DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Aon Corp. (AON) and Willis Group Holdings PLC (WSH) entered amended agreements with state regulators, lifting the ban on contingent commissions from insurance companies, but both companies indicated they won't resume the practice.
In 2004, Aon and Willis, among others, agreed to stop taking the commissions after then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer launched a probe into compensation practices.
Willis, an insurance broker, said Tuesday that its agreement with New York recognizes it has sustantially met its obligations under the original pact. The new agreement no longer limits the types of compensation Willis can receive and lowers disclosure requirements.
However, Willis reiterated that it plans to do "what is right" on issues of trust, transparency and disclosure.
Separately, risk-management and consulting firm Aon said its new agreement requires it to provide disclosure to purchasers of insurance contracts that complies at a minimum with New York State Insurance Department regulations and also with the laws of Illinois, Connecticut and all remaining states.
Aon spokesman David Prospieri confirmed his firm also has no current plans to begin taking the payments.
The company also will continue to maintain appropriate compliance and training programs regarding business conduct, conflicts of interest and antitrust compliance.
"Aon will continue to lead the industry in terms of delivering value to our clients, including helping our clients fully understand what we do, how we do it and how we get compensated," said Greg Case, president and chief executive of Aon.
Aon remains bound by the settlement agreements it has with the state of Florida and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
-By Jay Miller, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2355; firstname.lastname@example.org