Reinsurance broker to lose 350 jobs in restructure.

Guy Carpenter, the reinsurance division of Marsh and McLennan (MMC), has confirmed a cull of UK staff to reduce its excessive costs base.

A number of staff have either been made redundant or have had to reapply for their jobs. The move is part of a restructuring that will make 350, or 15% of Guy Carpenter’s global staff, redundant.

The cuts, which follow the departure of chief executive David Spiller in February after just two years with the company, have increased speculation that broker Marsh could also be set to announce a raft of redundancies.

Last week, managing director of Guy Carpenter’s UK energy business, Matt Whyte, and Chris Rich, senior vice president of European wholesale casualty, left the company.

Mark Newman, co-chief of its global facultative division has left to join Catlin.

In a statement, Guy Carpenter said that the redundancies were necessary given tough market conditions.

It said: “As part of a strategic initiative to better position Guy Carpenter for the future, the firm is implementing several organisational changes, including staff reductions in certain areas.”

The news comes after analysts forecast that MMC could improve its margins to 15% by the end of next year.

In 2007, Marsh and Guy Carpenter saw their combined operating margin deteriorate by over 3% to 9.1% , and by 5% year on year in the fourth quarter to 4.2%.

Guy Carpenter’s underlying revenues fell by 4% to $167m (£85m) in the fourth quarter.

Sources close to the group have said that due to competition and falling rates, a reduction in head count could be part of attempts to bolster margins.

In December, new Marsh chairman and chief executive Daniel Glaser said he would not rule out redundancies as a means of improving the businesses’ profitability.

MMC reports its first quarter results on 7 May.