competitor American International Group, whose World Trade Center claims losses are estimated at $500 million.

--Philip B. Clark

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