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EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_231.htm
EX-32.1 - SECTION 1350 CERTIFICATIONS - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_321.htm
EX-31.2 - RULE 13A-14(A)/15D-14(A) CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_312.htm
EX-31.1 - RULE 13A-14(A)/15D-14(A) CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_311.htm
EX-21.1 - LIST OF SUBSIDIARIES OF MMC - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_211.htm
EX-12.1 - STATEMENT RE COMPUTATION OF RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_121.htm
EX-10.56 - MCGIVNEY LETTER AGREEMENT - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_1056.htm
EX-10.39 - SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE MMC SUPPLEMENTAL SAVINGS & INVESTMENT PLAN - MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES, INC.mmc12312017ex_1039.htm

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
___________________________________________ 
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
Commission File No. 1-5998
_____________________________________________ 
logommc2015.jpg
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
  
36-2668272
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1166 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036-2774
(Address of principal executive offices; Zip Code)
(212) 345-5000
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
 
Chicago Stock Exchange
 
 
London Stock Exchange
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. Yes  ý    No   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  ý    No   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting Company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting Company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large Accelerated Filer  x
  
Accelerated Filer  ¨
 
 
Non-Accelerated Filer  ¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
  
Smaller Reporting Company  ¨
 
 
 
 
 
Emerging Growth Company  ¨

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell Company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes  ¨    No  ý
As of June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $39,350,425,982 computed by reference to the closing price of such stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2017.
As of February 19, 2018, there were outstanding 507,621,360 shares of common stock, par value $1.00 per share, of the registrant.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.’s Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement for the 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the "2018 Proxy Statement") are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.
 



INFORMATION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements," as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements, which express management's current views concerning future events or results, use words like "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "project" and similar terms, and future or conditional tense verbs like "could," "may," "might," "should," "will" and "would."
Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. Factors that could materially affect our future results include, among other things:
the impact of any investigations, reviews, market studies or other activity by regulatory or law enforcement authorities, including the U.K. FCA wholesale insurance broker market study and the ongoing investigations by the European Commission;
the impact from lawsuits, other contingent liabilities and loss contingencies arising from errors and omissions, breach of fiduciary duty or other claims against us;
our organization's ability to maintain adequate safeguards to protect the security of our information systems and confidential, personal or proprietary information, particularly given the large volume of our vendor network and the need to patch software vulnerabilities;
our ability to compete effectively and adapt to changes in the competitive environment, including to respond to disintermediation, digital disruption and other types of innovation;
the financial and operational impact of complying with laws and regulations where we operate, including cybersecurity and data privacy regulations such as the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation, anti-corruption laws and trade sanctions regimes;
the regulatory, contractual and reputational risks that arise based on insurance placement activities and various broker revenue streams;
the extent to which we manage risks associated with the various services, including fiduciary and investments and other advisory services;
our ability to successfully recover if we experience a business continuity problem due to cyberattack, natural disaster or otherwise;
the impact of changes in tax laws, guidance and interpretations, including related to certain provisions of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or disagreements with tax authorities;
the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange and interest rates on our results;
the impact of macroeconomic, political, regulatory or market conditions on us, our clients and the industries in which we operate; and
the impact of changes in accounting rules or in our accounting estimates or assumptions, including the impact of the adoption of the new revenue recognition, pension and lease accounting standards.
The factors identified above are not exhaustive. Further information concerning Marsh & McLennan Companies and its businesses, including information about factors that could materially affect our results of operations and financial condition, is contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the "Risk Factors" section in Part I, Item 1A of this report and the "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" section in Part II, Item 7 of this report. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are based only on information currently available to us and speak only as of the dates on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which it is made.



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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART I
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1 —
 
 
 
Item 1A —
 
 
 
Item 1B —
 
 
 
Item 2 —
 
 
 
Item 3 —
 
 
 
Item 4 —
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5 —
 
 
 
Item 6 —
 
 
 
Item 7 —
 
 
 
Item 7A —
 
 
 
Item 8 —
 
 
 
Item 9 —
 
 
 
Item 9A —
 
 
 
Item 9B —
 
 
 
PART III
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10 —
 
 
 
Item 11 —
 
 
 
Item 12 —
 
 
 
Item 13 —
 
 
 
Item 14 —
 
 
 
PART IV
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15 —
 
 
 
Item 16 —
 
 
Signatures



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PART I
ITEM 1.      BUSINESS.
References in this report to "we", "us" and "our" are to Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries (the "Company"), unless the context otherwise requires.
GENERAL
The Company is a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in risk, strategy and people. Its businesses include: Marsh, the insurance broker, intermediary and risk advisor; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and investment related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman Group, the management, economic and brand consultancy. With nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide and annual revenue of more than $14 billion, the Company provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 130 countries.
The Company conducts business through two segments:
Risk and Insurance Services includes risk management activities (risk advice, risk transfer and risk control and mitigation solutions) as well as insurance and reinsurance broking and services. The Company conducts business in this segment through Marsh and Guy Carpenter.
Consulting includes health, retirement, talent and investments consulting services and products, and specialized management, economic and brand consulting services. The Company conducts business in this segment through Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group.
We describe our current segments in further detail below. We provide financial information about our segments in our consolidated financial statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this report.
OUR BUSINESSES
RISK AND INSURANCE SERVICES
The Risk and Insurance Services segment generated approximately 54% of the Company's total revenue in 2017 and employs approximately 35,000 colleagues worldwide. The Company conducts business in this segment through Marsh and Guy Carpenter.
MARSH
Marsh is a global leader in delivering risk advisory and insurance solutions to companies, institutions and individuals around the world. From its founding in 1871 to the present day, Marsh has demonstrated a commitment to thought leadership, innovation and insurance expertise to meet its clients’ needs. Marsh’s pioneering contributions include introducing the practice of client representation through brokerage, the discipline of risk management, the globalization of risk management services and the development of service platforms that identify, quantify, mitigate and transfer risk.
Currently, approximately 32,700 Marsh colleagues provide risk management, insurance broking, insurance program management services, risk consulting, analytical modeling and alternative risk financing to a wide range of businesses, government entities, professional service organizations and individuals in more than 130 countries. Marsh generated approximately 46% of the Company's total revenue in 2017.
Insurance Broking and Risk Consulting
In its core insurance broking and risk advisory business, Marsh employs a team approach to identify, quantify and address clients' risk management and insurance needs. Marsh’s product and service offerings include risk analysis, insurance program design and placement, insurance program support and administration, claims support and advocacy, alternative risk strategies and a wide array of risk analysis and risk management consulting services. Clients benefit from Marsh’s advanced analytics, deep technical expertise, collaborative global culture and the ability to develop innovative solutions and products. The firm’s resources also include more than 35 risk, specialty and industry practices, including


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cyber, financial and professional service practices, along with a growing employee health & benefits business.
Marsh provides services to clients of all sizes, including large multinational companies, high growth middle-market businesses, small commercial enterprises and high net-worth private clients. Marsh segments clients to ensure that their needs are effectively addressed through tailored value propositions, which aim to provide solutions that best mitigate and manage their risk exposures.
Global Risk Management. Marsh has an extensive global footprint and market-leading advisory and placement services that benefit large domestic and international companies and institutions facing complex risk exposures. These clients are also supported by Marsh’s robust analytics and a growing digital experience.
In addition, Marsh’s largest multinational clients are serviced by a dedicated team of colleagues from around the world focused on delivering service excellence and insurance solutions to clients wherever they are located. Marsh provides global expertise and an intimate knowledge of local markets, helping clients navigate local regulatory environments to address the worldwide risk issues that confront them.
Middle Market & Corporate. A fast-growing segment, middle market and corporate clients are served by Marsh’s brokerage operations globally and constitute a substantial majority of clients served by Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) in the United States, Jelf/Bluefin in the United Kingdom and large portions of Marsh’s international business.
MMA offers a broad range of commercial property and casualty products and services, as well as solutions for employee health and benefits, retirement and administration needs and a growing personal lines business in the United States and Canada. Since its first acquisition in 2009, MMA has acquired 62 agencies. MMA provides advice on insurance program structure and market dynamics, along with industry expertise and transactional capability.
Jelf (acquired in December 2015) and Bluefin (acquired in December 2016) service more than 250,000 clients, primarily in the small to mid-market segment across the United Kingdom, and offer high quality technical advice, bespoke products and distinctive services including claims consultancy, employee health and benefit, personal lines solutions and risk management. As a result of these acquisitions, Marsh is now a leading SME (small and medium enterprise) broker in the United Kingdom.
Commercial & Consumer. Clients in this market segment typically face less complex risks and are served by Marsh’s innovative product and placement offerings and growing capabilities in digitally enabled distribution.
The Schinnerer Group is one of the largest underwriting managers of professional liability and specialty insurance programs worldwide. In the United States, Victor O. Schinnerer & Co. and ICAT Managers offer risk management and insurance solutions to over 125,000 insureds through a national third-party distribution network of licensed brokers. ENCON Group Inc., a leading managing general agent in Canada with over 43,000 insureds, offers professional liability and construction insurance, as well as group and retiree benefits programs and claims handling for individuals, professionals, organizations and businesses.
Dovetail Insurance is a leading provider of cloud-based insurance services and transaction processing tailored to the U.S. small commercial market. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Dovetail deploys an advanced cloud-based technology platform that enables independent insurance agents, on behalf of their small business clients, to obtain online quotes from multiple insurance providers and bind insurance policies in real time.
High Net Worth (HNW). Individual high net worth clients are serviced by Marsh’s Private Client Services (PCS), MMA and other personal lines businesses globally. These businesses provide a single-source solution for high net worth clients and are dedicated to sourcing protections across a complete spectrum of risk. Using a close consultative approach, PCS analyzes exposures and customizes programs to cover clients with complex asset portfolios.


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Additional Services and Adjacent Businesses
In addition to insurance broking, Marsh provides certain other specialist advisory or placement services:
Marsh Risk Consulting (MRC) is a global practice comprising specialists that advise clients on identifying exposures, use data and analytics to assess critical business activities and evaluate existing risk practices and strategies. MRC provides client services in four main areas: Property Consulting; Casualty Consulting; Strategic Risk and Cybersecurity Consulting; and Financial Advisory Services.
Marsh Global Analytics helps organizations use data and analytical tools to better understand risks, make more informed decisions and support the implementation of innovative solutions and strategies. Marsh Global Analytics employs a suite of solutions including extensive, global placement data viewed using PlaceMAP (a benchmarking and placement application), statistical and financial analyses, decision modeling, catastrophic loss modeling and the Marsh Analytical Platform (Marsh’s proprietary suite of analytics applications that delivers risk insights to clients for better decision making concerning retaining, mitigating and transferring risk).
Marsh Captive Solutions serves more than 1,200 captive facilities, including single-parent captives, reinsurance pools and risk retention groups. The Captive Solutions practice operates in 36 captive domiciles and leverages the consulting expertise within Marsh’s brokerage offices worldwide. The practice includes the Captive Advisory Group, a consulting arm that performs captive feasibility studies and helps to structure and implement captive solutions; the Captive Management Group, an industry leader in managing captive facilities and in providing administrative, consultative and insurance-related services; and the Actuarial Services Group, which is comprised of credentialed actuaries and supporting actuarial analysts.
Torrent Technologies is a service provider to Write Your Own (WYO) insurers participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in the United States. It offers a comprehensive suite of flood insurance products and services to WYO carriers and agents. In December 2017, Torrent commenced responsibilities as the Direct Servicing Agent of the NFIP.
Marsh ClearSight is a cloud-based software platform that serves the needs of risk management professionals, insurance carriers and third-party administrators, through integration of its technology platform with analytics and data services. Marsh ClearSight enables its clients to manage their insurance claims and other risk data, analyze trends, gain industry insights, optimize safety, risk mitigation and other decision-making and reduce costs.
Bowring Marsh is an international placement broker primarily for property and casualty risks. Bowring Marsh uses placement expertise in major international insurance market hubs, including Bermuda, Brazil, China, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Japan and Switzerland, and an integrated global network to secure advantageous terms and conditions for its clients throughout the world.
Services for Insurers
Insurer Consulting Group provides services to insurance carriers. Through Marsh's patented electronic platform, MarketConnect, and sophisticated data analysis, Marsh provides insurers with individualized preference setting and risk identification capabilities, as well as detailed performance data and metrics. Insurer consulting teams review performance metrics and preferences with insurers and provide customized consulting services to insurers designed to improve business planning and strategy implementation. Marsh's Insurer Consulting services are designed to improve the product offerings available to clients, assist insurers in identifying new opportunities and enhance insurers’ operational efficiency. The scope and nature of the services vary by insurer and by geography.





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GUY CARPENTER
Guy Carpenter, the Company’s reinsurance intermediary and advisor, generated approximately 9% of the Company's total revenue in 2017. The workforce consists of approximately 2,300 colleagues who provide clients with a combination of specialized reinsurance broking expertise, strategic advisory services and analytics solutions. Guy Carpenter creates and executes reinsurance and risk management solutions for clients worldwide through risk assessment analytics, actuarial services, highly-specialized product knowledge and trading relationships with reinsurance markets. Client services also include contract and claims management and fiduciary accounting.
Acting as a broker or intermediary on all classes of reinsurance, Guy Carpenter places two main types of property and casualty reinsurance: treaty reinsurance, which involves the transfer of a portfolio of risks; and facultative reinsurance, which involves the transfer of part or all of the coverage provided by a single insurance policy.
Guy Carpenter provides reinsurance services in a broad range of specialty practice areas, including: agriculture; alternative risk transfer (such as group-based captives and insurance pools); aviation & aerospace; casualty clash (losses involving multiple policies or insureds); construction and engineering; credit, bond & political risk; cyber; excess & umbrella; flood; general casualty; life, accident & health; marine and energy; medical professional liability; professional liability; program manager solutions; property; public sector; retrocessional reinsurance (reinsurance between reinsurers); surety (reinsurance of surety bonds and other financial guarantees); terror, and workers compensation.
Guy Carpenter also offers clients alternatives to traditional reinsurance, including industry loss warranties and, through its licensed affiliates, capital markets alternatives such as transferring catastrophe risk through the issuance of risk-linked securities. GC Securities, the Guy Carpenter division of MMC Securities LLC and MMC Securities (Europe) Limited, offers corporate finance solutions, including mergers & acquisitions and private debt and equity capital raising, and capital markets-based risk transfer solutions that complement Guy Carpenter's strong industry relationships, analytical capabilities and reinsurance expertise.
Guy Carpenter also provides its clients with reinsurance-related services, including actuarial, enterprise risk management, financial and regulatory consulting, portfolio analysis and advice on the efficient use of capital. Guy Carpenter's Global Strategic Advisory ("GSA") unit helps clients better understand and quantify the uncertainties inherent in their businesses. Working in close partnership with Guy Carpenter account executives, GSA specialists help support clients' critical decisions in numerous areas, including reinsurance utilization, catastrophe exposure portfolio management, new product and market development, rating agency, regulatory and account impacts, loss reserve risk, capital adequacy and return on capital.
Compensation for Services in Risk and Insurance Services
Marsh and Guy Carpenter are compensated for brokerage and consulting services through commissions and fees. Commission rates and fees vary in amount and can depend on a number of factors, including the type of insurance or reinsurance coverage provided, the particular insurer or reinsurer selected, and the capacity in which the broker acts and negotiates with clients. In addition to compensation from its clients, Marsh also receives other compensation, separate from retail fees and commissions, from insurance companies. This other compensation includes, among other things, payments for consulting and analytics services provided to insurers; fees for administrative and other services provided to or on behalf of insurers (including services relating to the administration and management of quota shares, panels and other facilities in which insurers participate); and contingent commissions, which are paid by insurers based on factors such as volume or profitability of Marsh's placements, particularly at MMA and in parts of Marsh's international operations.
Marsh and Guy Carpenter receive interest income on certain funds (such as premiums and claims proceeds) held in a fiduciary capacity for others. For a more detailed discussion of revenue sources and factors affecting revenue in our Risk and Insurance Services segment, see Part II, Item 7 ("Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations") of this report.


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CONSULTING
The Company's Consulting segment generated approximately 46% of the Company's total revenue in 2017 and employs approximately 27,300 colleagues worldwide. The Company conducts business in this segment through Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group.
MERCER
Mercer delivers advice and digital solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer has more than 22,600 colleagues based in 40 countries. Clients include a majority of the companies in the Fortune 1000 and FTSE 100, as well as medium- and small-market organizations. Mercer generated approximately 32% of the Company's total revenue in 2017.
Mercer operates in the following areas:
Health.  Mercer assists public and private sector employers in the design and management of employee health care programs; administration of health benefits and flexible benefits programs, including benefits outsourcing; employee engagement with their health benefits through a digital experience; compliance with local benefits-related regulations; and the establishment of health and welfare benefits coverage for employees. Mercer provides a range of advice and solutions to clients, which, depending on the engagement, may include: total health management strategies; global health brokerage solutions; vendor performance and audit; life and disability management; and measurement of healthcare provider performance. These services are provided through traditional fee-based consulting as well as commission-based brokerage services in connection with the selection of insurance companies and healthcare providers. Mercer also provides solutions for private active and retiree exchanges in the United States, including its Mercer Marketplace 365SM offering, as well as tools to enhance employee engagement with their health benefits through its DarwinSM platform.
Wealth.  Mercer assists clients worldwide in the design, governance and risk management of defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid retirement plans. Mercer provides retirement plan outsourcing, including administration and delivery of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement benefits. Mercer also provides investment advice and related services to the sponsors and trustees of pension plans, master trusts, foundations, endowments, and insurance companies as well as wealth management and other financial intermediary firms.
Effective January 1, 2017, Mercer combined its Retirement and Investments businesses to form the Wealth business. The Wealth business is comprised of two practices: Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration (DBA) and Investment Management & Related Services (IMS).
DBA includes mature businesses primarily in defined benefit and actuarial consulting, defined benefit investment consulting and defined benefit plan administration. Through DBA, Mercer provides a range of retirement-related services and solutions to corporate, governmental and institutional clients. IMS includes businesses primarily in investments delegated solutions, defined contribution-related investment services, and financial wellness. Mercer's services cover all stages of the investment process, from strategy, structure and implementation to ongoing portfolio management. Mercer’s investment management services are also referred to as delegated solutions or fiduciary management. Mercer provides these services to institutional and other sophisticated investors including retirement plans (defined benefit and defined contribution), master trusts, endowments and foundations and wealth managers and other financial intermediary firms, primarily through manager of manager funds sponsored and managed by Mercer. As of December 31, 2017, Mercer had assets under delegated management of approximately $227 billion worldwide. Mercer’s financial wellness advice and services are designed to promote the financial well being of employees.
Career.  Mercer's Career businesses, formerly known as Talent, advise organizations on the engagement, management and rewarding of employees; the design of executive remuneration programs; the transformation or improvement of human resource (HR) effectiveness; and the implementation of digital and cloud-based Human Resource Information Systems through Mercer Career Digital. In addition, through proprietary survey data and decision support tools, Mercer's Information Products Solutions business provides clients with human capital information and analytical capabilities to improve strategic human capital decision making. Mercer's Communications business helps clients plan and implement HR


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programs and other organizational changes designed to maximize employee engagement, drive desired employee behaviors and achieve improvements in business performance.
OLIVER WYMAN GROUP
With more than 4,700 professionals and offices in 30 countries, Oliver Wyman Group delivers advisory services to clients through three operating units, each of which is a leader in its field: Oliver Wyman, Lippincott and NERA Economic Consulting. Oliver Wyman Group generated approximately 14% of the Company's total revenue in 2017.
Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm. Oliver Wyman's consultants specialize by industry and functional area, allowing clients to benefit from both deep sector knowledge and specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management and organization transformation. Industry groups include:
Automotive
Aviation, Aerospace & Defense
Business Services
Communications, Media & Technology
Distribution & Wholesale
Energy
Financial Services (including corporate and institutional banking, insurance, wealth and asset
management, public policy, and retail and business banking)
Health & Life Sciences
Industrial Products
Public Sector
Retail & Consumer Products
Surface Transportation
Travel & Leisure
Oliver Wyman overlays its industry knowledge with expertise in the following functional specializations:
Actuarial. Oliver Wyman offers actuarial consulting services to public and private enterprises, self-insured group organizations, insurance companies, government entities, insurance regulatory agencies and other organizations.
Business & Organization Transformation.  Oliver Wyman advises organizations undergoing or anticipating profound change or facing strategic discontinuities or risks by providing guidance on leading the institution, structuring its operations, improving its performance and building its organizational capabilities.
Corporate Finance & Restructuring. Oliver Wyman provides an array of capabilities to support investment decision making by private equity funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, investment banks, commercial banks, arrangers, strategic investors and insurers.
Digital. Oliver Wyman has a dedicated cross-industry team helping clients capitalize on the opportunities created by digital technology and addressing the strategic threats.
Marketing & Sales.  Oliver Wyman advises leading firms in the areas of offer/pricing optimization; product/service portfolio management; product innovation; marketing spend optimization; value-based customer management; and sales and distribution model transformation.
OW Labs. OW Labs applies innovative approaches to technology to drive business impact for its clients. The mission of OW Labs is to help clients to unleash the power of the information they already have or could capture - essentially to become knowledge-powered businesses - and through that to drive competitive advantage and sustained impact.
Operations & Technology.  Oliver Wyman offers market-leading IT organization design, IT economics management, Lean Six Sigma principles and methodologies, and sourcing expertise to clients across a broad range of industries.
Risk Management. Oliver Wyman works with chief financial officers, chief risk officers, and other senior finance and risk management executives of corporations and financial institutions on risk management solutions. Oliver Wyman provides effective, customized solutions to the challenges presented by the evolving roles, needs and priorities of these individuals and organizations.


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Strategy.  Oliver Wyman is a leading provider of corporate strategy advice and solutions in the areas of growth strategy and corporate portfolio; non-organic growth and M&A; performance improvement; business design and innovation; corporate center and shared services; and strategic planning.
Sustainability Center. The Sustainability Center at Oliver Wyman supports leading companies and governments around the world in their efforts to foster economic growth while encouraging more responsible use of natural resources and environmental protection.
Value Sourcing. Oliver Wyman helps organizations with optimization of purchasing processes or organization; cost monitoring; low-cost country sourcing; supply chain management; strategic sourcing; sequenced supply; part kitting; and with transforming procurement into a strong competitive advantage, delivering sustained value.
Lippincott is a brand strategy and design consulting firm that advises corporations around the world in a variety of industries on corporate branding, identity and image. Lippincott has helped create some of the world's most recognized brands.
NERA Economic Consulting provides economic analysis and advice to public and private entities to achieve practical solutions to highly complex business and legal issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance and litigation. NERA professionals operate worldwide assisting clients including corporations, governments, law firms, regulatory agencies, trade associations, and international agencies. NERA's specialized practice areas include: antitrust; securities; complex commercial litigation; energy; environmental economics; network industries; intellectual property; product liability and mass torts; and transfer pricing.
Compensation for Services in Consulting
Mercer and the Oliver Wyman Group of businesses are compensated for advice and services primarily through fees paid by clients. Mercer's Health & Benefits business is compensated through commissions for the placement of insurance contracts (comprising more than half of the revenue in the Health & Benefits business) and consulting fees. Mercer's Delegated Solutions business and certain of Mercer's defined contribution administration services are compensated typically through fees based on assets under administration or management. For a majority of the Mercer-managed investment funds, revenue received from Mercer's investment management clients as sub-advisor fees is reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP, on a gross basis rather than a net basis. For a more detailed discussion of revenue sources and factors affecting revenue in the Consulting segment, see Part II, Item 7 ("Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations") of this report.
REGULATION
The Company's activities are subject to licensing requirements and extensive regulation under U.S. federal and state laws, as well as laws of other countries in which the Company's subsidiaries operate. See Part I, Item 1A ("Risk Factors") below for a discussion of how actions by regulatory authorities or changes in legislation and regulation in the jurisdictions in which we operate may have an adverse effect on our businesses.
Risk and Insurance Services While laws and regulations vary from location to location, every state of the United States and most foreign jurisdictions require insurance market intermediaries and related service providers (such as insurance brokers, agents and consultants, reinsurance brokers and managing general agents) to hold an individual or company license from a government agency or self-regulatory organization. Some jurisdictions issue licenses only to individual residents or locally-owned business entities; in those instances, if the Company has no licensed subsidiary, it may maintain arrangements with residents or business entities licensed to act in such jurisdiction. Such arrangements are subject to an internal review and approval process. Licensing of reinsurance intermediaries is generally less rigorous compared to that of insurance brokers, and most jurisdictions require only corporate reinsurance intermediary licenses.
The Insurance Mediation Directive was adopted by the United Kingdom and 26 other European Union Member States in 2005. Its implementation gave powers to the Financial Services Authority ("FSA"), the


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United Kingdom regulator at the time, to expand their responsibilities in line with the Financial Services and Markets Act, the result of which was the regulation of insurance and reinsurance intermediaries. The enhanced regulatory regime implemented in the United Kingdom created a licensing system based on an assessment of factors which included professional competence, financial capacity and the requirement to hold professional indemnity insurance. In April 2013, the FSA was superseded by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA"). In April 2014, the FCA’s responsibilities were expanded further to include the regulation of credit activities for consumers. This included the broking of premium finance to consumers who wished to spread the cost of their insurance. In April 2015, the FCA obtained concurrent competition powers enabling it to enforce prohibitions on anti-competitive behavior in relation to financial services.
Insurance authorities in the United States and certain other jurisdictions in which the Company's subsidiaries do business, including the FCA in the United Kingdom, also have enacted laws and regulations governing the investment of funds, such as premiums and claims proceeds, held in a fiduciary capacity for others. These laws and regulations typically provide for segregation of these fiduciary funds and limit the types of investments that may be made with them, and generally apply to both the insurance and reinsurance business.
Certain of the Company's Risk and Insurance Services activities are governed by other regulatory bodies, such as investment, securities and futures licensing authorities. In the United States, Marsh and Guy Carpenter use the services of MMC Securities LLC, a SEC registered broker-dealer in the United States, investment adviser and introducing broker. MMC Securities LLC is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), the National Futures Association and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation ("SIPC"), primarily in connection with capital markets and other investment banking-related services relating to insurance-linked and alternative risk financing transactions. Also in the United States, Marsh uses the services of MMA Securities LLC, a SEC registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, SIPC and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, primarily in connection with retirement, executive compensation and benefits consulting and advisory services to qualified and non-qualified benefits plans, companies and executives. In the United Kingdom, Marsh and Guy Carpenter use the expertise of MMC Securities (Europe) Limited, which is authorized and regulated by the FCA to provide advice on securities and investments, including mergers & acquisitions in the European Union. MMC Securities LLC, MMC Securities (Europe) Limited and MMA Securities LLC are indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Consulting.  Certain of Mercer's retirement-related consulting and investment services are subject to pension law and financial regulation in many countries. In addition, the trustee services, investment services (including advice to persons, institutions and other entities on the investment of pension assets and assumption of discretionary investment management responsibilities) and retirement and employee benefit program administrative services provided by Mercer and its subsidiaries and affiliates are also subject to investment and securities regulations in various jurisdictions, including regulations imposed or enforced by the SEC and the Department of Labor in the United States, the FCA in the United Kingdom, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. In the United States, Mercer provides investment services through Mercer Investment Management, Inc. and Mercer Investment Consulting LLC, each an SEC-registered investment adviser in the United States. Mercer Trust Company, a New Hampshire chartered trust bank, provides services for Mercer’s benefits administration and investment management business in the United States. The benefits insurance consulting and brokerage services provided by Mercer and its subsidiaries and affiliates are subject to the same licensing requirements and regulatory oversight as the insurance market intermediaries described above regarding our Risk and Insurance Services businesses. Mercer uses the services of MMC Securities LLC to provide certain retirement and employee benefit services. Oliver Wyman Group uses the services of MMC Securities (Europe) Limited in the European Union, primarily in connection with corporate finance advisory services.
FATCA. Regulations promulgated by the U.S. Treasury Department pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and related legislation (FATCA) require the Company to take various measures relating to non-U.S. funds, transactions and accounts. The regulations impose on Mercer certain client financial account tracking and disclosure obligations with respect to non-U.S. financial institution and insurance clients, and require Marsh and Guy Carpenter (and Mercer, in limited circumstances) to collect, validate and maintain certain documentation from each foreign insurance entity that insures a risk that is subject


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to the regulations. As of January 1, 2017, FATCA expanded to regulate a broader set of insurance and reinsurance placements, known as "foreign-to-foreign" transactions. The Company has adopted processes to substantially address FATCA’s requirements.
COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS
The Company faces strong competition in all of its businesses from providers of similar products and services, including competition with regard to identifying and pursuing acquisition candidates. The Company also encounters strong competition throughout its businesses from both public corporations and private firms in attracting and retaining qualified employees. In addition to the discussion below, see "Risks Relating to the Company Generally — Competitive Risks," in Part I, Item 1A of this report.
Risk and Insurance Services.  The Company's combined insurance and reinsurance services businesses are global in scope. Our insurance and reinsurance businesses compete principally on sophistication, range, quality and cost of the services and products they offer to clients. The Company encounters strong competition from other insurance and reinsurance brokerage firms that operate on a global, regional, national or local scale, from a large number of regional and local firms in the United States, the European Union and elsewhere, from insurance and reinsurance companies that market, distribute and service their insurance and reinsurance products without the assistance of brokers or agents and from other businesses, including commercial and investment banks, accounting firms, consultants and online platforms, that provide risk-related services and products or alternatives to traditional insurance brokerage services. In addition, third party capital providers have entered the insurance and reinsurance risk transfer market offering products and capital directly to the Company’s clients. Their presence in the market increases the competitive pressures that the Company faces.
Certain insureds and groups of insureds have established programs of self insurance (including captive insurance companies) as a supplement or alternative to third-party insurance, thereby reducing in some cases their need for insurance placements. Certain insureds also obtain coverage directly from insurance providers. There are also many other providers of managing general agency, affinity programs and private client services, including specialized firms, insurance companies and other institutions.
Consulting.  The Company's consulting businesses face strong competition from other privately and publicly held worldwide and national companies, as well as regional and local firms. These businesses generally compete on the basis of the range, quality and cost of the services and products they provide to clients. Competitors include independent consulting and outsourcing firms, as well as consulting and outsourcing operations affiliated with accounting, information systems, technology and financial services firms. Mercer's investments business faces competition from many sources, including investment consulting firms (many of which offer delegated services) and other financial institutions. In some cases, clients have the option of handling the services provided by Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group internally, without assistance from outside advisors.
Segmentation of Activity by Type of Service and Geographic Area of Operation.
Financial information relating to the types of services provided by the Company and the geographic areas of its operations is incorporated herein by reference to Note 15 to the consolidated financial statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this report.
Employees
As of December 31, 2017, the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries employed nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, including approximately 35,000 in Risk and Insurance Services and 27,300 in Consulting.


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EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMPANY
The executive officers of the Company are appointed annually by the Company’s Board of Directors. The following individuals are the executive officers of the Company:
Peter J. Beshar, age 56, is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Marsh & McLennan Companies. In addition to managing the Company’s Legal, Compliance & Public Affairs Departments, Mr. Beshar also oversees the Company’s Risk Management group. Before joining Marsh & McLennan Companies in November 2004, Mr. Beshar was a Litigation Partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Mr. Beshar joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in 1995 after serving as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York Attorney General's office and as the Special Assistant to the Honorable Cyrus Vance in connection with the peace negotiations in the former Yugoslavia.
John Q. Doyle, age 54, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Marsh and oversees Marsh’s core businesses and operations globally. Mr. Doyle was named CEO of Marsh in July 2017. He joined Marsh & McLennan Companies as President of Marsh in April 2016. Prior to that, he was most recently Chief Executive Officer of American International Group’s (AIG) commercial insurance businesses. Mr. Doyle began his career at AIG in 1986 and held several senior executive positions, including President and Chief Executive Officer of AIG property and casualty in the U.S., President and Chief Executive Officer of National Union Fire Insurance Company, and President of American Home Assurance Company.
E. Scott Gilbert, age 62, is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies. Mr. Gilbert leads the Company’s firm-wide efforts to improve the experience of clients and colleagues through the development and implementation of innovative and cost-effective technologies. In his role, he has responsibility for the Global Technology Infrastructure group, the Marsh & McLennan Innovation Centre, and chairs the Company’s Technology Council. Mr. Gilbert also has direct oversight responsibilities over the technology leaders of the operating companies and corporate functions. In addition, Mr. Gilbert oversees the Company's global Business Resiliency and Security operations. Prior to assuming his current role in September 2015, Mr. Gilbert served as Senior Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer of the Company. Prior to joining Marsh & McLennan Companies in January 2005, he was the Chief Compliance Counsel of the General Electric Company since September 2004. Prior thereto, he was Counsel, Litigation and Legal Policy at GE. Between 1986 and 1992, when he joined GE, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Daniel S. Glaser, age 57, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies. Prior to assuming his current role in 2013, Mr. Glaser served as Group President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, with operational and strategic oversight of its Risk and Insurance Services and Consulting segments. He rejoined Marsh & McLennan in December 2007 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marsh, returning to the firm where he had begun his career right out of university in 1982. Mr. Glaser is an insurance industry veteran who has held senior positions in commercial insurance and insurance brokerage, working in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Mr. Glaser was named Chairman of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI) in August 2014. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Insurance Development Forum and on the International Advisory Board of BritishAmerican Business. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Institutes (American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters) and Ohio Wesleyan University, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Partnership for New York City.
Peter Hearn, age 62, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Guy Carpenter. Previously, he was Global Chairman of Willis Re from March 2011 to June 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Hearn served as the company’s Global CEO from February 2005 to March 2011, during which time he was also a member of the Willis Group Executive Committee. Mr. Hearn began his reinsurance career in 1978 with Willis Faber and Dumas, working in the North American casualty, facultative, marine, and North American reinsurance divisions until 1981, when he joined Towers Perrin Forster and Crosby. Mr. Hearn joined Willis Re as a Senior Vice President in 1994.
Laurie Ledford, age 60, is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies. Ms. Ledford is responsible for Marsh & McLennan Companies' overall human capital and talent strategy and the delivery of human resources services to all our colleagues worldwide. Prior to her current role, Ms. Ledford served as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) for Marsh Inc.


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Ms. Ledford joined Marsh in 2000 and was named CHRO in 2006, after having served as Senior Human Resources Director for Marsh's International Specialty Operations. Her prior experience was with Citibank and NationsBank.
Scott McDonald, age 51, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman Group. Prior to assuming this role in January 2014, Mr. McDonald was President of Oliver Wyman. Before becoming President of Oliver Wyman in 2012, Mr. McDonald was the Managing Partner of Oliver Wyman's Financial Services practice and has held a number of senior positions, including the Global head of the Corporate & Institutional Banking practice. Before joining Oliver Wyman in 1995, he was an M&A investment banker with RBC Dominion Securities in Toronto.
Mark McGivney, age 50, is Chief Financial Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies and has held this position since January 1, 2016. Prior to his current role, Mr. McGivney held a number of senior financial management positions since joining the Company in 2007, including Senior Vice President, Corporate Finance of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Chief Financial Officer of Marsh, and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Mercer. His prior experience includes senior positions at The Hanover Insurance Group, including serving as Senior Vice President of Finance, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer of the Property & Casualty business, as well as positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Merrill Lynch.
Julio A. Portalatin, age 58, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercer. Prior to joining Mercer in February 2012, Mr. Portalatin was the President and CEO of Chartis Growth Economies, and Senior Vice President, American International Group (AIG). In that role, he had responsibility for operations in Asia Pacific, South Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Europe. Mr. Portalatin began his career with AIG in 1993 and thereafter held a number of key leadership roles, including President of the Worldwide Accident & Health Division at American International Underwriters (AIU) from 2002-2007. From 2007-2010, he served as President and CEO of Chartis Europe S.A. and Continental European Region, based in Paris, before becoming President and CEO of Chartis Emerging Markets. Prior to joining AIG / Chartis, Mr. Portalatin spent 12 years with Allstate Insurance Company in various executive product underwriting, distribution and marketing positions. Mr. Portalatin also serves on the Board of Directors of DXC Technologies.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
The Company is subject to the information reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In accordance with the Exchange Act, the Company files with, or furnishes to, the SEC annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. The Company makes these reports and any amendments to these reports available free of charge through its website, www.mmc.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with or furnished to the SEC. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers, like the Company, that file electronically with the SEC.
The Company also posts on its website certain governance and other information for investors.
The Company encourages investors to visit these websites from time to time, as information is updated and new information is posted. Website references in this report are provided as a convenience and do not constitute, and should not be viewed as, incorporation by reference of the information contained on, or available through, the websites. Therefore, such information should not be considered part of this report.


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Item 1A.      Risk Factors
You should consider the risks described below in conjunction with the other information presented in this report. These risks have the potential to materially adversely affect the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition.
RISKS RELATING TO THE COMPANY GENERALLY
Legal and Regulatory Risks
We are subject to significant uninsured exposures arising from errors and omissions, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims.
Our operating companies provide numerous professional services, including the placement of insurance and the provision of consulting, investment advisory and actuarial services, to clients around the world. As a result, the Company and its subsidiaries are subject to a significant number of errors and omissions, breach of fiduciary duty and similar claims, which we refer to collectively as "E&O claims." In our Risk and Insurance Services segment, such claims include allegations of damages arising from our failure to assess clients’ risks, advise clients, place coverage or notify insurers of potential claims on behalf of clients in accordance with our obligations to them. In our Consulting segment, where we increasingly act in a fiduciary capacity through our investments business, such claims include allegations of damages arising from the provision of consulting, investments, actuarial, pension administration and other services. These services frequently involve complex calculations and other analysis, including (i) making assumptions about, and preparing estimates concerning, contingent future events, (ii) drafting and interpreting complex documentation governing pension plans, (iii) calculating benefits within complex pension structures, (iv) providing investment advice, including guidance on asset allocation and investment strategy, and (v) managing client assets, including the selection of investment managers. These matters often relate to services provided by the Company dating back many years. Such claims may subject us to significant liability for monetary damages, including punitive and treble damages, negative publicity and reputational harm, and may divert personnel and management resources. We may be unable to effectively limit our potential liability in certain jurisdictions, including through insurance, or in connection with certain types of claims, particularly those concerning claims of a breach of fiduciary duty.
In establishing liabilities for E&O claims under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses case level reviews by inside and outside counsel, actuarial analysis by Oliver Wyman Group, a subsidiary of the Company, and other methods to estimate potential losses. A liability is established when a loss is both probable and reasonably estimable. The liability is assessed quarterly and adjusted as developments warrant. In many cases, the Company has not recorded a liability, other than for legal fees to defend the claim, because we are unable, at the present time, to make a determination that a loss is both probable and reasonably estimable. Given the challenges inherent in establishing liabilities in accordance with GAAP, as well as the unpredictability of E&O claims and the litigation that can flow from them, it is possible that an adverse outcome in a particular matter could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, results of operations or financial condition in a given quarterly or annual period.
We are subject to regulatory investigations, reviews and other inquiries that consume significant management time and, if determined unfavorably to us, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
We are subject to regulatory investigations, reviews and other inquiries that consume significant management time and, if determined unfavorably to us, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. For example, in 2017 we received notices related to four separate regulatory matters in Europe. In October 2017, the Company received a notice that the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission had commenced a civil investigation of a number of insurance brokers, including Marsh, regarding "the exchange of commercially sensitive information between competitors in relation to aviation and aerospace insurance and reinsurance broking products and services in the European Economic Area, as well as possible coordination between competitors." In June 2017, the FCA issued a final report in connection with a market study of the U.K. asset management industry, which includes asset managers and investment consultants, including


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Mercer. Following the report, in September 2017, the FCA announced its decision to refer the investment consulting and fiduciary management markets to the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority (the "CMA") for a market investigation. In July 2017, the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission together with the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission conducted on-site inspections at the offices of Marsh and other industry participants in Dublin in connection with an investigation regarding the "possible participation in anticompetitive agreements and/or concerted practices contrary to [E.U. competition law] in the market for commercial motor insurance in the Republic of Ireland." In November 2017, the FCA announced the terms of reference for a market study concerning the wholesale insurance broker sector in the United Kingdom to assess "how effective competition is working in the wholesale insurance broker sector” and “how brokers influence competition in the underwriting sector."
These regulatory matters are at early stages and we are unable to predict their likely timing, outcome or ultimate impact. Additional information regarding these investigations and certain other legal and regulatory proceedings is set forth in Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this report.
We cannot guarantee that we are or will be in compliance with all current and potentially applicable U.S. federal and state or foreign laws and regulations, and actions by regulatory authorities or changes in legislation and regulation in the jurisdictions in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our activities are subject to extensive regulation under the laws of the United States and its various states, the United Kingdom, the European Union and its member states and the other jurisdictions in which we operate. For example, we are subject to regulation by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA and state insurance regulators in the United States, the FCA and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom, and the European Commission in the European Union, as further described above under Part I, Item 1 - Business (Regulation) of this report. We are also subject to trade sanctions laws relating to countries such as Cuba, Iran, Russia, Sudan and Syria, and anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act. We are subject to numerous other laws on matters as diverse as internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures, securities regulation, data privacy and protection, taxation, anti-trust and competition, immigration, wage-and-hour standards and employment and labor relations.
The U.S. and foreign laws and regulations that apply to our operations are complex and may change rapidly, and our efforts to comply and keep up with them require significant resources. In some cases, these laws and regulations may decrease the need for our services, increase our costs, negatively impact our revenues or impose operational limitations on our business, including on the products and services we may offer or on the amount or type of compensation we may collect. While we attempt to comply with applicable laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that we, our employees, our consultants and our contractors and other agents are in full compliance with such laws and regulations or interpretations at all times, or that we will be able to comply with any future laws or regulations. If we fail to comply or are accused of failing to comply with applicable laws and regulations, including those referred to above, we may become subject to investigations, criminal penalties, civil remedies or other consequences, including fines, injunctions, loss of an operating license or approval, increased scrutiny or oversight by regulatory authorities, the suspension of individual employees, limitations on engaging in a particular business or redress to clients or other parties, and may become exposed to negative publicity or reputational damage. Moreover, our failure to comply with laws or regulations in one jurisdiction may result in increased regulatory scrutiny by other regulatory agencies in that jurisdiction or regulatory agencies in other jurisdictions. The cost of compliance and the consequences of failing to be in compliance could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In most jurisdictions, government regulatory authorities have the power to interpret and amend or repeal applicable laws and regulations, and have discretion to grant, renew and revoke the various licenses and approvals we need to conduct our activities. Such authorities may require the Company to incur substantial costs in order to comply with such laws and regulations. In some areas of our businesses, we act on the basis of our own or the industry's interpretations of applicable laws or regulations, which may conflict from state to state or country to country. In the event those interpretations eventually prove


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different from the interpretations of regulatory authorities, we may be penalized or precluded from carrying on our previous activities. Moreover, the laws and regulations to which we are subject may conflict among the various jurisdictions and countries in which we operate, which increases the likelihood of our businesses being non-compliant in one or more jurisdictions.
Cybersecurity and Data Protection Risks
We could incur significant liability or our reputation could be damaged if our information systems are breached or we otherwise fail to protect client or Company data or information systems.
We rely on the efficient, uninterrupted and secure operation of complex information technology systems and networks to operate our business and securely process, transmit and store electronic information. In the normal course of business, we also share electronic information with our vendors and other third parties. This electronic information comprises sensitive and confidential data, including information related to financial records, health care, mergers and acquisitions and clients’ personal data. Our information technology systems and safety control systems, and those of our numerous third-party providers, are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from a variety of external threats, including cyber-attacks, computer viruses and other malware, ransomware and other types of data and systems related incidents. Our systems are also subject to compromise from internal threats such as improper action by employees, vendors and other third parties with otherwise legitimate access to our systems. Moreover, we face the ongoing challenge of managing access controls in a complex environment. The latency of a compromise is often measured in months but could be years, and we may not be able to detect a compromise in a timely manner. We could experience significant financial and reputational harm if our information systems are breached, sensitive client or Company data are compromised, surreptitiously modified, rendered inaccessible for any period of time or maliciously made public, or if we fail to make adequate disclosures to the public or law enforcement agencies following any such event.
We are at risk of attack by a growing list of adversaries, including state-sponsored organizations, organized crime, hackers or "hactivists" (activist hackers), through use of increasingly sophisticated methods of attack, including long-term, persistent attacks referred to as advanced persistent threats. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures, resulting in potential data loss or other damage to information technology systems.
As the breadth and complexity of the technologies we use continue to grow, including as a result of the use of mobile devices, cloud services, social media and the increased reliance on devices connected to the Internet (known as the "Internet of Things"), the potential risk of security breaches and cyber-attacks also increases. Despite ongoing efforts to improve our ability to protect data from compromise, we may not be able to protect all of our data across our diverse systems. Should an attacker gain access to our network using compromised credentials of an authorized user, we are at risk that the attacker might successfully leverage that access to compromise additional systems and data. Certain measures that could increase the security of our systems, such as data encryption or deployment of multi-factor authentication, take significant time and resources to deploy broadly, and such measures may not be effective against an attack. The inability to implement, maintain and upgrade adequate safeguards could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our information systems must be continually updated, patched, and upgraded to protect against known vulnerabilities. The volume of new software vulnerabilities has increased markedly, as has the criticality of patches and other remedial measures. In addition to remediating newly identified vulnerabilities previously identified vulnerabilities must also be continuously addressed. Accordingly, we are at risk that cyber attackers exploit these known vulnerabilities before they have been addressed. Due to the large number and age of the systems and platforms that we operate, the increased frequency at which vendors are issuing security patches to their products, the need to test patches and, in some cases coordinate with clients and vendors, before they can be deployed, we perpetually face the substantial risk that we cannot deploy patches in a timely manner. We are also dependent on third party vendors to keep their systems patched and secure in order to protect our data. Any failure related to these activities could have a material adverse effect on our business.


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We have numerous vendors and other third parties who receive personal information from us in connection with the services we offer our clients. In addition, we have migrated certain data, and may increasingly migrate data, to the cloud hosted by third-party providers. Some of these vendors and third parties also have direct access to our systems. We are at risk of a cyber-attack involving a vendor or other third party, which could result in a breakdown of such third party’s data protection processes or the cyber-attackers gaining access to our infrastructure through the third party. To the extent that a vendor or third party suffers a cyber-attack that compromises its operations, we could incur significant costs and possible service interruption, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
We have a history of making acquisitions and investments, including 111 in the period from 2012-2017. The process of integrating the information systems of the businesses we acquire is complex and exposes us to additional risk. For instance, we may not adequately identify weaknesses in an acquired entity’s information systems, either before or after the acquisition, which could affect the value we are able to derive from the acquisition, expose us to unexpected liabilities or make our own systems more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. We may also be unable to integrate the systems of the businesses we acquire into our environment in a timely manner, which could further increase these risks until such integration takes place.
Our policies, employee training (including phishing prevention training), procedures and technical safeguards may be insufficient to prevent or detect improper access to confidential, personal or proprietary information by employees, vendors or other third parties with otherwise legitimate access to our systems. Improper access to or disclosure of sensitive client or Company information could harm our reputation and subject us to liability under our contracts, as well as under existing or future laws, rules and regulations.
We have from time to time experienced data incidents and cybersecurity breaches, such as malware incursions (including computer viruses and ransomware), users exceeding their data access authorization, employee misconduct and incidents resulting from human error, such as loss of portable and other data storage devices. Like many companies, we are subject to regular phishing email campaigns directed at our employees that can result in malware infections and data losses. Although these incidents have resulted in data loss and other damages, to date, they have not had a material adverse effect on our business or operations. In the future, these types of incidents could result in confidential, personal or proprietary information being lost or stolen, surreptitiously modified, rendered inaccessible for any period of time, or maliciously made public, including client, employee or company data, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. In the event of a cyber-attack, we might have to take our systems offline, which could interfere with services to our clients or damage our reputation. We also may be unable to detect an incident, assess its severity or impact, or appropriately respond in a timely manner. In addition, our liability insurance, which includes cyber insurance, may not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to security breaches, cyber-attacks and other related data and system incidents.
The costs to comply with, or our failure to comply with, U.S. and foreign laws related to privacy, data security and data protection, such as the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation, could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and our reputation.
In operating our business and providing services and solutions to clients, we store and transfer sensitive employee and client data, including personal data, in and across multiple jurisdictions. We leverage systems and applications that are spread all over the world requiring us to regularly move data across national borders. As a result, we are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the United States, Europe and around the world regarding privacy, data protection and data security. These laws and regulations are continuously evolving and developing. In particular, the number of high-profile security breaches at major companies continues to accelerate, which will likely lead to even greater regulatory scrutiny.
The scope and interpretation of the laws that are or may be applicable to us are often uncertain and may be conflicting, particularly with respect to foreign laws. For example, the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), which becomes effective in May 2018, greatly increases the European Commission’s jurisdictional reach of its laws and adds a broad array of requirements for handling personal data, such as the public disclosure of data breaches, privacy impact assessments, data


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portability and the appointment of data protection officers in some cases. Other countries around the world, including China, Japan, Australia and Singapore, have recently adopted sweeping new data protection laws, or are enacting data localization laws that require data to stay within their borders. At a state level, the New York State Department of Financial Services, by way of example, has issued cybersecurity regulations which impose an array of detailed security measures on covered entities. All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements impose significant costs that are likely to increase over time, may divert resources from other initiatives and projects and could restrict the way services involving data are offered, all of which may adversely affect our results of operations.
Furthermore, enforcement actions and investigations by regulatory authorities related to data security incidents and privacy violations continue to increase. Unauthorized disclosure or transfer of sensitive or confidential client or Company data, whether through systems failure, employee negligence, fraud or misappropriation, by the Company, our vendors or other parties with whom we do business could subject us to significant litigation, monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions. For example, under the GDPR, violations could result in a fine of up to 4% of a corporation’s global annual revenue.
Competitive Risks
Our business performance and growth plans could be negatively affected if we are not able to respond effectively to the threat of digital disruption and other technological change.
To remain competitive in many of our business areas, we must anticipate and respond effectively to the threat of digital disruption and other technological change. The threat comes from traditional players, such as insurers, through disintermediation as well as from new entrants, such as technology companies, "Insurtech" start-up companies and others. These players are focused on using technology and innovation, including artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, to simplify and improve the customer experience, increase efficiencies, alter business models and effect other potentially disruptive changes in the industries in which we operate.
In order to maintain a competitive position, we must continue to invest in new technologies and new ways to deliver our products and services. We have a number of strategic initiatives involving investments in technology systems and infrastructure to support our growth strategy. These investments may not be profitable or may be less profitable than what we have experienced historically. In some cases, we depend on key vendors and partners to provide technology and other support for our strategic initiatives. If these vendors or partners fail to perform their obligations or otherwise cease to work with us, our ability to execute on our strategic initiatives could be adversely affected. If we do not keep up with technological changes or execute well on our strategic initiatives, our business and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Failure to maintain our corporate culture or damage to our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We strive to create a culture in which our colleagues act with integrity and respect and feel comfortable speaking up to report instances of misconduct. We are a people business, and our ability to attract and retain employees and clients is highly dependent upon our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace, our level of service, trustworthiness, ethical business practices and other qualities. Our colleagues are the cornerstone of this culture, and acts of misconduct by any employee, and particularly by senior management, could erode trust and confidence and damage our reputation among existing and potential clients and other stakeholders. Negative public opinion could result from actual or alleged conduct by us or those currently or formerly associated with us in any number of activities or circumstances, including operations, employment related offenses such as sexual harassment and discrimination, regulatory compliance, and the use and protection of data and systems, satisfaction of client expectations, and from actions taken by regulators or others in response to such conduct. This damage to our reputation could affect the confidence of our clients, rating agencies, regulators, stockholders and the other parties in a wide range of transactions that are important to our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.


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The loss of members of our senior management team or other key colleagues could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We rely upon the contributions of our senior management team to establish and implement our business strategy and to manage the future growth of our business. The loss of any of the senior management team could limit our ability to successfully execute our business strategy or adversely affect our ability to retain existing and attract new clients. Moreover, we could be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for the succession of members of our senior management team.
Across all of our businesses, our colleagues are critical to developing and retaining the client relationships as well as performing the services on which our revenues are earned. It is therefore important for us to attract, incentivize and retain significant revenue-producing employees and the key managerial and other professionals who support them. We face numerous challenges in this regard, including the intense competition for talent and the general mobility of colleagues.
Losing colleagues who manage or support substantial client relationships or possess substantial experience or expertise could adversely affect our ability to secure and complete client engagements, which could adversely affect our results of operations. And, subject to applicable enforceable restrictive covenants, if a key employee were to join an existing competitor or form a competing company, some of our clients could choose to use the services of that competitor instead of our services.
We face significant competitive pressures in each of our businesses, including from disintermediation.
As a global professional services firm, the Company faces intense, sustained competition in each of its businesses, and the competitive landscape continues to change and evolve. Our ability to compete successfully depends on a variety of factors, including the quality and expertise of our colleagues, our geographic reach, the sophistication and quality of our services, our pricing relative to competitors, our customers' ability to self-insure or use internal resources instead of consultants, and our ability to respond to changes in client demand and industry conditions. Some of our competitors may have greater financial resources, or may be better positioned to respond to technological and other changes in the industries we serve, and they may be able to compete more effectively. If we are unable to respond successfully to the changing conditions we face, our businesses, results of operations and financial condition will be adversely impacted.
In our Risk and Insurance Services segment, in addition to the challenges posed by capital market alternatives to traditional insurance and reinsurance, we compete intensely against a wide range of other insurance and reinsurance brokerage and risk advisory firms that operate on a global, regional, national or local scale for both client business and employee talent. We also compete with insurance and reinsurance companies that market and service their insurance products directly to consumers and without the assistance of brokers or other market intermediaries, and with various other companies that provide risk-related services or alternatives to traditional brokerage services, including those that rely almost exclusively on technological solutions or platforms. This competition is intensified by an industry trend toward a "syndicated" or "distributed" approach to the purchase of insurance and reinsurance brokerage services, where a client engages multiple brokers to service different portions of the client's account. In addition, third party capital providers have entered the insurance and reinsurance risk transfer market offering products and capital directly to our clients.
In our Consulting segment, we compete for business with numerous consulting firms and similar organizations, many of whom also provide, or are affiliated with firms that provided, accounting, information systems, technology and financial services. Such competitors may be able to offer more comprehensive products and services to potential clients, which may give them a competitive advantage.
Consolidation in the industries we serve could adversely affect our business.
Companies in the industries that we serve may seek to achieve economies of scale and other synergies by combining with or acquiring other companies. If two or more of our current clients merge, or consolidate or combine their operations, it may decrease the amount of work that we perform for these clients. If one of our current clients merges or consolidates with a company that relies on another provider for its services, we may lose work from that client or lose the opportunity to gain additional work. Any of these or similar possible results of industry consolidation could adversely affect our business. The


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insurance industry continued to see robust market consolidation in 2017, and this trend could continue or accelerate in 2018. As insurance and reinsurance companies continue to consolidate, Guy Carpenter’s smaller client base may be more susceptible to this risk given the limited number of insurance company clients and reinsurers in the marketplace.
We rely on a large number of vendors and other third parties to perform key functions of our business operations and to provide services to our clients. These vendors and third parties may act in ways that could harm our business.
We rely on a large number of vendors and other third parties, and in some cases subcontractors, to provide services, data and information such as technology, information security, funds transfers, data processing, and administration and support functions that are critical to the operations of our business. These third parties include correspondents, agents and other brokers and intermediaries, insurance markets, data providers, plan trustees, payroll service providers, software and system vendors, health plan providers, investment managers, risk modeling providers, outsourced providers of client-related services and providers of human resource functions, such as recruiters. As we do not fully control the actions of these third parties, we are subject to the risk that their decisions or operations may adversely impact us and replacing these service providers could create significant delay and expense. A failure by the third parties to comply with service level agreement, or regulatory or legal requirements in a high quality and timely manner, particularly during periods of our peak demand for their services, could result in economic and reputational harm to us. In addition, these third parties face their own technology, operating, business and economic risks, and any significant failures by them, including the improper use or disclosure of our confidential client, employee, or company information or failure to comply with applicable law, could cause harm to our reputation or otherwise expose us to liability. An interruption in or the cessation of service by any service provider as a result of systems failures, capacity constraints, financial difficulties or for any other reason could disrupt our operations, impact our ability to offer certain products and services, and result in contractual or regulatory penalties, liability claims from clients or employees, damage to our reputation and harm to our business.
Business Resiliency Risks
Our inability to successfully recover should we experience a disaster or other business continuity problem could cause material financial loss, loss of human capital, regulatory actions, reputational harm or legal liability.
If we experience a local or regional disaster or other business continuity event, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood, terrorist attack, pandemic, security breach, cyber-attack, power loss or telecommunications failure, our ability to operate will depend, in part, on the continued availability of our personnel, our office facilities and the proper functioning of our computer, telecommunication and other related systems and operations. In such an event, we could experience operational challenges that could have a material adverse effect on our business. The risk of business disruption is more pronounced in certain geographic areas, including major metropolitan centers, like New York or London, where we have significant operations and approximately 3,500 colleagues in each location, and in certain countries and regions in which we operate that are subject to higher potential threat of terrorist attacks or military conflicts.
Our operations depend in particular upon our ability to protect our technology infrastructure against damage. If a business continuity event occurs, we could lose client or Company data or experience interruptions to our operations or delivery of services to our clients, which could have a material adverse effect. A cyber-attack or other business continuity event affecting us or a key vendor or other third party could result in a significant and extended disruption in the functioning of our information technology systems or operations, requiring us to incur significant expense to address and remediate or otherwise resolve such issues. For example, hackers have increasingly targeted companies by attacking internet-connected industrial control and safety control systems. An extended outage could result in the loss of clients and a decline in our revenues.
We regularly assess and take steps to improve our existing business continuity plans and key management succession. However, a disaster or other continuity event on a significant scale or affecting certain of our key operating areas within or across regions, or our inability to successfully recover from such an event, could materially interrupt our business operations and result in material financial loss, loss


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of human capital, regulatory actions, reputational harm, damaged client relationships and legal liability. Our business disruption insurance may also not fully cover, in type or amount, the cost of a successful recovery in the event of such a disruption.
Financial Risks
The impacts from recently-passed U.S. federal tax reform remain uncertain.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the tax legislation commonly known as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (the "TCJA") that significantly changes the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The TCJA, which generally became effective on January 1, 2018, revises the U.S. tax code by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, limiting deductibility of interest expense and implementing a broadly territorial tax system. The TCJA also imposes a one-time repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries.
While the TCJA is expected to have a favorable impact on our overall effective tax rate as reported under generally accepted accounting principles both in the first fiscal quarter of 2018 and subsequent reporting periods, the legislation also resulted in aggregate provisional tax charges in the fourth quarter of 2017 of approximately $460 million, primarily related to the re-measurement of the net U.S. deferred tax asset and the deemed repatriation tax. The TCJA was enacted late in 2017 and limited implementation guidance was provided. As clarified by the SEC in Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, we made provisional estimates of the deemed repatriation tax impact. Moreover, certain provisions of the TCJA, such as the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax and the Global Intangible Low-Tax Income ("GILTI") provision and any adverse impacts from new guidance on the implementation of the TCJA may create new pressure on our effective tax rate in future periods. It is also currently unknown if and to what extent various states will conform to the TCJA and the impact such changes in state-tax law may have.
The estimated impacts of the new law are based on our current knowledge and assumptions, and therefore the ultimate impacts remain uncertain. Given the significant complexity of the TCJA, anticipated guidance from the U.S. Treasury about implementing the TCJA, and the potential for new legislation or additional guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory authorities related to the TCJA, recognized impacts in future periods could be significantly different from our current estimates. Such uncertainty may also result in increased scrutiny from, or disagreements with, tax authorities.
Our results of operations could be adversely affected by macroeconomic conditions, political events and market conditions.
Macroeconomic conditions, political events and other market conditions around the world affect our clients' businesses and the markets they serve. These conditions may reduce demand for our services or depress pricing for those services, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Changes in macroeconomic and political conditions could also shift demand to services for which we do not have a competitive advantage, and this could negatively affect the amount of business that we are able to obtain. For example, recently there has been a move toward protectionist laws and business practices in some countries, which could favor local competition and adversely affect our business. In particular, the United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union, referred to as "Brexit," continues to create political and economic uncertainty, particularly in the United Kingdom and the E.U., and this uncertainty may last for years. Our business in the United Kingdom, the E.U. and worldwide could be affected during this period of uncertainty, and perhaps longer, by the impact of the United Kingdom’s referendum. If the demand for our products and services declines as a result of these or any other macroeconomic conditions, political events or market conditions, we may be required to respond in a way which could adversely affect our ability to execute our business strategy.
Our investments, including our minority investments in other companies as well as our cash investments and those held in a fiduciary capacity, are subject to general credit, liquidity, counterparty, foreign exchange, market and interest rate risks. These risks may be exacerbated by global macroeconomic conditions, market volatility and regulatory, financial and other difficulties affecting the companies in which we have invested or that may be faced by financial institution counterparties. During times of stress in the banking industry, counterparty risk can quickly escalate, potentially resulting in substantial trading and investment losses for corporate and other investors. In addition, we may incur investment losses as a


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result of unusual and unpredictable market developments, and we may continue to experience reduced investment earnings if the yields on investments deemed to be low risk remain at or near their current low levels. If the banking system or the fixed income, interest rate, credit or equity markets deteriorate, the value and liquidity of our investments could be adversely affected. Finally, the value of the Company's assets held in other jurisdictions, including cash holdings, may decline due to foreign exchange fluctuations.
If we are unable to collect our receivables, our results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.
Our business depends on our ability to obtain payment from our clients of the amounts they owe us for the work we perform. As of December 31, 2017, our receivables for our commissions and fees were approximately $3.8 billion, or approximately one-quarter of our total annual revenues. Macroeconomic or political conditions could result in financial difficulties for our clients, which could cause clients to delay payments to us, request modifications to their payment arrangements that could increase our receivables balance or default on their payment obligations to us. In addition, if we experience an increase in the time it takes to bill and collect for our services, our cash flows could be adversely affected.
We may not be able to obtain sufficient financing on favorable terms.
The maintenance and growth of our business, the payment of dividends and our ability to make share repurchases rely on our access to capital, which depends in large part on cash flow generated by our business and the availability of equity and debt financing. Certain of our businesses such as GC Securities and MMC Securities (Europe) Limited also rely on financings by us to fund debt and equity capital raising offerings by their clients. There can be no assurance that our operations will generate sufficient positive cash flow to finance all of our capital needs or that we will be able to obtain equity or debt financing on favorable terms. In addition, our ability to obtain financing will depend in part upon prevailing conditions in credit and capital markets, which are beyond our control.
Our defined benefit pension plan obligations could cause the Company's financial position, earnings and cash flows to fluctuate.
Our defined benefit pension obligations and the assets set aside to fund those obligations are sensitive to certain changes in the financial markets. Any such changes may result in increased pension expense or additional cash payments to fund these plans.
The Company has significant defined benefit pension obligations to its current and former employees, totaling approximately $16.3 billion, and related plan assets of approximately $16.2 billion, at December 31, 2017 on a U.S. GAAP basis. The Company's policy for funding its defined benefit pension plans is to contribute amounts at least sufficient to meet the funding requirements set forth by law. In the United States, contributions to these plans are based on ERISA guidelines. Outside the United States, contributions are generally based on statutory requirements and local funding practices, which may differ from measurements under U.S. GAAP. In the U.K., for example, the assumptions used to determine pension contributions are the result of legally-prescribed negotiations between the Company and the plans' trustee. Currently, the use of these assumptions results in a lower funded status than determined under U.S. GAAP and may result in contributions irrespective of the U.S. GAAP funded status.
The financial calculations relating to our defined benefit pension plans are complex. Pension plan assets could decrease as the result of poor future asset performance. Also, pension plan liabilities, periodic pension expense and future funding amounts could increase as a result of a decline in the interest rates we use to discount our pension liabilities, longer lifespans than those reflected in our mortality assumptions, actual investment return that is less than the expected return on assets, adverse changes in laws or regulations and other variables.
While we have taken steps to mitigate the impact of pension volatility on our earnings and cash funding requirements, these strategies may not be successful. Accordingly, given the magnitude of our worldwide pension plans, variations in or reassessment of the preceding or other factors or potential miscalculations relating to our defined benefit pension plans could cause significant fluctuation from year to year in our earnings and cash flow, as well as our pension plan assets, liabilities and equity, and may result in increased levels of contributions to our pension plans.


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Our significant non-U.S. operations expose us to exchange rate fluctuations and various risks that could impact our business.
A significant portion of our business is located outside of the United States. We are subject to exchange rate movement because we must translate the financial results of our foreign subsidiaries into U.S. dollars and also because some of our subsidiaries receive revenue other than in their functional currencies. Exchange rate movements may change over time, and they could have a material adverse impact on our financial results and cash flows reported in U.S. dollars. Our U.S. operations earn revenue and incur expenses primarily in U.S. dollars. In certain jurisdictions, however, our Risk and Insurance Services operations generate revenue in a number of different currencies, but expenses are almost entirely incurred in local currency. Due to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, we are subject to economic exposure as well as currency translation exposure on the net operating results of our operations. Because the non-U.S. based revenue that is exposed to foreign exchange fluctuations is approximately 50% of total revenue, exchange rate movement can have a significant impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow. For additional discussion, see "Market Risk and Credit Risk-Foreign Currency Risk" in Part II, Item 7A ("Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk") of this report.
We may not be able to receive dividends or other distributions in needed amounts from our subsidiaries.
The Company is organized as a legal entity separate and distinct from our operating subsidiaries. Because we do not have significant operations of our own, we are dependent upon dividends and other payments from our operating subsidiaries to meet our obligations for paying principal and interest on outstanding debt obligations, paying dividends to stockholders, repurchasing our common stock under our share repurchase program and paying corporate expenses. In the event our operating subsidiaries are unable to pay sufficient dividends and make other payments to the Company, we may not be able to service our debt, pay dividends on or repurchase our common stock or meet our other obligations.
Further, the Company derives a significant portion of its revenue and operating profit from operating subsidiaries located outside the United States. Funds from the current year’s earnings of the Company's non-U.S. operating subsidiaries are regularly repatriated to the United States. A number of factors could arise that could limit our ability to repatriate funds or could make repatriation cost-prohibitive, including, but not limited to, the imposition of currency controls and other government restrictions on repatriation in the jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries operate, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and the imposition of withholding and other taxes on such payments.
In the event we are unable to generate or repatriate cash from our operating subsidiaries, our overall liquidity could deteriorate and our ability to finance our obligations, including to pay dividends on or repurchase our common stock, could be adversely affected.
Our quarterly revenues and profitability may fluctuate significantly.
Quarterly variations in revenues and operating results may occur due to several factors. These include:
the number of client engagements during a quarter;
the possibility that clients may decide to delay or terminate a current or anticipated project as a result of factors unrelated to our work product or progress;
fluctuations in hiring and utilization rates and clients' ability to terminate engagements without penalty;
the impact of changes in accounting standards or in our accounting estimates or assumptions, including from the adoption of the new revenue recognition, pension or lease accounting standards;
the impact on us or our clients of changes in legislation, regulation and legal guidance or interpretations in the jurisdictions in which we operate, including with respect to U.S. tax reform;
seasonality due to the impact of regulatory deadlines, policy renewals and other timing factors to which our clients are subject;
the success of our acquisitions or investments;


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macroeconomic factors such as changes in foreign exchange rates, interest rates and global securities markets, particularly in the case of Mercer, where fees in its investments business and certain other business lines are derived from the value of assets under management or administration; and
general economic conditions, including factors beyond our control affecting economic conditions such as severe weather or other catastrophic events, since results of operations are directly affected by the levels of business activity of our clients, which in turn are affected by the level of economic activity in the industries and markets that they serve.
A significant portion of our total operating expenses is relatively fixed in the short term. Therefore, a variation in the number of client assignments or in the timing of the initiation or the completion of client assignments can cause significant variations in quarterly operating results for these businesses.
Credit rating downgrades would increase our financing costs and could subject us to operational risk.
Currently, the Company's senior debt is rated A- by S&P and Baa1 by Moody's. The ratings from both S&P and Moody's currently carry a Stable outlook.
If we need to raise capital in the future (for example, in order to fund maturing debt obligations or finance acquisitions or other initiatives), credit rating downgrades would increase our financing costs, and could limit our access to financing sources. Further, a downgrade to a rating below investment-grade could result in greater operational risks through increased operating costs and increased competitive pressures.
Global Operations
We are exposed to multiple risks associated with the global nature of our operations.
We conduct business globally. In 2017, approximately 50% of the Company's total revenue was generated from operations outside the United States, and over one-half of our employees were located outside the United States. We expect to expand our non-U.S. operations further.
The geographic breadth of our activities subjects us to significant legal, economic, operational, market, compliance and reputational risks. These include, among others, risks relating to:
economic and political conditions in the countries in which we operate;
client concentration in certain high-growth countries in which we operate;
the length of payment cycles and potential difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;
unexpected increases in taxes or changes in U.S. or foreign tax laws, rulings, policies or related legal and regulatory interpretations, including recent international initiatives to require multinational enterprises, like ours, to report profitability on a country-by-country basis, which could increase scrutiny by, or cause disagreements with, foreign tax authorities;
potential transfer pricing-related tax exposures that may result from the flow of funds among our subsidiaries and affiliates in the various jurisdictions in which we operate;
withholding or other taxes that foreign governments may impose on the payment of dividends or other remittances to us from our non-U.S. subsidiaries;
potential conflicts of interest that may arise as we expand the scope of our businesses and our client base;
international hostilities, terrorist activities, natural disasters and infrastructure disruptions;
local investment or other financial restrictions that foreign governments may impose;
potential lawsuits, investigations, market studies, reviews or other activity by foreign regulatory or law enforcement authorities, which may result in related private litigation or increased scrutiny from U.S. or other regulators;
potential costs and difficulties in complying with a wide variety of foreign laws and regulations (including tax systems) administered by foreign government agencies, some of which may conflict with U.S. or other sources of law;
potential costs and difficulties in complying, or monitoring compliance, with foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that are applicable to our operations abroad, including trade


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sanctions laws relating to countries such as Cuba, Iran, Russia, Sudan and Syria and anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act 2010;
limitations or restrictions that foreign or U.S. governments and regulators may impose on the products or services we sell, the methods by which we sell our products and services and the manner in which and the amounts we are compensated;
limitations that foreign governments may impose on the conversion of currency or the payment of dividends or other remittances to us from our non-U.S. subsidiaries;
engaging and relying on third parties to perform services on behalf of the Company; and
potential difficulties in monitoring employees in geographically dispersed locations.
Acquisitions and Dispositions Risks
We face risks when we acquire and dispose of businesses.
We have a history of making acquisitions and investments, including a total of 111 in the period 2012-2017. We expect that acquisitions will continue to be a key part of our business strategy. Our success in this regard will depend on our ability to identify and compete for appropriate acquisition candidates and to complete the transactions we decide to pursue with favorable results. As we typically acquire other professional services firms, the success of our transactions is also highly dependent on the retention of the key employees of our acquisition targets.
While we intend that our acquisitions will improve our competitiveness and profitability, we cannot be certain that our past or future acquisitions will be accretive to earnings or otherwise meet our operational or strategic expectations. Acquisitions involve special risks, including accounting, regulatory, compliance, tax, information technology or human resources issues that could arise in connection with, or as a result of, the acquisition of the acquired company; the assumption of unanticipated liabilities and contingencies; difficulties in integrating acquired businesses; possible management distraction; and the inability of acquired businesses to achieve the levels of revenue, profit, productivity or synergies we anticipate or otherwise perform as we expect on the timeline contemplated. In addition, if in the future, the performance of our reporting units or an acquired business varies from our projections or assumptions, or estimates about future profitability of our reporting units or an acquired business change, the estimated fair value of our reporting units or an acquired business could change materially and could result in an impairment of goodwill and other acquisition-related intangible assets recorded on our balance sheet or in adjustments in contingent payment amounts. As of December 31, 2017, the Company's consolidated balance sheet reflected $10.4 billion of goodwill and intangible assets, representing approximately 51% of the Company's total consolidated assets and allocated by reporting segment as follows: Risk and Insurance Services, $7.6 billion and Consulting, $2.8 billion. Given the significant size of the Company's goodwill and intangible assets, an impairment could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in any given period.
When we dispose of businesses, we may continue to be subject to certain liabilities of that business after its disposition relating to the period of our ownership and may not be able to negotiate for limitations on those liabilities. We are also subject to the risk that the sales price is less than the amount reflected on our balance sheet.


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RISKS RELATING TO OUR RISK AND INSURANCE SERVICES SEGMENT
Our Risk and Insurance Services segment, conducted through Marsh and Guy Carpenter, represented 54% of the Company's total revenue in 2017. Our business in this segment is subject to particular risks.
Results in our Risk and Insurance Services segment may be adversely affected by a general decline in economic activity.
Demand for many types of insurance and reinsurance generally rises or falls as economic growth expands or slows. This dynamic affects the level of commissions and fees generated by Marsh and Guy Carpenter. To the extent our clients become adversely affected by declining business conditions, they may choose to limit their purchases of insurance and reinsurance coverage, as applicable, which would inhibit our ability to generate commission revenue and other revenue based on premiums placed by us. Also, the insurance they seek to obtain through us may be impacted by changes in their assets, property values, sales or number of employees, which may reduce our commission revenue, and they may decide not to purchase our risk advisory or other services, which would inhibit our ability to generate fee revenue. Moreover, insolvencies and combinations associated with an economic downturn, especially insolvencies and combinations in the insurance industry, could adversely affect our brokerage business through the loss of clients or by limiting our ability to place insurance and reinsurance business, as well as our revenues from insurers. Guy Carpenter is especially susceptible to this risk given the limited number of insurance company clients and reinsurers in the market place.
Volatility or declines in premiums and other market trends may significantly impede our ability to grow revenues and profitability.
A significant portion of our Risk and Insurance Services revenue consists of commissions paid to us out of the premiums that insurers and reinsurers charge our clients for coverage. We do not determine the insurance premiums on which our commissions are generally based. Our revenues and profitability are subject to change to the extent that premium rates fluctuate or trend in a particular direction. The potential for changes in premium rates is significant, due to the normal cycles of pricing in the commercial insurance and reinsurance markets.
As traditional insurance companies continue to rely on non-affiliated brokers or agents to generate premium, those insurance companies may seek to reduce their expenses by lowering their commission rates. The reduction of these commission rates, along with general volatility or declines in premiums, may significantly affect our profitability. Because we do not determine the timing or extent of premium pricing changes, it is difficult to accurately forecast our commission revenues, including whether they will significantly decline. As a result, we may have to adjust our plans for future acquisitions, capital expenditures, dividend payments, loan repayments and other expenditures to account for unexpected changes in revenues, and any decreases in premium rates may adversely affect the results of our operations.
In addition to movements in premium rates, our ability to generate premium-based commission revenue may be challenged by disintermediation and the growing availability of alternative methods for clients to meet their risk-protection needs. This trend includes a greater willingness on the part of corporations to self-insure, the use of captive insurers, and the presence of capital markets-based solutions for traditional insurance and reinsurance needs. Further, the profitability of our Risk and Insurances Services segment depends in part on our ability to be compensated for the analytical services and other advice that we provide, including the consulting and analytics services that we provide to insurers. If we are unable to achieve and maintain adequate billing rates for all of our services, our margins and profitability could decline.
Adverse legal developments and future regulations concerning how intermediaries are compensated by insurers or clients, as well as allegations of anti-competitive behavior or conflicts of interest more broadly, could have a material adverse effect on Marsh’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
The ways in which insurance intermediaries are compensated receive scrutiny from regulators in part because of the potential for anti-competitive behavior and conflicts of interest. The vast majority of the compensation that Marsh receives is in the form of retail fees and commissions that are paid by the client or paid from premium that is paid by the client. The amount of other compensation that we receive from


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insurance companies, separate from retail fees and commissions, has increased in the last several years, both on an underlying basis and through acquisition. This other compensation includes payment for (i) consulting and analytics services provided to insurers; (ii) administrative and other services provided to insurers (including services relating to the administration and management of quota shares, lineslips, panels and other facilities); and (iii) contingent commissions (paid by insurers based on factors such as volume or profitability of Marsh's placements). These other revenue streams present potential regulatory, litigation and reputational risks that may arise from alleged anti-competitive behavior or conflicts of interest, and future changes in the regulatory environment may impact our ability to collect such revenue. For example, in November 2017, the FCA announced the terms of reference for a market study concerning the London wholesale insurance broker sector, which affects Marsh and Guy Carpenter. The FCA is conducting the study to assess "how effective competition is working in the wholesale insurance broker sector" and "how brokers influence competition in the underwriting sector." Many of the questions raised by the FCA in the terms of reference relate to broker compensation and fee-generating business practices. The FCA is expected to publish its interim report in the fall of 2018, with a final report expected in 2019. The timing and impacts of the study remain uncertain, and the study may lead to remedies on the industry that could adversely impact Marsh or Guy Carpenter’s business. These or other adverse regulatory, legal or other developments could have a material adverse effect on our business and expose the Company to negative publicity and reputational harm.
RISKS RELATING TO OUR CONSULTING SEGMENT
Our Consulting segment, conducted through Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group, represented 46% of our total revenue in 2017. Our businesses in this segment are subject to particular risks.
Mercer’s Investment Management and Related Services (IMS) business is subject to a number of risks, including risks related to third-party investment managers, operational risk, conflicts of interest, asset performance and regulatory compliance, that, if realized, could result in significant damage to our business.
Mercer’s IMS business provides clients with investment consulting and investment management (also referred to as "delegated solutions" or "fiduciary management") services. In the investment consulting business, clients make and implement their own investment decisions based upon advice provided by Mercer. In its delegated solutions business, Mercer implements the client’s investment policy by engaging and overseeing third-party asset managers who determine which investments to buy and sell. To effect implementation of a client’s investment policy, Mercer may utilize its "manager of managers" investment funds.
Mercer’s IMS business is subject to a number of risks, including risks related to third-parties, our operations, conflicts of interest, asset performance and regulatory compliance and scrutiny, which could arise in connection with these offerings. For example, Mercer’s due diligence on an asset manager may fail to uncover material deficiencies or fraud that could result in investment losses to a client. There is a risk that Mercer will fail to properly implement a client’s investment policy, which could cause an incorrect or untimely allocation of client assets among asset managers or strategies. Mercer may also be perceived as recommending certain asset managers to clients, or offering delegated solutions to an investment consulting client, solely to enhance its own compensation. Asset classes may perform poorly, or asset managers may underperform their benchmarks, due to poor market performance, a downturn in the global equity markets, negligence or other reasons, resulting in poor returns or loss of client capital. These risks, if realized, could result in significant liability and damage our business. In addition, in June 2017, the FCA issued a final report in connection with a market study of the U.K. asset management industry, which includes asset managers and investment consultants, including Mercer. Following the report, in September 2017, the FCA announced its decision to refer the investment consulting and fiduciary management markets to the U.K. Competition & Markets Authority (the "CMA") for a market investigation. The CMA expects to conclude its investigation of the investment consulting and fiduciary management markets by March 2019, and the CMA may impose remedies on the industry that may adversely affect Mercer’s U.K. investment consulting and delegated solutions businesses.


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Revenues for the services provided by our Consulting segment may decline for various reasons, including as a result of changes in economic conditions, the value of equity, debt and other asset markets, our clients’ or an industry's financial condition or government regulation.
Until recently, global economic conditions have negatively affected businesses and financial institutions. Many of our clients, including financial institutions, corporations, government entities and pension plans, have reduced expenses, including amounts spent on consulting services, and used internal resources instead of consultants. The evolving needs and financial circumstances of our clients may reduce demand for our consulting services and our revenues and profitability. If the economy or markets in which we operate experience weakness or deteriorate, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
In addition, some of Mercer's IMS business generates fees based upon the value of the clients’ assets under management or advisement. Changes in the value of equity, debt, currency, real estate, commodities or other asset classes could cause the value of assets under management or advisement, and the fees received by Mercer, to decline. Such changes could also cause clients to withdraw funds from Mercer’s IMS business in favor of other investment service providers. In either case, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Further, revenue received by Mercer as investment manager to the majority of the Mercer-managed investment funds is reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP on a gross basis rather than a net basis, with sub-advisor fees reflected as an expense. Therefore the reported revenue for these offerings does not fully reflect the amount net revenue ultimately attributable to Mercer.
Demand for many of Mercer's benefits services is affected by government regulation and tax laws, rulings, policies and interpretations, which drive our clients' needs for benefits-related services. Significant changes in government regulations affecting the value, use or delivery of benefits and human resources programs, including changes in regulations relating to health and welfare plans, defined contribution plans or defined benefit plans, may adversely affect the demand for or profitability of Mercer's services.
Factors affecting defined benefit pension plans and the services we provide relating to those plans could adversely affect Mercer.
Mercer currently provides corporate, multi-employer and public clients with actuarial, consulting and administration services relating to defined benefit pension plans. The nature of our work is complex. Our actuarial services involve numerous assumptions and estimates regarding future events, including interest rates used to discount future liabilities, estimated rates of return for a plan's assets, healthcare cost trends, salary projections and participants' life expectancies. Our consulting services involve the drafting and interpretation of trust deeds and other complex documentation governing pension plans. Our administration services include calculating benefits within complicated pension plan structures. Clients dissatisfied with our services have brought, and may bring, significant claims against us, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, a number of Mercer's clients have frozen or curtailed their defined benefit plans and have moved to defined contribution plans resulting in reduced revenue for Mercer's retirement business. These developments could adversely affect Mercer's business and operating results.
The profitability of our Consulting segment may decline if we are unable to achieve or maintain adequate utilization and pricing rates for our consultants.
The profitability of our Consulting businesses depends in part on ensuring that our consultants maintain adequate utilization rates (i.e., the percentage of our consultants' working hours devoted to billable activities). Our utilization rates are affected by a number of factors, including:
our ability to transition consultants promptly from completed projects to new assignments, and to engage newly-hired consultants quickly in revenue-generating activities;
our ability to continually secure new business engagements, particularly because a portion of our work is project-based rather than recurring in nature;
our ability to forecast demand for our services and thereby maintain appropriate headcount in each of our geographies and workforces;
our ability to manage attrition;
unanticipated changes in the scope of client engagements;


26


the potential for conflicts of interest that might require us to decline client engagements that we otherwise would have accepted;
our need to devote time and resources to sales, training, professional development and other non-billable activities;
the potential disruptive impact of acquisitions and dispositions; and
general economic conditions.
If the utilization rate for our consulting professionals declines, our profit margin and profitability could decline.
In addition, the profitability of our Consulting businesses depends in part on the prices we are able to charge for our services. The prices we charge are affected by a number of factors, including:
clients' perception of our ability to add value through our services;
market demand for the services we provide;
our ability to develop new services and the introduction of new services by competitors;
the pricing policies of our competitors;
the extent to which our clients develop in-house or other capabilities to perform the services that they might otherwise purchase from us; and
general economic conditions.
If we are unable to achieve and maintain adequate billing rates for our services, our profit margin and profitability could decline.
Item 1B.     Unresolved Staff Comments.
There are no unresolved comments to be reported pursuant to Item 1B.
Item 2.      Properties.
Marsh & McLennan Companies maintains its corporate headquarters in New York City. We also maintain other offices around the world, primarily in leased space. In certain circumstances we may have space that we sublet to third parties, depending upon our needs in particular locations.
Marsh & McLennan Companies and certain of its subsidiaries own, directly and indirectly through special purpose subsidiaries, a 58% condominium interest covering approximately 900,000 square feet of office space in a 44 story condominium in New York City. This real estate serves as the Company's headquarters and is occupied primarily by the Company and its subsidiaries for general corporate use. The condominium interests are financed by a 30-year mortgage loan that is non-recourse to the Company unless the Company (i) is downgraded below B (stable outlook) by S&P or Fitch or B2 (stable outlook) by Moody's and such downgrade is continuing or (ii) an event of default under the mortgage loan has occurred. The mortgage is secured by a first priority assignment of leases and rents, including the leases which the Company and certain of its subsidiaries entered into with their affiliated special purpose subsidiaries which own the mortgaged condominium interests. The net rent due under those leases in effect services the mortgage debt.
Item 3.      Legal Proceedings.
In April 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom (the "FCA") commenced a civil competition investigation into the aviation insurance and reinsurance sector. In connection with that investigation, the FCA carried out an on-site inspection at the London office of Marsh Limited, our Marsh and Guy Carpenter operating subsidiary in the United Kingdom. The FCA indicated that it had reasonable grounds for suspecting that Marsh Limited and other participants in the market have been sharing competitively sensitive information within the aviation insurance and reinsurance broking sector.
In October 2017, the Company received a notice that the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission had commenced a civil investigation of a number of insurance brokers, including Marsh, regarding "the exchange of commercially sensitive information between competitors in relation to aviation and aerospace insurance and reinsurance broking products and services in the European Economic Area ("EEA"), as well as possible coordination between competitors." In light of the action


27


taken by the European Commission, the FCA informed Marsh Limited at the same time that it has discontinued its investigation under U.K. competition law into the aviation insurance and reinsurance sector.
In July 2017, the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission together with the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission conducted on-site inspections at the offices of Marsh and other industry participants in Dublin in connection with an investigation regarding the "possible participation in anticompetitive agreements and/or concerted practices contrary to [E.U. competition law] in the market for commercial motor insurance in the Republic of Ireland." In December 2017, we received a request from the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission seeking documents and information relating to its investigation.
We are cooperating with these investigations and are conducting our own reviews. As these investigations are at early stages, we are unable to predict their likely timing, outcome or ultimate impact. There can be no assurance that the ultimate resolution of these or any related matters will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We and our subsidiaries are also party to a variety of other legal, administrative, regulatory and government proceedings, claims and inquiries arising in the normal course of business. Additional information regarding certain legal proceedings and related matters is set forth in Note 14 to the consolidated financial statements appearing under Part II, Item 8 ("Financial Statements and Supplementary Data") of this report.
Item 4.      Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.


28


PART II
Item 5.      Market for the Company’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
For information regarding dividends paid and the number of holders of the Company’s common stock, see the table entitled "Selected Quarterly Financial Data and Supplemental Information (Unaudited)" below on the last page of Part II, Item 8 ("Financial Statements and Other Supplementary Data") of this report.
The Company’s common stock is listed on the New York, Chicago and London Stock Exchanges. The following table indicates the high and low prices (NYSE composite quotations) of the Company’s common stock during 2017 and 2016 and each quarterly period thereof:
 
 
2017
Stock Price Range
 
2016
Stock Price Range
 
 
High
 
Low
 
High
 
Low
First Quarter
 
$75.52
 
$66.75
 
$60.96
 
$50.81
Second Quarter
 
$80.47
 
$71.79
 
$68.57
 
$59.85
Third Quarter
 
$84.32
 
$76.68
 
$68.69
 
$65.48
Fourth Quarter
 
$86.54
 
$80.12
 
$69.77
 
$62.33
Full Year
 
$86.54
 
$66.75
 
$69.77
 
$50.81
On February 21, 2018, the closing price of the Companys common stock on the NYSE was $82.77.
The Company repurchased 3.6 million shares of its common stock for $300 million during the fourth quarter of 2017, resulting in full year 2017 repurchases of 11.5 million shares for $900 million. In November 2016, the Board of Directors of the Company authorized the Company to repurchase up to $2.5 billion in shares of the Company's common stock, which superseded any prior authorizations. As of December 31, 2017, the Company remained authorized to repurchase up to approximately $1.5 billion in shares of its common stock. There is no time limit on the authorization.
Period
 

Total Number
of Shares
(or Units)
Purchased
 

Average Price
Paid per Share
(or Unit)
 

Total Number of
Shares (or Units)
Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs
 

Maximum Number
(or Approximate  Dollar Value)
of Shares (or Units) that May
Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or Programs
Oct 1-31, 2017
 
1,364,124

 
$
83.4481

 
1,364,124

 
$
1,727,022,334

Nov 1-30, 2017
 
1,460,560

 
$
83.0467

 
1,460,560

 
$
1,605,727,627

Dec 1-31, 2017
 
771,990

 
$
84.1654

 
771,990

 
$
1,540,752,770

Total
 
3,596,674

 
$
83.4391

 
3,596,674

 
$
1,540,752,770




29


Item 6.      Selected Financial Data.
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and Subsidiaries
FIVE-YEAR STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
For the Years Ended December 31,
(In millions, except per share figures)
2017

 
2016

 
2015

 
2014

 
2013

 
Revenue
$
14,024

 
$
13,211

 
$
12,893

 
$
12,951

 
$
12,261

 
Expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation and Benefits
7,884

 
7,461

 
7,334

 
7,515

 
7,226

 
Other Operating Expenses
3,284

 
3,086

 
3,140

 
3,135

 
2,958

 
Operating Expenses
11,168

 
10,547

 
10,474

 
10,650

 
10,184

 
Operating Income (a)
2,856

 
2,664

 
2,419

 
2,301

 
2,077

 
Interest Income
9

 
5

 
13

 
21

 
18

 
Interest Expense
(237
)
 
(189
)
 
(163
)
 
(165
)
 
(167
)
 
Cost of Extinguishment of Debt

 

 

 
(137
)
 
(24
)
 
Investment Income
15

 

 
38

 
37

 
69

 
Income Before Income Taxes
2,643

 
2,480

 
2,307

 
2,057

 
1,973

 
Income Tax Expense (b)
1,133

 
685

 
671

 
586

 
594

 
Income From Continuing Operations
1,510

 
1,795

 
1,636

 
1,471

 
1,379

 
Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax
2

 

 

 
26

 
6

 
Net Income Before Non-Controlling Interests
1,512

 
1,795

 
1,636

 
1,497

 
1,385

 
Less: Net Income Attributable to Non-Controlling Interests
20

 
27

 
37

 
32

 
28

 
Net Income Attributable to the Company
$
1,492

 
$
1,768

 
$
1,599

 
$
1,465

 
$
1,357

 
Basic Net Income Per Share Information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income From Continuing Operations
$
2.91

 
$
3.41

 
$
3.01

 
$
2.64

 
$
2.46

 
Income From Discontinued Operations

 

 

 
0.05

 
0.01

 
Net Income Attributable to the Company
$
2.91

 
$
3.41

 
$
3.01

 
$
2.69

 
$
2.47

 
Average Number of Shares Outstanding
513

 
519

 
531

 
545

 
549

 
Diluted Income Per Share Information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income From Continuing Operations
$
2.87

 
$
3.38

 
$
2.98

 
$
2.61

 
$
2.42

 
Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax Per Share

 

 

 
0.04

 
0.01

 
Net Income Attributable to the Company
$
2.87

 
$
3.38

 
$
2.98

 
$
2.65

 
$
2.43

 
Average Number of Shares Outstanding
519

 
524

 
536

 
553

 
558

 
Dividends Paid Per Share
$
1.43

 
$
1.30

 
$
1.18

 
$
1.06

 
$
0.96

 
Return on Average Equity
22

%
27

%
23

%
19

%
19

%
Year-End Financial Position:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Working capital
$
1,300

 
$
802

 
$
1,336

 
$
1,856

 
$
2,027

 
Total assets
$
20,429

 
$
18,190

 
$
18,216

 
$
17,793

 
$
16,960

 
Long-term debt
$
5,225

 
$
4,495

 
$
4,402

 
$
3,368

 
$
2,619

 
Total equity
$
7,442

 
$
6,272

 
$
6,602

 
$
7,133

 
$
7,975

 
Total shares outstanding (net of treasury shares)
509

 
514

 
522

 
540

 
547

 
Other Information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of employees
64,000

 
60,000

 
60,000

 
57,000

 
55,000

 
Stock price ranges—
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. exchanges — High
$
86.54

 
$
69.77

 
$
59.99

 
$
58.74

 
$
48.56

 
— Low
$
66.75

 
$
50.81

 
$
50.90

 
$
44.25

 
$
34.43

 
(a)
Includes the impact of net restructuring costs of $40 million, $44 million, $28 million, $12 million and $22 million in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
(b)
Income tax expense in 2017 includes a $460 million provisional charge related to the enactment of U.S. tax reform.
See "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations", appearing under Part II, Item 7 of this report, for discussion of significant items affecting the results of operations in 2017, 2016 and 2015.


30


Item 7.    Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
General
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries (the "Company") is a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in risk, strategy and people. Its businesses include: Marsh, the insurance broker, intermediary and risk advisor; Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and Investment related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman Group, the management, economic and brand consultancy. With nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide and annual revenue of more than $14 billion, the Company provides analysis, advice and transactional capabilities to clients in more than 130 countries.
The Company conducts business through two segments:
Risk and Insurance Services includes risk management activities (risk advice, risk transfer and risk control and mitigation solutions) as well as insurance and reinsurance broking and services. The Company conducts business in this segment through Marsh and Guy Carpenter.
Consulting includes health, retirement, talent and investments consulting services and products, and specialized management, economic and brand consulting services. The Company conducts business in this segment through Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group.
We describe the primary sources of revenue and categories of expense for each segment below, in our discussion of segment financial results. A reconciliation of segment operating income to total operating income is included in Note 15 to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 in this report. The accounting policies used for each segment are the same as those used for the consolidated financial statements.
This Management's Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A") contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. See "Information Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" at the outset of this report.
Consolidated Results of Operations
For the Years Ended December 31,
(In millions, except per share figures)
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Revenue
$
14,024

 
$
13,211

 
$
12,893

Expense
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation and Benefits
7,884

 
7,461

 
7,334

Other Operating Expenses
3,284

 
3,086

 
3,140

Operating Expenses
11,168

 
10,547

 
10,474

Operating Income
$
2,856

 
$
2,664

 
$
2,419

Income from Continuing Operations
$
1,510

 
$
1,795

 
$
1,636

Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax
2

 

 

Net Income Before Non-Controlling Interests
$
1,512

 
$
1,795

 
$
1,636

Net Income Attributable to the Company
$
1,492

 
$
1,768

 
$
1,599

Net Income from Continuing Operations Per Share:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
2.91

 
$
3.41

 
$
3.01

Diluted
$
2.87

 
$
3.38

 
$
2.98

Net Income Per Share Attributable to the Company:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
2.91

 
$
3.41

 
$
3.01

Diluted
$
2.87

 
$
3.38

 
$
2.98

Average number of shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
513

 
519

 
531

Diluted
519

 
524

 
536

Shares outstanding at December 31,
509

 
514

 
522



31


In 2017, the Company’s results of operations and earnings per share were impacted negatively, in part, as a result of two significant items in 2017:
U.S. tax reform - On December 22, 2017, the U.S. enacted comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJA"). The TCJA provides for a reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% and the creation of a territorial tax system. The TCJA also changes the deductibility of certain expenses, primarily executive officers compensation. An aggregate charge of $460 million was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 as a result of the enactment of the TCJA. The TCJA provides for a transition to the territorial system through a deemed repatriation tax (the "transition tax") on undistributed earnings of non-U.S. subsidiaries. The Company recorded a provisional charge of $240 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 as an estimate of U.S. transition taxes and ancillary effects, including state taxes and foreign withholding taxes related to the change in permanent reinvestment status with respect to our pre-2018 foreign earnings. This transition tax is payable over eight years. The reduction of the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, reduces the value of the U.S. deferred tax assets and liabilities, accordingly, a net charge of $220 million was recorded. A more complete discussion of the TCJA and its impact on the Company’s results is included under the heading "Income Taxes".
Pension Settlement charge in the U.K. - The Defined Benefit Pension Plans in the U.K. allow participants an option for the payment of a lump sum distribution from plan assets before retirement in full satisfaction of the retirement benefits due to the participant as well as any survivor’s benefit. The Company’s policy under applicable U.S. GAAP is to treat these lump sum payments as a partial settlement of the plan liability if they exceed the sum of service cost plus interest cost components of net period pension cost of a plan for the year ("settlement thresholds"). The amount of lump sum payments through December 31, 2017 exceeded the settlement thresholds in two of the U.K. plans. This resulted in a non-cash settlement charge of $54 million recorded in December 2017, of which approximately 85% impacted Risk and Insurance Services.
Consolidated operating income increased 7%, to $2.9 billion, in 2017 compared with $2.7 billion in 2016, reflecting the combined impact of a 6% increase in revenue and a 6% increase in expenses as compared with the prior year. Income before income taxes increased 7%, to $2.6 billion, reflecting the increase in operating income partly offset by higher interest expense, primarily reflecting an increase in average debt outstanding during the year resulting from the issuance of $1 billion of senior notes in January 2017, partly offset by the repayment of $250 million of senior notes in April 2017.
Diluted earnings per share was $2.87 in 2017, compared with $3.38 in 2016. The decrease reflects a significantly higher effective tax rate in 2017, primarily resulting from an aggregate provisional charge of $460 million related to the enactment in December 2017 of U.S. tax reform and a pension settlement charge, which are discussed above. The impact from U.S. tax reform was partly offset by discrete tax items during the year, in particular the benefit from the required change in accounting for tax consequences related to stock compensation. The $460 million provisional charge related to U.S. tax reform reduced diluted earnings per share by $0.89.
Average diluted shares outstanding for 2017 decreased to 519 million, compared with 524 million during 2016. Shares issued related to the vesting of share awards and the exercise of employee stock options, were more than offset by share repurchases during the year. Average shares outstanding in 2017 was also impacted by the change in accounting for stock compensation. Under the applicable guidance, the excess tax benefits for unvested shares and unexercised stock options are no longer included in the calculation of common stock equivalents ("CSEs") under the treasury stock method. This had the effect of increasing CSEs by approximately 1.7 million shares in 2017.
Risk and Insurance Services operating income increased $118 million, or 7%, in 2017 compared with 2016. Revenue increased 7%, reflecting a 3% increase on an underlying basis and a 4% increase from acquisitions. Expense increased 7% or 2% on an underlying basis in 2017 compared with 2016.
Consulting operating income increased $71 million, or 6%, to $1.2 billion in 2017 compared with 2016, reflecting the combined impact of 5% growth for both revenue and expense.


32


Consolidated operating income increased 10% to $2.7 billion in 2016 compared with $2.4 billion in 2015, reflecting the combined impact of a 2% increase in revenue and a 1% increase in expenses as compared to the prior year.
Risk and Insurance Services operating income increased $214 million, or 14% in 2016 compared with 2015. Revenue increased 4% reflecting a 3% increase on an underlying basis and a 3% increase from acquisitions, partly offset by a decrease resulting from the impact of foreign currency translation of 2%. Expense increased 1% in 2016 compared with 2015.
Consulting operating income increased $28 million, or 3%, to $1.1 billion in 2016 compared with 2015, reflecting the combined impact of 1% revenue growth, while expense was flat.


33


Consolidated Revenue and Expense
Revenue - Components of Change
The Company conducts business in many countries. As a result, foreign exchange rate movements may impact period-to-period comparisons of revenue. Similarly, certain other items such as the revenue impact of acquisitions and dispositions, including transfers among businesses, may impact period-to-period comparisons of revenue. Underlying revenue measures the change in revenue from one period to another by isolating these impacts. The impact of foreign currency exchange fluctuations, acquisitions and dispositions, including transfers among businesses, on the Company’s operating revenues by segment was as follows:
  
Year Ended
December 31,
 
  
 
Components of Revenue Change*
(In millions, except percentage figures)
2017

 
2016

 
% Change
GAAP
Revenue
 
Currency
Impact
 
Acquisitions/
Dispositions
Impact
 
Underlying
Revenue
Risk and Insurance Services
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marsh
$
6,404

 
$
5,976

 
7
%
 

 
5
%
 
3
%
Guy Carpenter
1,187

 
1,141

 
4
%
 

 

 
4
%
Subtotal
7,591

 
7,117

 
7
%
 

 
4
%
 
3
%
Fiduciary Interest Income
39

 
26

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Risk and Insurance Services
7,630

 
7,143

 
7
%
 

 
4
%
 
3
%
Consulting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mercer
4,528

 
4,323

 
5
%
 

 
2
%
 
2
%
Oliver Wyman Group
1,916

 
1,789

 
7
%
 

 

 
7
%
Total Consulting
6,444

 
6,112

 
5
%
 

 
2
%
 
4
%
Corporate/Eliminations
(50
)
 
(44
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Revenue
$
14,024

 
$
13,211

 
6
%
 

 
3
%
 
3
%
*
Components of revenue change may not add due to rounding.
The following table provides more detailed revenue information for certain of the components presented above:
  
Year Ended
December 31,
 
  
 
Components of Revenue Change*
(In millions, except percentage figures)
2017

 
2016

 
% Change
GAAP
Revenue
 
Currency
Impact
 
Acquisitions/
Dispositions
Impact
 
Underlying
Revenue
Marsh:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EMEA
$
2,033

 
$
1,924

 
6
 %
 
(1
)%
 
7
 %
 

Asia Pacific
645

 
635

 
2
 %
 

 
(5
)%
 
6
 %
Latin America
404

 
374

 
8
 %
 
(3
)%
 
3
 %
 
7
 %
Total International
3,082

 
2,933

 
5
 %
 
(1
)%
 
4
 %
 
2
 %
U.S. / Canada
3,322

 
3,043

 
9
 %
 

 
6
 %
 
4
 %
Total Marsh
$
6,404

 
$
5,976

 
7
 %
 

 
5
 %
 
3
 %
Mercer:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration
$
1,381

 
$
1,447

 
(5
)%
 
(1
)%
 
(2
)%
 
(2
)%
Investment Management & Related Services
767

 
606

 
26
 %
 
1
 %
 
15
 %
 
10
 %
     Total Wealth
2,148

 
2,053

 
5
 %
 

 
3
 %
 
2
 %
Health
1,648

 
1,588

 
4
 %
 

 
2
 %
 
2
 %
Career
732

 
682

 
7
 %
 

 
2
 %
 
5
 %
Total Mercer
$
4,528

 
$
4,323

 
5
 %
 

 
2
 %
 
2
 %
Underlying revenue measures the change in revenue using consistent currency exchange rates, excluding the impact of certain items that affect comparability such as: acquisitions, dispositions, transfers among businesses and the deconsolidation of Marsh India.
Effective January 1, 2017, Mercer established a Wealth business reflecting a unified client strategy for its former Retirement and Investment business. The 2016 information in the chart above has been conformed to the current presentation.
* Components of revenue change may not add due to rounding.


34


  
Year Ended
December 31,
 
  
 
Components of Revenue Change*
(In millions, except percentage figures)
2016

 
2015

 
% Change
GAAP
Revenue
 
Currency
Impact
 
Acquisitions/
Dispositions
Impact
 
Underlying
Revenue
Risk and Insurance Services
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marsh
$
5,976

 
$
5,727

 
4
%
 
(2
)%
 
4
%
 
3
%
Guy Carpenter
1,141

 
1,121

 
2
%
 

 

 
2
%
Subtotal
7,117

 
6,848

 
4
%
 
(2
)%
 
3
%
 
3
%
Fiduciary Interest Income
26

 
21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Risk and Insurance Services
7,143

 
6,869

 
4
%
 
(2
)%
 
3
%
 
3
%
Consulting
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mercer
4,323

 
4,313

 

 
(2
)%
 

 
3
%
Oliver Wyman Group
1,789

 
1,751

 
2
%
 
(2
)%
 

 
3
%
Total Consulting
6,112

 
6,064

 
1
%
 
(2
)%
 

 
3
%
Corporate/Eliminations
(44
)
 
(40
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Revenue
$
13,211

 
$
12,893

 
2
%
 
(2
)%
 
2
%
 
3
%
*
Components of revenue change may not add due to rounding.
The following table provides more detailed revenue information for certain of the components presented above:
  
Year Ended
December 31,
 
  
 
Components of Revenue Change*
(In millions, except percentage figures)
2016

 
2015

 
% Change
GAAP
Revenue
 
Currency
Impact
 
Acquisitions/
Dispositions
Impact
 
Underlying
Revenue
Marsh:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EMEA
$
1,924

 
$
1,848

 
4
 %
 
(4
)%
 
6
 %
 
2
%
Asia Pacific
635

 
636

 

 

 
(3
)%
 
3
%
Latin America
374

 
380

 
(2
)%
 
(10
)%
 

 
8
%
Total International
2,933

 
2,864

 
2
 %
 
(4
)%
 
4
 %
 
3
%
U.S. / Canada
3,043

 
2,863

 
6
 %
 

 
4
 %
 
2
%
Total Marsh
$
5,976

 
$
5,727

 
4
 %
 
(2
)%
 
4
 %
 
3
%
Mercer:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration
$
1,447

 
$
1,579

 
(8
)%
 
(4
)%
 
(6
)%
 

Investment Management & Related Services
606

 
584

 
4
 %
 
(3
)%
 
1
 %
 
6
%
     Total Wealth
2,053

 
2,163

 
(5
)%
 
(3
)%
 
(4
)%
 
2
%
Health
1,588

 
1,558

 
2
 %
 
(1
)%
 

 
3
%
Career
682

 
592

 
15
 %
 
(2
)%
 
12
 %
 
5
%
Total Mercer
$
4,323

 
$
4,313

 

 
(2
)%
 

 
3
%
Underlying revenue measures the change in revenue using consistent currency exchange rates, excluding the impact of certain items that affect comparability such as: acquisitions, dispositions and transfers among businesses. For 2015, the impact of a $37 million gain from the disposal of Mercer's U.S. defined contribution recordkeeping business is included in acquisitions/dispositions in Mercer's Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration business.
*
Components of revenue change may not add due to rounding.
Revenue
Consolidated revenue was $14 billion in 2017, an increase of 6%, or 3% on an underlying basis. Revenue in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 7% in 2017 compared with 2016, or 3% on an underlying basis. Revenue increased 3% and 4% on an underlying basis at Marsh and Guy Carpenter, respectively, as compared with 2016. The Consulting segment's revenue increased 5% compared with 2016, or 4% on an underlying basis. Revenue increased 2% and 7% on an underlying basis at Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group, respectively, as compared with 2016.


35


Consolidated revenue was $13.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 2%, or 3% on an underlying basis. Revenue in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 4% in 2016 compared with 2015, or 3% on an underlying basis. Revenue increased 3% and 2% on an underlying basis at Marsh and Guy Carpenter, respectively, as compared with 2015. The Consulting segment's revenue increased 1% on a reported basis compared with 2015, or 3% on an underlying basis. Both Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group's revenue increased 3% on an underlying basis compared with 2015.
Operating Expense
Consolidated operating expenses increased 6% in 2017 compared with 2016, or 2% on an underlying basis. The increase in underlying expenses was primarily due to higher base salaries and incentive compensation costs, and the pension settlement charge discussed previously, partly offset by lower costs related to liabilities for errors and omissions.
Consolidated operating expenses increased 1% in 2016 compared with the same period in 2015 on both a reported and underlying basis. The underlying expense increase reflects higher base salary costs, higher amortization of identified intangible assets and the impact of the net benefit from the termination of the Company's post-65 retiree medical reimbursement plan in the United States (the "RRA Plan"), which was recorded in the first quarter of 2015, partly offset by decreases in defined benefit plan pension expense and contingent acquisition consideration expense.
Risk and Insurance Services
In the Risk and Insurance Services segment, the Company’s subsidiaries and other affiliated entities act as brokers, agents or consultants for insureds, insurance underwriters and other brokers in the areas of risk management, insurance broking and insurance program management services, primarily under the name of Marsh; and engage in reinsurance broking, catastrophe and financial modeling services and related advisory functions, primarily under the name of Guy Carpenter.
Marsh and Guy Carpenter are compensated for brokerage and consulting services primarily through fees paid by clients or commissions paid out of premiums charged by insurance and reinsurance companies. Commission rates vary in amount depending upon the type of insurance or reinsurance coverage provided, the particular insurer or reinsurer, the capacity in which the broker acts and negotiates with clients. Revenues can be affected by premium rate levels in the insurance/reinsurance markets, the amount of risk retained by insurance and reinsurance clients themselves and by the value of the risks that have been insured since commission-based compensation is frequently related to the premiums paid by insureds/reinsureds. In many cases, fee compensation may be negotiated in advance, based on the type of risk, coverage required and service provided by the Company and ultimately, the extent of the risk placed into the insurance market or retained by the client. The trends and comparisons of revenue from one period to the next can be affected by changes in premium rate levels, fluctuations in client risk retention and increases or decreases in the value of risks that have been insured, as well as new and lost business, and the volume of business from new and existing clients.
Marsh also receives other compensation from insurance companies, separate from retail fees and commissions. This compensation includes, among other things, payment for consulting and analytics services provided to insurers; administrative and other services provided to or on behalf of insurers (including services relating to the administration and management of quota share, panels and other facilities in which insurers participate); and contingent commissions. Marsh and Guy Carpenter also receive interest income on certain funds (such as premiums and claims proceeds) held in a fiduciary capacity for others. The investment of fiduciary funds is regulated by state and other insurance authorities. These regulations typically require segregation of fiduciary funds and limit the types of investments that may be made with them. Interest income from these investments varies depending on the amount of funds invested and applicable interest rates, both of which vary from time to time. For presentation purposes, fiduciary interest is segregated from the other revenues of Marsh and Guy Carpenter and separately presented within the segment, as shown in the revenue by segments charts presented earlier in this MD&A.


36


The results of operations for the Risk and Insurance Services segment are presented below:
(In millions of dollars, except percentages)
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Revenue
$
7,630

 
$
7,143

 
$
6,869

Compensation and Benefits
4,031

 
3,732

 
3,629

Other Operating Expenses
1,728

 
1,658

 
1,701

Operating Expenses
5,759

 
5,390

 
5,330

Operating Income
$
1,871

 
$
1,753

 
$
1,539

Operating Income Margin
24.5
%
 
24.5
%
 
22.4
%
Revenue
Revenue in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 7% in 2017 compared with 2016, due to a 3% growth in underlying revenue and 4% growth from acquisitions.
In Marsh, revenue increased 7% to $6.4 billion in 2017 as compared with 2016, reflecting a 3% increase on an underlying basis and a 5% increase from acquisitions. U.S./Canada had underlying revenue growth of 4%. International operations increased 2% on an underlying basis, reflecting increases of 6% in Asia Pacific and 7% in Latin America, while growth in EMEA was flat.
Guy Carpenter’s revenue increased 4% to $1.2 billion in 2017 compared with 2016, for both a reported and underlying basis.
Fiduciary interest income was $39 million in 2017 compared with $26 million in 2016 due to the combined effect of higher average invested funds and higher interest rates.
The Risk and Insurance Services segment completed seven acquisitions during 2017. Information regarding those acquisitions is included in Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements.
Revenue in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 4% in 2016 compared with 2015, as a 3% growth in underlying revenue and 3% growth from acquisitions was partly offset by a 2% decrease resulting from the impact of foreign currency translation.
In Marsh, revenue of $6 billion increased 4% in 2016 as compared with 2015, reflecting a 3% increase on an underlying basis and a 4% increase from acquisitions, offset by a 2% decrease resulting from the impact of foreign currency translation. The underlying revenue increase reflects growth in all major geographies. International operations had underlying revenue growth of 3% reflecting increases of 2% in EMEA, 3% in Asia Pacific and 8% in Latin America, while U.S./Canada increased 2%.
Guy Carpenter’s revenue increased 2% to $1.1 billion in 2016 compared with 2015, for both a reported and underlying basis.
Fiduciary interest income was $26 million in 2016 compared with $21 million in 2015 due to the combined effect of higher average invested funds and higher interest rates.
The Risk and Insurance Services segment completed nine acquisitions during 2016.
Expense
Expense in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 7% in 2017 compared with 2016, reflecting a 2% increase on an underlying basis and a 5% increase from acquisitions. The underlying expense increase is primarily due to higher base salaries, incentive compensation costs and the U.K. pension settlement charge discussed previously, partly offset by lower costs related to liabilities for errors and omissions.
Expense in the Risk and Insurance Services segment increased 1% on both a reported and underlying basis in 2016 compared with 2015. The impact of foreign currency translation reduced expenses by 3%, which was offset by a 3% increase related to acquisitions. The increase in underlying expense reflects higher base salary and incentive compensation costs, higher identified intangible asset amortization expense and the impact of the net benefit from the termination of the RRA Plan which was recorded in the first quarter of 2015, offset by a decrease in defined benefit plan pension expense and lower contingent consideration costs related to acquisitions.


37


Consulting
Effective January 1, 2017, Mercer merged its investment and retirement businesses into a newly-created wealth business. We believe this combination better aligns Mercer’s investment management capabilities globally.
The Company conducts business in its Consulting segment through two main business groups, Mercer and Oliver Wyman Group. Mercer provides consulting expertise, advice, services and solutions in the areas of health, retirement, talent and investments. Oliver Wyman Group provides specialized management, economic and brand consulting services.
The major component of revenue in the Consulting business is fees paid by clients for advice and services. Mercer, principally through its health line of business, also earns revenue in the form of commissions received from insurance companies for the placement of group (and occasionally individual) insurance contracts, primarily life, health and accident coverages. Revenue for Mercer’s investment management business and certain of Mercer’s defined contribution administration services consists principally of fees based on assets under management or administration.
Revenue in the Consulting segment is affected by, among other things, global economic conditions, including changes in clients’ particular industries and markets. Revenue is also affected by competition due to the introduction of new products and services, broad trends in employee demographics, including levels of employment, the effect of government policies and regulations, and fluctuations in interest and foreign exchange rates. Revenues from the provision of investment management services and retirement trust and administrative services are significantly affected by the level of assets under management or administration and securities market performance.
For the investment management business, revenues from the majority of funds are included on a gross basis in accordance with U.S. GAAP and include reimbursable expenses incurred by professional staff and sub-advisory fees, and the related expenses are included in other operating expenses.
The results of operations for the Consulting segment are presented below: 
(In millions of dollars, except percentages)
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Revenue
$
6,444

 
$
6,112

 
$
6,064

Compensation and Benefits
3,509

 
3,385

 
3,354

Other Operating Expenses
1,761

 
1,624

 
1,635

Operating Expenses
5,270

 
5,009

 
4,989

Operating Income
$
1,174

 
$
1,103

 
$
1,075

Operating Income Margin
18.2
%
 
18.1
%
 
17.7
%
Revenue
Consulting revenue in 2017 increased 5% compared with 2016, reflecting a 4% increase on an underlying basis and 2% growth from acquisitions. Mercer's revenue increased 5% to $4.5 billion over the prior year, or 2% on an underlying basis. Mercer's year over year revenue comparison also reflects an increase of 2% from acquisitions. The underlying revenue growth reflects an increase in Career of 5%, Health of 2% and Wealth of 2%. Within Wealth, Investment Management & Related Services increased 10% while Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration decreased 2% compared with the prior year. Oliver Wyman Group’s revenue increased 7% in 2017 compared with 2016, for both a reported and underlying basis.
The Consulting segment completed three acquisitions during 2017. Information regarding these acquisitions is included in Note 4 to the consolidated financial statements.
Consulting revenue in 2016 increased 1% compared with 2015, reflecting a 3% increase on an underlying basis offset by a 2% decrease from the impact of foreign currency translation. Mercer’s revenue of $4.3 billion was flat when compared with 2015 but increased 3% on an underlying basis. Mercer's year over year revenue comparison reflects a decrease of 2% from the impact of foreign currency translation. The underlying revenue growth reflects an increase in Wealth of 2%, Health of 3% and Career of 5%. Within Wealth, Investment Management & Related Services increased 6% while Defined Benefit Consulting & Administration was flat compared with 2015. Oliver Wyman Group’s revenue increased 2% in 2016


38


compared with 2015, reflecting an increase of 3% on an underlying basis, partly offset by a decrease of 2% from the impact of foreign currency translation.
The Consulting segment completed six acquisitions during 2016.
Expense
Consulting expense in 2017 increased 5% compared with 2016, reflecting an increase of 3% on an underlying basis and a 3% increase from the impact of acquisitions. The increase in underlying expense reflects higher base salaries, asset based fees and outside service costs, partly offset by lower severance costs and lower costs related to liabilities for errors and omissions.
Consulting expense in 2016 was essentially flat compared with 2015, reflecting an increase of 2% on an underlying basis offset by a 2% decrease from the impact of foreign currency translation. The increase in underlying expense reflects higher base salaries and the impact of the net benefit from the termination of the RRA plan which was recorded in the first quarter of 2015, partly offset by lower defined benefit plan pension expense.
Corporate and Other
Corporate expense in 2017 was $189 million compared with $192 million in 2016. The decrease in expense is primarily due to lower consulting, occupancy and general insurance costs.
Corporate expense in 2016 was $192 million compared with $195 million in 2015, reflecting lower executive compensation and lower defined benefit pension costs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Corporate Items
Interest
Interest income earned on corporate funds amounted to $9 million in 2017 compared with $5 million in 2016. Interest expense in 2017 was $237 million compared with $189 million in 2016. The increase in interest expense was primarily due to higher average debt outstanding in 2017.
Interest income earned on corporate funds amounted to $5 million in 2016 compared with $13 million in 2015. The decrease is due to the combined effects of a lower level of invested funds and lower interest rates. Interest expense in 2016 was $189 million compared with $163 million in 2015 due to higher average outstanding debt in 2016.
Investment Income
The caption "Investment income (loss)" in the consolidated statements of income comprises realized and unrealized gains and losses from investments recognized in current earnings. It includes, when applicable, other-than-temporary declines in the value of debt and available-for-sale securities and equity method gains or losses on its investment in private equity funds. The Company's investments may include direct investments in insurance, consulting and related companies and investments in private equity funds. The Company recorded net investment income of $15 million in 2017 compared to less than $1 million in 2016 and $38 million in 2015. The increase in 2017 versus 2016 was primarily due to a gain on the sale of an investment and higher equity method gains related to the Company's investments in private equity funds. Net investment income in 2015 was primarily related to the general partner carried interest from Trident III. Stonepoint Capital, the investment manager of Trident III, substantially liquidated the remaining two investments of Trident III during the third quarter of 2015, which resulted in the Company recognizing its remaining deferred performance fees.
Income Taxes
On December 22, 2017, the U.S. enacted the TCJA. The TCJA provides for a reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% and the creation of a territorial tax system. The TCJA also changes the deductibility of certain expenses, primarily executive officers compensation. The Company recorded a provisional charge of $460 million related to the enactment of the TCJA. As discussed in Note 6 to the consolidated financial statements this provisional charge may be adjusted in 2018. The TCJA provides for a transition to the territorial system via a transition tax on undistributed earnings of non-U.S. subsidiaries. The Company recorded a provisional charge of $240 million in the fourth quarter as an estimate of U.S. transition taxes and ancillary effects, including state taxes and foreign withholding taxes related to the


39


change in permanent reinvestment status with respect to our pre-2018 foreign earnings. This transition tax is payable over eight years. The reduction of the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, reduces the value of the US deferred tax assets and liabilities, accordingly, a charge of $220 million was recorded. The more complete discussion of the TCJA and its impact on the Company’s results is further below.
The Company's consolidated effective tax rate was 42.9%, 27.6% and 29.1% in 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The effective tax rate in 2017 reflects the provisional estimate of U.S. tax reform as well as the impact of the required change in accounting for the tax effects of equity awards. The 2017, 2016 and 2015 rates also reflect foreign operations which historically have been taxed at rates below the U.S. statutory tax rate, including the effect of repatriation, as well as the impact of discrete tax matters such as tax legislation, changes in valuation allowances, nontaxable adjustments to contingent acquisition consideration and the true-up of the tax provision to amounts filed in the Company's tax returns. In 2017, pre-tax income in the U.K., Barbados, Canada, Australia, and Ireland accounted for approximately 60% of the Company's total non-U.S. pre-tax income, with effective rates in those countries of 20%, 1%, 27%, 31% and 12%, respectively.
As noted above, the TCJA significantly increased income tax expense from two discrete charges discussed above. The lower U.S. corporate rate is expected to provide a significant ongoing benefit to our effective tax rate and U.S. cash tax liabilities due to the significantly lower U.S. statutory tax rate and the quasi-territorial system.
As a U.S. domiciled parent holding company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. is the issuer of essentially all of the Company's external indebtedness, and incurs the related interest expense in the U.S. Further, most senior executive and oversight functions are conducted in the U.S. and the associated costs are incurred primarily in the United States.
The mandatory taxation of accumulated undistributed foreign earnings through the transition tax substantially changed the economic considerations of continued permanent investment of those accumulated earnings, a key component of our global capital strategy. As a result of the transition tax, the Company anticipates repatriating the majority of the accumulated earnings that was previously intended to be permanently re-invested outside of the U.S. We continue to evaluate our global investment strategy in light of expected relief from U.S. tax reform under the new territorial tax regime for future foreign earnings.
The effective tax rate may vary significantly from period to period. The rate is sensitive to the geographic mix of the Company's earnings and repatriation of cash, which may result in higher or lower effective tax rates. Losses in certain jurisdictions cannot be offset by earnings from other operations, and may require valuation allowances that affect the rate, depending on estimates of the realizability of associated deferred tax assets. The effective tax rate is also sensitive to changes in unrecognized tax benefits, including the impact of settled tax audits and expired statutes of limitation.
The realization of deferred tax assets depends on generating future taxable income during the periods in which the tax benefits are deductible or creditable. Tax liabilities are determined and assessed jurisdictionally by legal entity or filing group. Certain taxing jurisdictions allow or require combined or consolidated tax filings. The Company assessed the realizability of its deferred tax assets. The Company considered all available evidence, including the existence of a recent history of losses, placing particular weight on evidence that could be objectively verified. A valuation allowance was recorded to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount that the Company believes is more likely than not to be realized.
Changes in tax laws, rulings, policies or related legal and regulatory interpretations occur frequently and may also have significant favorable or adverse impacts on our current assumptions and effective tax rate.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
The Company is organized as a legal entity separate and distinct from its operating subsidiaries. As the Company does not have significant operations of its own, the Company is dependent upon dividends and other payments from its operating subsidiaries to pay principal and interest on its outstanding debt obligations, pay dividends to stockholders, repurchase its shares and pay corporate expenses. The Company also provides financial support to its operating subsidiaries for acquisitions, investments and certain parts of their business that require liquidity, such as the capital markets business of Guy Carpenter. Other sources of liquidity include borrowing facilities discussed below in financing cash flows.


40


The Company derives a significant portion of its revenue and operating profit from operating subsidiaries located outside of the United States. Funds from those operating subsidiaries are regularly repatriated to the United States out of annual earnings. At December 31, 2017, the Company had approximately $1.0 billion of cash and cash equivalents in its foreign operations, which includes $171 million of operating funds required to be maintained for regulatory requirements or as collateral under certain captive insurance arrangements. The Company expects to continue its practice of repatriating foreign funds from its non-U.S. operating subsidiaries out of current annual earnings, and with respect to repatriating 2017 and prior earnings, it is in the process of fully evaluating such factors as its short- and long-term capital needs, acquisition and borrowing strategies, and the availability of cash for repatriation for each of its subsidiaries as it considers its permanent reinvestment assertions going forward in light of the enactment at the end of 2017 of the TCJA. During 2017, the Company recorded foreign currency translation adjustments which increased net equity by $715 million. A weakening of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies would increase the translated U.S. dollar value of the Company’s net investments in its non-U.S. subsidiaries, as well as the translated U.S. dollar value of cash repatriations from those subsidiaries.
Cash on our consolidated balance sheets includes funds available for general corporate purposes. Funds held on behalf of clients in a fiduciary capacity are segregated and shown separately in the consolidated balance sheets as an offset to fiduciary liabilities. Fiduciary funds cannot be used for general corporate purposes, and should not be considered as a source of liquidity for the Company.
Operating Cash Flows
The Company generated $1.9 billion of cash from operations in 2017, compared with $2.0 billion in 2016. These amounts reflect the net income of the Company during those periods, excluding gains or losses from investments, adjusted for non-cash charges and changes in working capital which relate primarily to the timing of payments of accrued liabilities or receipts of assets and pension contributions.
Pension-Related Items
Contributions
During 2017, the Company contributed $85 million to its U.S. pension plans and $229 million to non-U.S. pension plans compared to contributions of $27 million to U.S. plans and $187 million to non-U.S. plans in 2016.
In the United States, contributions to the tax-qualified defined benefit plans are based on ERISA guidelines and the Company generally expects to maintain a funded status of 80% or more of the liability determined under the ERISA guidelines. There was a $6 million contribution to the U.S. qualified plan to meet the ERISA funding requirement in 2017. In addition, the Company made a $50 million discretionary contribution to the U.S. qualified plan in December 2017 and $29 million of contributions to its non-qualified plans. The Company expects to contribute approximately $27 million to its U.S. pension plans in 2018.
The Company contributed $129 million to the U.K. plans in 2017, including an expense allowance of approximately $9 million. Based on the funding test carried out at November 1, 2017, the Company contributions to the U.K. plans in 2018 are expected to be approximately $22 million, including the expense allowance.
Outside the United States, the Company has a large number of non-U.S. defined benefit pension plans, the largest of which are in the U.K., which comprise approximately 81% of non-U.S. plan assets at December 31, 2017. Contribution rates for non-U.S. plans are generally based on local funding practices and statutory requirements, which may differ significantly from measurements under U.S. GAAP. In the U.K., the assumptions used to determine pension contributions are the result of legally-prescribed negotiations between the Company and the plans' trustee that typically occur every three years in conjunction with the actuarial valuation of the plans. Currently, this results in a lower funded status than under U.S. GAAP and may result in contributions irrespective of the U.S. GAAP funded status. In November 2016, the Company and the Trustee of the U.K. Defined Benefits Plans agreed to a funding deficit recovery plan for the U.K. defined benefit pension plans. The current agreement with the Trustee sets out the annual deficit contributions which would be due based on the deficit at December 31, 2015. The funding level is subject to re-assessment, in most cases on November 1 of each year. If the funding


41


level on November 1 is sufficient, no deficit funding contributions will be required in the following year, and the contribution amount will be deferred. The funding level was re-assessed on November 1, 2017 and no deficit funding contributions are required in 2018. The funding level will be re-assessed on November 1, 2018. As part of a long-term strategy, which depends on having greater influence over asset allocation and overall investment decisions, in November 2016 the Company renewed its agreement to support annual deficit contributions by the U.K. operating companies under certain circumstances, up to GBP 450 million over a seven-year period.
In the aggregate, the Company expects to contribute approximately $82 million to its non-U.S. defined benefit plans in 2018, comprising approximately $60 million to plans outside of the U.K. and $22 million to the U.K. plans.
Changes to Pension Plans
In March 2017, the Company modified its defined benefit pension plans in Canada to discontinue further benefit accruals for participants after December 31, 2017 and replaced them with a defined contribution arrangement. The Company also amended its post-retirement benefits plan in Canada so that individuals who retire after April 1, 2019 will not be eligible to participate, except in certain situations. The Company re-measured the assets and liabilities of the plans, based on assumptions and market conditions on the amendment date.
In October 2016, the Company modified its U.S. defined benefit pension plans to discontinue further benefit accruals for participants after December 31, 2016. At the same time, the Company amended its U.S. defined contribution retirement plans for most of its U.S. employees to add an automatic Company contribution equal to 4% of eligible base pay beginning on January 1, 2017. This new Company contribution, together with the Company’s current matching contribution, provides eligible U.S. employees with the opportunity to receive a total contribution of up to 7% of eligible base pay. As required under GAAP, the defined benefit plans that were significantly impacted by the modification were re-measured in October 2016 using market data and assumptions as of the modification date. The net periodic pension expense recognized in 2016 reflects the weighted average costs of the December 31, 2015 measurement and the October 2016 re-measurement. In addition, the U.S. qualified plans were merged effective December 30, 2016, since no participants would be receiving benefit accruals after December 2016.
Effective August 1, 2015, the Company amended its Ireland defined benefit pension plans to close those plans to future benefit accruals and replaced those plans with a defined contribution arrangement. The Company re-measured the assets and liabilities of the plans, based on assumptions and market conditions on the amendment date.
Changes in Funded Status and Expense
The year-over-year change in the funded status of the Company's pension plans is impacted by the difference between actual and assumed results, particularly with regard to return on assets, and changes in the discount rate, as well as the amount of Company contributions, if any. Unrecognized actuarial losses were approximately $1.8 billion and $2.6 billion at December 31, 2017 for the U.S. plans and non-U.S. plans, respectively, compared with $1.7 billion and $3.1 billion at December 31, 2016. The increase in the U.S. was primarily due to a decrease in the discount rate used to measure plan liabilities partly offset by investment returns. The decrease in the non-U.S. plans was primarily due to higher investment returns, the impact of assumption changes and the U.K. settlement in the fourth quarter of 2017 as discussed above, partly offset by the impact of a decrease in discount rates and foreign exchange translation. In the past several years, the amount of unamortized losses has been significantly impacted, both positively and negatively, by actual asset performance and changes in discount rates. The discount rate used to measure plan liabilities decreased in both the U.S. and the U.K. (the Company's largest plans) in 2017 and in 2016. The decreases in 2017 and 2016 followed an increase in 2015. An increase in the discount rate decreases the measured plan benefit obligation, resulting in actuarial gains, while a decrease in the discount rate increases the measured plan obligation, resulting in actuarial losses. During 2017, the Company's defined benefit pension plan assets had actual returns of 19.3% and 9.1% in the U.S. and U.K., respectively. During 2016, the Company's defined benefit pension plan assets had actual returns of 9.8% and 22.1% in the U.S. and U.K., respectively. During 2015, the Company's defined benefit pension plan assets had a loss of 3.9% in the U.S. and gain of 1.2% in the U.K.


42


Overall, based on the measurement at December 31, 2017, expenses related to the Company’s defined benefit plans are expected to decrease in 2018 by approximately $90 million compared to 2017. Approximately $80 million of the reduction relates to non-U.S. plans, primarily in the U.K. and in Canada. In the U.K., the net benefit credit was reduced in 2017 by the $54 million settlement charge discussed previously. The recognition of a similar charge in 2018 and the amount of such a charge, if any, is dependent upon whether participant lump sum elections reach or exceed the settlement threshold. The remaining decrease primarily relates to plans in Canada, which ceased the accrual of future benefits on January 1, 2018. Approximately half of the defined benefit expense decrease in Canada will be offset by increased costs for contributions to its defined contribution plans.
Historically, service and interest costs were estimated using a single weighted average discount rate derived from the yield curves used to measure the benefit obligations at the beginning of the period. In 2016, the Company changed the approach used to estimate the service and interest cost components of net periodic benefit cost for its significant non-U.S. plans. This change in approach was made to improve the correlation between the projected benefit cash flows and the corresponding yield curve spot rates and to provide a more precise measurement of service and interest costs. The change did not impact the measurement of the plans’ total projected benefit obligation. The Company accounted for this change as a change in estimate, that was applied prospectively beginning in 2016 and resulted in pension expense being approximately $45 million lower than if the prior approach had been used.
The Company’s accounting policies for its defined benefit pension plans, including the selection of and sensitivity to assumptions, are discussed below under Management’s Discussion of Critical Accounting Policies. For additional information regarding the Company’s retirement plans, see Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements.
In March 2015, the Company amended the RRA, resulting in its termination, with benefits to certain participants to be paid through December 31, 2016. As a result of the termination of the RRA plan, the Company recognized a net credit of approximately $125 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Financing Cash Flows
Net cash used for financing activities was $1.0 billion in 2017 compared with $1.1 billion used in 2016.
Debt
The Company increased outstanding debt by approximately $680 million in 2017 and $400 million in 2016.
The Company has established a short-term debt financing program of up to $1.5 billion through the issuance of commercial paper. The proceeds from the issuance of commercial paper are used for general corporate purposes. The Company had no commercial paper outstanding at December 31, 2017.
In January 2017, the Company issued $500 million of 2.75% senior notes due in 2022 and $500 million of 4.35% senior notes due in 2047. The Company used the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, which included the repayment of a $250 million debt maturity in April 2017.
In March 2016, the Company issued $350 million of 3.30% seven-year senior notes. In September 2015, the Company issued $600 million of 3.75% 10.5-year senior notes, and in March 2015, the Company issued $500 million of 2.35% five-year senior notes. The Company used the net proceeds from these issuances for general corporate purposes.
Credit Facilities
The Company and certain of its subsidiaries maintain a $1.5 billion multi-currency five-year unsecured revolving credit facility. The interest rate on this facility is based on LIBOR plus a fixed margin which varies with the Company's credit ratings. This facility expires in November 2020 and requires the Company to maintain certain coverage and leverage ratios which are tested quarterly. There were no borrowings outstanding under this facility at December 31, 2017.
The Company also maintains other credit facilities, guarantees and letters of credit with various banks, aggregating $624 million at December 31, 2017 and $376 million at December 31, 2016. There were no


43


outstanding borrowings under these facilities at December 31, 2017 and $1.6 million of outstanding borrowings under these facilities at December 31, 2016.
The Company's senior debt is currently rated A- by Standard & Poor's and Baa1 by Moody's. The Company's short-term debt is currently rated A-2 by Standard & Poor's and P-2 by Moody's. The Company carries a stable outlook from both firms.
Share Repurchases
During 2017, the Company repurchased 11.5 million shares of its common stock for total consideration of $900 million at an average price per share of $77.93. In November 2016, the Board of Directors authorized an increase in the Company’s share repurchase program, which supersedes any prior authorization, allowing management to buy back up to $2.5 billion of the Company’s common stock going forward. As of December 31, 2017, the Company remained authorized to purchase additional shares of its common stock up to a value of approximately $1.5 billion. There is no time limit on this authorization.
During 2016, the Company repurchased 12.7 million shares of its common stock for total consideration of $800 million at an average price per share of $63.18.
Dividends
The Company paid total dividends of $740 million in 2017 ($1.43 per share), $682 million in 2016 ($1.30 per share) and $632 million in 2015 ($1.18 per share).
Contingent Payments Related To Acquisitions
During 2017, the Company paid $108 million of contingent payments related to acquisitions made in prior years. These payments are split between financing and operating cash flows in the consolidated statements of cash flows. Payments of $81 million related to the contingent consideration liability that was recorded on the date of acquisition are reflected as financing cash flows. Payments related to increases in the contingent consideration liability subsequent to the date of acquisition of $27 million are reflected as operating cash flows. Remaining estimated future contingent consideration payments of $189 million for acquisitions completed in 2017 and in prior years are included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities or other liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2017. The Company paid deferred purchase consideration related to prior years' acquisitions of $55 million, $54 million and $36 million in the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. Remaining deferred cash payments of approximately $121 million are included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities or other liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet at December 31, 2017.
In 2016, the Company paid $86 million of contingent payments related to acquisitions made in prior periods, of which $44 million was reported as financing cash flows and $42 million as operating cash flows. In 2015, the Company made $47 million of contingent payments related to acquisitions made in prior periods, of which $13 million was reported as financing cash flows and $34 million as operating cash flows.
Investing Cash Flows
Net cash used for investing activities amounted to $956 million in 2017 compared with $1.1 billion used for investing activities in 2016.
The Company paid $655 million and $813 million, net of cash acquired, for acquisitions it made during 2017 and 2016, respectively.
On February 24, 2015, Mercer purchased shares of common stock of Benefitfocus (NASDAQ:BNFT) constituting approximately 9.9% of BNFT's outstanding capital stock as of the acquisition date. The purchase price for the BNFT shares and certain other rights and other consideration was approximately $75 million. In 2015, the Company elected to account for this investment under the cost method of accounting as the shares purchased were categorized as restricted. Effective December 31, 2016, these shares were no longer considered restricted for the purpose of determining if they are marketable securities under GAAP, and are accounted for as available for sale securities and included in other assets in the consolidated balance sheets.


44


The Company’s additions to fixed assets and capitalized software, which amounted to $302 million in 2017 and $253 million in 2016, primarily relate to computer equipment purchases, the refurbishing and modernizing of office facilities and software development costs.
The Company has commitments for potential future investments of approximately $57 million in four private equity funds that invest primarily in financial services companies.
Commitments and Obligations
The following sets forth the Company’s future contractual obligations by the types identified in the table below as of December 31, 2017:
  
Payment due by Period
Contractual Obligations
(In millions of dollars)
Total

 
Within
1 Year

 
1-3
Years

 
4-5
Years

 
After 5
Years

Current portion of long-term debt
$
262

 
$
262

 
$

 
$

 
$

Long-term debt
5,261

 

 
830

 
1,030

 
3,401

Interest on long-term debt
1,935

 
206

 
384

 
325

 
1,020

Net operating leases
2,057

 
314

 
542

 
429

 
772

Service agreements
387

 
228

 
134

 
12

 
13

Other long-term obligations
338

 
136

 
185

 
13

 
4

Total
$
10,240

 
$
1,146

 
$
2,075

 
$
1,809

 
$
5,210

The above does not include the liability for unrecognized tax benefits of $71 million as the Company is unable to reasonably predict the timing of settlement of these liabilities, other than approximately $1 million that may become payable during 2018. The above does not include net pension liabilities of approximately $1.8 billion because the timing and amount of ultimate payment of such liability is dependent upon future events, including, but not limited to, future returns on plan assets and changes in the discount rate used to measure the liabilities. The above does not include the provisional estimate of transitional tax payments related to the TCJA of $240 million. The amounts of estimated future benefits payments to be made from pension plan assets are disclosed in Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements. In 2018, the Company expects to contribute approximately $27 million and $82 million to its U.S. and non-U.S. defined benefit pension plans, respectively.
Management’s Discussion of Critical Accounting Policies
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP") requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. Management considers the policies discussed below to be critical to understanding the Company’s financial statements because their application places the most significant demands on management’s judgment, and requires management to make estimates about the effect of matters that are inherently uncertain. Actual results may differ from those estimates.
Legal and Other Loss Contingencies
The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to numerous claims, lawsuits and proceedings including claims for errors and omissions ("E&O"). GAAP requires that a liability be recorded when a loss is both probable and reasonably estimable. Significant management judgment is required to apply this guidance. The Company utilizes case level reviews by inside and outside counsel, an internal actuarial analysis by Oliver Wyman Group, a subsidiary of the Company, and other methods to estimate potential losses. The liability is reviewed quarterly and adjusted as developments warrant. In many cases, the Company has not recorded a liability, other than for legal fees to defend the claim, because we are unable, at the present time, to make a determination that a loss is both probable and reasonably estimable. Given the unpredictability of E&O claims and of litigation that could flow from them, it is possible that an adverse outcome in a particular matter could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s businesses, results of operations, financial condition or cash flow in a given quarterly or annual period.


45


In addition, to the extent that insurance coverage is available, significant management judgment is required to determine the amount of recoveries that are probable of collection under the Company’s various insurance programs.
Retirement Benefits
The Company maintains qualified and non-qualified defined benefit pension and defined contribution plans for its eligible U.S. employees and a variety of defined benefit and defined contribution plans for its eligible non-U.S. employees. The Company’s policy for funding its tax-qualified defined benefit retirement plans is to contribute amounts at least sufficient to meet the funding requirements set forth in U.S. and applicable foreign laws.
The Company recognizes the funded status of its over-funded defined benefit pension and retiree medical plans as a net benefit plan asset and its unfunded and underfunded plans as a net benefit plan liability. The gains or losses and prior service costs or credits that have not been recognized as components of net periodic costs are recorded as a component of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income ("AOCI"), net of tax, in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets. The gains and losses that exceed specified corridors are amortized prospectively out of AOCI over a period that approximates the remaining life expectancy of participants in plans where substantially all participants are inactive or the average remaining service period of active participants for plans with active participants. The vast majority of unrecognized losses relate to inactive plans and are amortized over the remaining life expectancy of the participants.
The determination of net periodic pension cost is based on a number of assumptions, including an expected long-term rate of return on plan assets, the discount rate, mortality and assumed rate of salary increase. The assumptions used in the calculation of net periodic pension costs and pension liabilities are disclosed in Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements. The assumptions for expected rate of return on plan assets and the discount rate are discussed in more detail below.
The long-term rate of return on plan assets assumption is determined for each plan based on the facts and circumstances that exist as of the measurement date, and the specific portfolio mix of each plan’s assets. The Company utilizes a model developed by Mercer, a subsidiary of the Company, to assist in the determination of this assumption. The model takes into account several factors, including: actual and target portfolio allocation; investment, administrative and trading expenses incurred directly by the plan trust; historical portfolio performance; relevant forward-looking economic analysis; and expected returns, variances and correlations for different asset classes. These measures are used to determine probabilities using standard statistical techniques to calculate a range of expected returns on the portfolio.
The target asset allocation for the U.S. Plans is 64% equities and equity alternatives and 36% fixed income. At December 31, 2017, the actual allocation for the U.S. Plans was 63% equities and equity alternatives and 37% fixed income. At the end of 2016, the target asset allocation for the U.K. Plans, which comprise approximately 81% of non-U.S. Plan assets, was 48% equities and equity alternatives and 52% fixed income. During 2017, due to improvement in the funded status of the U.K. Plans, the Trustee revised the target asset allocation to 34% equities and equity alternatives and 66% fixed income. At December 31, 2017, the actual allocation for the U.K. Plans was 48% equities and equity alternatives and 52% fixed income and the Company expects to continue to move the actual portfolio allocation toward the revised targets during 2018.
The discount rate selected for each U.S. Plan is based on a model bond portfolio with coupons and redemptions that closely match the expected liability cash flows from the plan. Discount rates for non-U.S. plans are based on appropriate bond indices adjusted for duration; in the U.K., the plan duration is reflected using the Mercer yield curve.


46


The table below shows the weighted average assumed rate of return and the discount rate at the December 31, 2017 measurement date (for measuring pension expense in 2018) for the total Company, the U.S. and the Rest of World ("ROW").
 
Total Company
 
U.S.
 
ROW
Assumed Rate of Return on Plan Assets
5.83
%
 
7.95
%
 
4.94
%
Discount Rate
3.07
%
 
3.86
%
 
2.58
%
Holding all other assumptions constant, a half-percentage point change in the rate of return on plan assets and discount rate assumptions would affect net periodic pension cost for the U.S. and U.K. plans, which together comprise approximately 85% of total pension plan liabilities, as follows:
 
0.5 Percentage
Point Increase
 
0.5 Percentage
Point Decrease
(In millions of dollars)
U.S.

 
U.K.

 
U.S.

 
U.K.

Assumed Rate of Return on Plan Assets
$
(23
)
 
$
(40
)
 
$
23

 
$
40

Discount Rate
$
(1
)
 
$
(3
)
 
$

 
$
2

The impact of discount rate changes shown above relates to the increase or decrease in actuarial gains or losses being amortized through net periodic pension cost, as well as the increase or decrease in interest expense, with all other facts and assumptions held constant. It does not contemplate nor include potential future impacts a change in the interest rate environment and discount rates might cause, such as the impact on the market value of the plans’ assets. Changing the discount rate and leaving the other assumptions constant also may not be representative of the impact on expense, because the long-term rates of inflation and salary increases are often correlated with the discount rate. Changes in these assumptions will not necessarily have a linear impact on the net periodic pension cost.
The Company contributes to certain health care and life insurance benefits provided to its retired employees. The cost of these post-retirement benefits for employees in the U.S. is accrued during the period up to the date employees are eligible to retire, but is funded by the Company as incurred. The key assumptions and sensitivity to changes in the assumed health care cost trend rate are discussed in Note 7 to the consolidated financial statements.
Income Taxes
The Company's tax rate reflects its income, statutory tax rates and tax planning in the various jurisdictions in which it operates. In 2017, the Company's tax expense was significantly impacted by the enactment of the TCJA, which is discussed in more detail in Note 6 to the consolidated financial statements included in this report. Significant judgment is required in determining the annual effective tax rate and in evaluating uncertain tax positions. The Company reports a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. The evaluation of a tax position is a two-step process. The first step involves recognition. The Company determines whether it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon tax examination, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation, based on only the technical merits of the position. The technical merits of a tax position derive from both statutory and judicial authority (legislation and statutes, legislative intent, regulations, rulings, and case law) and their applicability to the facts and circumstances of the tax position. If a tax position does not meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold, the benefit of that position is not recognized in the financial statements. The second step is measurement. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is measured to determine the amount of benefit to recognize in the financial statements. The tax position is measured as the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50 percent likely of being realized upon ultimate resolution with a taxing authority.
Uncertain tax positions are evaluated based upon the facts and circumstances that exist at each reporting period and involve significant management judgment. Subsequent changes in judgment based upon new information may lead to changes in recognition, derecognition, and measurement. Adjustments may result, for example, upon resolution of an issue with the taxing authorities, or expiration of a statute of limitations barring an assessment for an issue.


47


Certain items are included in the Company's tax returns at different times than the items are reflected in the financial statements. As a result, the annual tax expense reflected in the consolidated statements of income is different than that reported in the tax returns. Some of these differences are permanent, such as expenses that are not deductible in the returns, and some differences are temporary and reverse over time, such as depreciation expense. Temporary differences create deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are measured at existing tax rates. Deferred tax liabilities generally represent tax expense recognized in the financial statements for which payment has been deferred, or expense for which a deduction has been taken already in the tax return but the expense has not yet been recognized in the financial statements. Deferred tax assets generally represent items that can be used as a tax deduction or credit in tax returns in future years for which a benefit has already been recorded in the financial statements. The Company evaluates all significant available positive and negative evidence, including the existence of losses in recent years and its forecast of future taxable income by jurisdiction, in assessing the need for a valuation allowance. The Company also considers tax planning strategies that would result in realization of deferred tax assets, and the presence of taxable income in prior period tax filings in jurisdictions that allow for the carryback of tax attributes pursuant to the applicable tax law. The underlying assumptions the Company uses in forecasting future taxable income require significant judgment and take into account the Company's recent performance. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent on the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which temporary differences or carry-forwards are deductible or creditable. Valuation allowances are established for deferred tax assets when it is estimated that it is more likely than not that future taxable income will be insufficient to fully use a deduction or credit in that jurisdiction.
Fair Value Determinations
Goodwill Impairment Testing—The Company is required to assess goodwill and any indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment annually, or more frequently if circumstances indicate impairment may have occurred. The Company performs the annual impairment test for each of its reporting units during the third quarter of each year. In accordance with applicable accounting guidance, the Company assesses qualitative factors to determine whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment test. The Company considered numerous factors, which included that the fair value of each reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by a substantial margin in its most recent estimate of reporting unit fair values, whether significant acquisitions or dispositions occurred which might alter the fair value of its reporting units, macroeconomic conditions and their potential impact on reporting unit fair values, actual performance compared with budget and prior projections used in its estimation of reporting unit fair values, industry and market conditions, and the year-over-year change in the Company’s share price.
The Company completed its qualitative assessment in the third quarter of 2017 and concluded that a two-step goodwill impairment test was not required in 2017 and that goodwill was not impaired.
Share-Based Payment
The guidance for accounting for share-based payments requires, among other things, that the estimated fair value of stock options be charged to earnings. Significant management judgment is required to determine the appropriate assumptions for inputs such as volatility and expected term necessary to estimate option values. In addition, management judgment is required to analyze the terms of the plans and awards granted thereunder to determine if awards will be treated as equity awards or liability awards, as defined by the accounting guidance.
As of December 31, 2017, there was $14.9 million of unrecognized compensation cost related to stock option awards. The weighted-average period over which the costs are expected to be recognized is 1.36 years. Also as of December 31, 2017, there was $197.4 million of unrecognized compensation cost related to the Company’s restricted stock, restricted stock unit and performance stock unit awards. The weighted-average period over which that cost is expected to be recognized is approximately 1.08 years.
See Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding accounting for share-based payments.


48


New Accounting Pronouncements
Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements contains a summary of the Company’s significant accounting policies, including a discussion of recently issued accounting pronouncements and their impact or potential future impact on the Company’s financial results, if determinable, under the sub-heading "New Accounting Pronouncements".


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Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Market Risk and Credit Risk
Certain of the Company’s revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities are exposed to the impact of interest rate changes and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and equity markets.
Interest Rate Risk and Credit Risk
Interest income generated from the Company’s cash investments as well as invested fiduciary funds will vary with the general level of interest rates.
The Company had the following investments subject to variable interest rates: 
(In millions of dollars)
December 31, 2017

Cash and cash equivalents invested in money market funds, certificates of deposit and time deposits
$
1,205

Fiduciary cash and investments
$
4,847

Based on the above balances, if short-term interest rates increased or decreased by 10%, or 11 basis points, over the full year, annual interest income, including interest earned on fiduciary funds, would increase or decrease by approximately $4 million.
In addition to interest rate risk, our cash investments and fiduciary fund investments are subject to potential loss of value due to counter-party credit risk. To minimize this risk, the Company and its subsidiaries invest pursuant to a Board approved investment policy. The policy mandates the preservation of principal and liquidity and requires broad diversification with counter-party limits assigned based primarily on credit rating and type of investment. The Company carefully monitors its cash and fiduciary fund investments and will further restrict the portfolio as appropriate to market conditions. The majority of cash and fiduciary fund investments are invested in short-term bank deposits and liquid money market funds.
Foreign Currency Risk
The translated values of revenue and expense from the Company’s international operations are subject to fluctuations due to changes in currency exchange rates. The non-U.S. based revenue that is exposed to foreign exchange fluctuations is approximately 50% of total revenue. We periodically use forward contracts and options to limit foreign currency exchange rate exposure on net income and cash flows for specific, clearly defined transactions arising in the ordinary course of business. Although the Company has significant revenue generated in foreign locations which is subject to foreign exchange rate fluctuations, in most cases both the foreign currency revenue and expenses are in the functional currency of the foreign location. As such, under normal circumstances, the U.S. dollar translation of both the revenues and expenses, as well as the potentially offsetting movements of various currencies against the U.S. dollar, generally tends to mitigate the impact on net operating income of foreign currency risk. However, there have been periods where the impact was not mitigated due to external market factors, and external macroeconomic events, such as the vote on "Brexit" in the United Kingdom, may result in greater foreign exchange rate fluctuations in the future. If foreign exchange rates of major currencies (Euro, Sterling, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar) moved 10% in the same direction against the U.S. dollar compared with the foreign exchange rates in 2017, the Company estimates net operating income would increase or decrease by approximately $60 million. The Company has exposure to approximately 80 foreign currencies overall. In Continental Europe, the largest amount of revenue from renewals for the Risk & Insurance Services segment occurs in the first quarter.
Equity Price Risk
The Company holds investments in both public and private companies as well as private equity funds. Investments of approximately $97 million are classified as available for sale, which includes the Company's investment in Benefitfocus. Approximately $62 million are accounted for using the cost method and $405 million are accounted for using the equity method, which includes the Company's


50


investments in Alexander Forbes. The investments are subject to risk of changes in market value, which, if determined to be other than temporary, could result in realized impairment losses. The Company periodically reviews the carrying value of such investments to determine if any valuation adjustments are appropriate under the applicable accounting pronouncements.
As of December 31, 2017, the carrying value of the Company’s investment in Alexander Forbes was $266 million. As of December 31, 2017, the market value of the approximately 443 million shares of Alexander Forbes owned by the Company, based on the December 31, 2017 closing share price of 6.87 South African Rand per share, was approximately $239 million.
Other
A number of lawsuits and regulatory proceedings are pending. See Note 14 ("Claims, Lawsuits and Other Contingencies") to the consolidated financial statements included in this report.


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ITEM 8.     FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
MARSH & McLENNAN COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
For the Years Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
(In millions, except per share figures)
 
2017

 
2016

 
2015

Revenue
 
$
14,024

 
$
13,211

 
$
12,893

Expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation and benefits
 
7,884

 
7,461

 
7,334

Other operating expenses
 
3,284

 
3,086

 
3,140

Operating expenses
 
11,168

 
10,547

 
10,474

Operating income
 
2,856

 
2,664

 
2,419

Interest income
 
9

 
5

 
13

Interest expense
 
(237
)
 
(189
)
 
(163
)
Investment income
 
15

 

 
38

Income before income taxes
 
2,643

 
2,480

 
2,307

Income tax expense
 
1,133

 
685

 
671

Income from continuing operations
 
1,510

 
1,795

 
1,636

Discontinued operations, net of tax
 
2

 

 

Net income before non-controlling interests
 
1,512

 
1,795

 
1,636

Less: Net income attributable to non-controlling interests