Marsh & McLennan Cos.' first-quarter results, which included a 31% rise in net income, show the company is "off to a very good start this year," President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault said during a conference call on Wednesday.
Net income for the 2011 first quarter was $325 million, compared with $248 million a year ago.
"And, importantly, we continue to achieve revenue growth while maintaining effective control over operating expenses," added Duperreault. "As a result, we produced 10% growth in adjusted EPS [earnings per share] for the quarter -- a solid start to the year."
Duperreault said the company reported a strong increase in revenue with growth of 9% and cited Guy Carpenter for its quarterly underlying revenue growth, led by its international operations.
Consolidated revenue in the 2011 first quarter was $2.9 billion.
Insurance broker and risk adviser Mercer generated underlying revenue growth of mid-single digits for the third consecutive quarter, while Oliver Wyman's underlying revenue growth was its strongest since 2007, he added.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. reported a slight jump in compensation and benefits expense for the quarter, to $1.7 billion, from about $1.6 billion last year.
Duperreault said the positive momentum at the company continues with good underlying revenue growth fueled by new business development and high client revenue retention rates.
Marsh & McLennan Cos. recently underwent several management changes. In April, it announced the appointment of Daniel S. Glaser to the newly created position of group president and chief operating officer. Glaser was chairman and chief executive officer of Marsh, a position he assumed in December 2007.
Also in April, Peter Zaffino was named president and CEO of Marsh Inc., succeeding Glaser. Alexander Moczarski was named president and CEO of Guy Carpenter, succeeding Zaffino.
Duperreault said during the call that Marsh & McLennan Cos.' strategy "focuses on the characteristics that create exceptional value and superior returns for investors: long-term growth, low capital requirements, side-cash generation with disciplined capital management, and a low risk profile.