MMC's Oliver Wyman to Acquire Corven

Zacks

Oliver Wyman, a leading consulting wing of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. (MMC), has announced its intention to take over UK-based management consultancy firm – Corven. The announcement is in line with the company's strategy to focus on growth through acquisitions. However, the terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Corven primarily focuses on the rapidly growing energy sector, a space that remains scarcely explored for Marsh & McLennan. Thus, the acquisition by Oliver Wyman is expected to diversify the overall business profile.

With operations based out of London, Chicago, Boston and Houston, Corven’s business complements Oliver Wyman’s growth strategy as the latter attempts to increase its solution service offerings against the impediments faced within the oil and gas, utilities, and infrastructure sectors. Additionally, Corven brings in strong intellectual capital along with an expert management team, which will integrate with Oliver Wyman’s present team of 40 partners.

The deal also pairs well with Marsh & McLennan’s strategy of expansion into potentially strong markets through mergers and acquisitions. Earlier this month, the insurance brokerage wing of the company – Guy Carpenter acquired Maine-based Smith Group that encompasses the long-term disability insurance business.

Last month, another insurance arm of Marsh & McLennan – Marsh Inc. – closed the acquisitions of leading insurance advisor in the Dominican Republic – Franco & Acra Tecniseguros and Peru-based leading insurance advisor – Rehder y Asociados Group (Rehder). With annual revenue of over $30 million, Rehder covers about 17% of the insurance market in Peru.

Through such acquisitions, Marsh & McLennan has expanded its operations in over 100 countries globally. Despite the consistent acquisitions, the company continues to experience decent liquidity and leverage. We believe that the company has the ability to remain focused on this growth approach with a prudent management, thereby driving the earnings and competitive edge over the peer group.

While Marsh & McLennan carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), other outperformers in the financial services industry include Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO), Hilltop Holdings Ltd. (HTH) and Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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