Several senior figures have left JLT, but rate of attrition not out of the ordinary, Marsh insists

Marsh has played down a series of high-profile staff defections from recently acquired UK broker JLT.

Several figures have left JLT recently, including Hong Kong chief executive Kurt Schreiber, London market specialist Jonathan Palmer-Brown, and M&A chief Hugh Crossland, in addition to others from the resinsurance side.

Marsh took legal action in the US against a rival earlier this year following allegations that 13 ex-JLT staff had been poached.

But speaking to the Financial Times, Marsh’s US chief executive Dan Glaser insisted the departures did not constitute a crisis.

“There will be people who would rather be a bigger fish in a small pond. Our environment won’t suit everyone, but it will suit most people,” he told the publication.

He added that voluntary employee turnover since April this year had been similar to the same period last year.

Former JLT commercial director James Twining predicted there would be high profile departures in March this year.

Twining had warned in a blog piece that JLT’s swagger and culture of independence will likely phase out and the ’best people will surely leave, as they always do.’

In a scathing attack on the £4.3bn deal, he had said ”It is patently nonsensical to now expect these same people – who in choosing to work at JLT had in most cases consciously rejected the opportunity to work at one of the big three in order to benefit from JLT’s culture and more delegated approach to management and placement – to accept life under Marsh’s command and control management style.

”It makes you wonder whether Marsh really understand what they have bought or the challenge they will face in hanging onto it.”

Speaking to Insurance Times’ sister publication Strategic Risk earlier this year, Marsh’s UK chief executive Chris Lay admitted there was a clash of cultures between Marsh and JLT. 

“They’ve come across as being maybe a slightly more feisty organisation,” he said, noting that JLT pitches itself as “a bit more aggressive, a bit more entrepreneurial”.

“Some colleagues will decide early on, for their own reasons, that it’s not for them,” he said.