Insurance Broker Got Kickbacks, KMart Says

     COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – The nation’s third-largest insurance broker defrauded clients by steering policies to insurers who paid it kickbacks, KMart says. It claims Willis North America execs hatched the plan to milk clients of $2.5 million in excessive fees in just 2 months.

     In the key paragraphs of the 24-page complaint, KMart alleges: “Willis held a Marketing Practice Business Planning Meeting in October 2003, attended by all of Willis’ Regional Marketing Offices. There, Willis officers developed a company-wide strategy to generate $2.5 million in unanticipated income from North America in just the next two months. A main objective of this meeting was for defendants to maximize the flow of business to insurers with which they have the most lucrative contingent commission agreements.
     “Accordingly, Willis executives outlined a plan that a Willis Regional Marketing Officer described in an ‘urgent’ November 1, 2003 internal email. In his email, the manager ordered his marketing team to ‘where possible drive ALL of our new and renewal business to our strategic partners who are paying Willis added incentives.'”
     Willis reported $2.6 billion in revenue in 2007 and has 14,500 employees, according to the complaint.
     KMart is represented in Franklin County Court by Juan Jose Perez with Perez & Morris.

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