Moody’s Investors Service said it was affirming the Baa2 senior unsecured debt rating and the Prime-2 short-term debt rating for Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., the nation’s largest insurance brokerage.
The rating agency also said its outlook for the New York-based brokerage remains negative.
The announcement came a week after Marsh & McLennan announced that it was exploring the possibility of selling its Putnam Investments subsidiary. Company executives said they were responding to inquiries from parties interested in purchase or partnering in Putnam.
Shortly after the announcement, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency said it was holding its rating on Marsh & McLennan at “BBB.”
Marsh & McLennan stock rose 15 cents to close at $28.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.
In its statement, Moody’s noted that Putnam helps to diversify the earnings and cash flows of Marsh & McLennan. But Putnam also has suffered a substantial decline in assets over the past several years following the market-timing scandal, Moody’s noted.
Moody’s said its negative rating outlook “reflects the uncertainty” surrounding Marsh & McLennan’s restructuring efforts following a settlement with federal and state regulators over its fee structure.
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