Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aon to cut up to 700

Aon Corp., the world's largest insurance broker, said Friday it would slash as many as 700 jobs as part of its $1.43 billion purchase of Britain's Benfield Group Ltd.

The finalized acquisition of Benfield came in $320 million less than the $1.75 billion estimated in August, thanks to a stronger U.S. dollar, Aon said.

Chicago-based Aon said combining Benfield, an independent reinsurance intermediary, with its existing reinsurance operations will create a global, diverse franchise. The new company, Aon Benfield, will launch Dec. 1.

Job cuts, lease consolidation and other costs associated with the purchase will cost $185 million over three years, Aon said.

Most of 500 to 700 jobs being cut do not deal directly with clients, Aon said in a release. A company representative was not immediately available to comment further.

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