Business & Finance

Jeffrey Greenberg, chairman and chief executive of Marsh & McLennan, the giant insurance broker that faces allegations of bid rigging, is poised to resign, the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Neither report indicated when that might occur, however. The company is at the center of an investigation into suspected bid-rigging and coercive practices by the office of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D). In announcing the case last week, Spitzer said his staff was "misled at the very highest levels" of Marsh & McLennan and, as a result, it would not negotiate with the latter's current management. The company, described as the industry's "ultimate middleman," is accused of steering business to insurance companies that pay brokers the highest fees - in addition to commissions - instead of representing only the interests of clients. Marsh & McLennan, which has two other businesses under regulatory scrutiny - Mercer Consulting Group and Putnam, a fund-management company - must appear before state regulators next month.

As much as $9.6 billion is expected to be raised via an initial public offering of shares in Enel SpA, the largest electric utility in Italy, reported. The sale of Enel stock is the Rome government's third in 14 months, and, if the expectation is met, it would be the largest in the world this year. In unloading the shares in a former monopoly, the government is Europe's fourth - after to do so in the past two months to try to bring its debt into line with European Union rules. (Italy trails only Greece as the EU's most indebted member.) France earned $6.46 billion via an IPO of France Telecom shares, Germany sold $3.8 billion worth of shares in Deutsche Telekom, and the Netherlands made $1.3 billion in a sale of stock in TPG, the mail, parcel, and freight delivery service.

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