Head of aviation unit has been planning to leave since 2007, says broker

Doug Peterson, the leader of Aon’s aviation and aerospace group practice, has retired.

His retirement comes just weeks after an FSA investigation into anti-bribery and corruption controls at Aon, which resulted in the broker being handed a record £5.25m fine.

The aviation unit was involved in the investigation, but an Aon spokesman said Peterson’s retirement had been planned for some years.

Aon has been conducting an internal review since the investigation, which the spokesman said was ongoing.

He said: “Doug Peterson has been planning his retirement from Aon since 2007. With respect to the FSA settlement, we do not comment on any matters related to individuals.”

Peterson also declined to comment.

The FSA fined Aon last month for failing to ensure that payments made to third-party introducers in countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh were not then handed on as bribes to win business.

Aon’s “suspicious payments” to overseas firms and individuals reached $7m (£4.8m) over five years from 2002. The irregularities were brought to Aon’s attention in 2007 by the US regulator, which had been contacted by its Indonesian counterpart.

Peter Harmer, Aon UK’s chief executive, defended his firm’s record, telling Insurance Times last month that it had introduced a global anti-corruption policy that included refusing to deal with third-party introducers in territories with a high risk of corruption.

Asked whether Aon would take action against staff, he said: “It is inappropriate for me to comment specifically because a process is under way now … Remedial action will be taken as required … We won’t avoid taking tough action.”

The FSA reduced Aon’s fine after praising the insurer for its co-operation with the investigation.