Marsh is a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. In more than 130 countries, our experts in every facet of risk and across industries help clients to anticipate, quantify, and more fully understand the range of risks they face. In today’s increasingly uncertain global business environment, Marsh helps clients to thrive and survive.
We work with clients of all sizes to define, design, and deliver innovative solutions to better quantify and manage risk. To every client interaction we bring an unmatched combination of deep intellectual capital, industry-specific expertise, global experience, and collaboration. We offer risk management, risk consulting, insurance broking, alternative risk financing, and insurance program management services to businesses, government entities, organizations, and individuals around the world.
Since 1871 clients have relied on Marsh for trusted advice, to represent their interests in the marketplace, make sense of an increasingly complex world, and help turn risks into new opportunities for growth. Our more than 27,000 colleagues work on behalf of our clients, who are enterprises of all sizes in every industry, and include individuals, multinational organizations, and government entities worldwide.
Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global professional services firm offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and people. With annual revenue of US$13 billion and approximately 60,000 colleagues worldwide, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Guy Carpenter, a leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; Mercer, a leader in talent, health, retirement, and investment consulting; and Oliver Wyman, a leader in management consulting. Follow Marsh on Twitter, @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube.
Our History - Global
For more than 140 years, Marsh has grown by helping our clients anticipate and meet the challenges of changing times and technologies. Henry W. Marsh and Donald R. McLennan founded the company to help businesses during the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution.
Marsh dropped out of Harvard to seek his future in Chicago. The Great Fire of 1871 had wiped out most insurers and Marsh saw opportunity for insurance brokers that could distribute great risks across many firms. Almost upon arrival, his ambitions were bigger than the new company he joined. Marsh wanted to open an office in New York. Then he set out to win U.S. Steel, the world's first billion-dollar corporation. Colorful, urbane, high living, and audacious, Marsh was the kind of man who would book a transatlantic passage so he could pitch AT&T's Theodore Vail aboard ship. On Vail's return voyage, there was Marsh again. He got the business.
McLennan of Duluth, Minnesota, became his family's sole support at age 14. In business life, his intense competitiveness took the form of thoroughness. McLennan was all diligence, researching insurance clients' operations until he knew as much as the owners. During 1901, while Marsh was pursuing U.S. Steel, McLennan was mastering the intricacies of railroads, winning one line after another. He spent weeks at a time inspecting every property along thousands of miles of road — a man who believed in research, and in seeing for himself.
When the two men merged their firms in 1904, the new company was the largest insurance agency in the world with annual premiums of US$3 billion — and it was only the beginning.
Our History - Canada
When Henry R. Marsh and Donald R. McLennan owned the Boston-based insurance brokerage firm that won the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) fire insurance account, one requirement was to create a service branch in Montreal, thus establishing the company’s first office outside the U.S.
In 1914, the office officially opened, and Canadian Pacific Railway appointed the Montreal operations of Marsh & McLennan as broker for its marine business as well. Because of their limited experience in this area, Marsh & McLennan acquired Parson & Eggert, a marine specialist firm, paving the way for Marsh Canada Limited to become the world’s largest marine insurance broking operation. The Canadian presence continued to expand in 1927 when John Cochrane opened a Vancouver office to service two large pulp and paper accounts.
Shortly after, however, the business climate quickly changed. America’s stock market crashed in 1929 and an economic depression gripped the country. Yet all along, Cochrane encouraged Marsh & McLennan to open more Canadian offices, eventually merging with a Canadian brokerage firm, Irish & Maulson, Ltd. in 1949. With offices now in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, the company had a strong presence in both eastern and western Canada, and attracted important clients including Imperial Oil and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. Over the next 20 years, the company opened additional offices across Canada mainly by acquiring more brokerage firms, such as Middleton & Tait, Ltd., Houle, Methot, Bedard & Associes Ltée., and Ottawa’s premier broker, Plant & Anderson Limited.
By the 1980s, Marsh & McLennan Companies had added Putnam Investments, Guy Carpenter & Company and William Mercer Consulting to its operations. But it wasn’t until the late 1990s that it became the largest insurance brokerage firm in the world after merging with Johnson & Higgins in 1997 and Sedgwick Group the following year.