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Promotes 27-year company veteran Deanna Deardorff to director of corporate underwriting.

Wholesale division is now called Ascinsure Specialty Risk, targeting crane owners/operators, rental equipment and party goods dealers, scaffolding, and inland marine markets. It will add packaged GL/auto to the crane program.

Buys HR service company Hewitt Associates for $4.9 billion in cash and stock. It is Aon’s largest buy ever and will nearly triple is HR operations. New unit, called Aon Hewitt, headed by Hewitt chairman and CEO Russ Fradin. >> Decides to accept supplemental and/or contingent commissions where appropriate and legally permissible. >> Aon Benfield has rolled out its next-generation real-time catastrophe risk management tool, called ImpactOnDemand. It allows insurers to upload their most current portfolios to visualize, quantify and connect their exposures to catastrophic events. It has new features, such as robust global mapping analysis and management reports. It can plot a million risk locations in less than five seconds. It is Web-based, requiring no installation or local storage capacity and provides real-time info on wide-ranging disaster categories. Functionality includes pre-binding underwriting analysis, key risk driver analysis, claims planning and preparedness, and post-cat and exposure accumulation analysis. >> Aon/Albert G. Ruben, the retail entertainment division of Aon, celebrated its 50th anniversary in July.

Buys Bowen, Miclette, Britt & Merry of Arkansas, a retail brokerage specializing in healthcare, manufacturing, retail and poultry industries primarily in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Philip Merry, Jr. and his staff will continue at their current location under direction of Mitchel Brashier, southeastern regional manager of Gallagher’s retail p-c operations. >> Also acquires employee benefits consulting firm Benefits United, based in Houston. John Neumaier, regional EVP of Gallagher’s employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations, will oversee the unit. >> In Perth, Western Australia, Gallagher has bought out remaining 60% equity interest in Specialised Broking Associates Pty. It provides risk management and commercial p-c insurance and specializes in mining, energy, construction and corporate industries. All will continue to operate from current location under the name SBA Gallagher.

Buys Meridian Group of New York, provider of life, health and other employee benefits products and services. David Carello will lead the shop, and principals Ross Kraft and Andrew Biernat and their staff will combine operations into Brown & Brown’s Rome, N.Y., office. >> Also acquires Commonwealth Insurance Group of Charleston, S.C., which provides commercial p-c, group employee benefits, and workplace safety and wellness products and services. Commonwealth principal Todd Tyler will lead the group, which is receiving Brown & Brown’s existing Charleston operations into Commonwealth’s North Charleston space. >> Buys Eberhart & Co. Insurers in Roswell, Ga. Principals J. Ralph Eberhart and Wanda Eberhart and their staff will move to Brown & Brown’s office in Duluth. >> Synergy Benefits of Potomac Falls, Va., an employee benefits firm serving the Washington metro area, bought. Will join with Brown & Brown Insurance Agency of Virginia’s existing office in Manassas under Pattysue Rauh. >> Promotes J. Scott Penny to regional president overseeing retail operations of certain subsidiaries in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and South.

Adds animal mortality coverage to PCOpro national pest control program. Covers canines trained to detect insects or vermin. Limits up to $15,000 per dog, subject to policy conditions and canine eligibility.

Craig Lowenthal, social media strategist for Glatfelter, elected president of the Insurance Accounting & Systems Association for FY 2010-2011.

Martin Pepper joins as head of London-based Marine and Energy Practice. He was a director of brokerage Walsham Brothers.

Brokerage started by Robert H. Hilb, co-founder of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs, and his son, Robert J. Hilb, begins expansion in middle-market segment. Acquires business of Joseph Caruso, which focuses on management liability and employee benefits, and makes Caruso head of Hilb’s financial services practice. >> Merges with J. J. Jerome Associates/EAI. Jerome specializes in physician and dental professions in New York. James Jerome will head the unit for Hilb, along with founder Jerry Jerome.

Buys retail book of business from Maple Leaf Insurance Agency of Washington state. >> Acquires assets of Pollman’s Insurance Agency, a Los Alamitos, Calif., full-service agency, offering personal and commercial lines, life and health insurance. It has a specialty in classic cars.

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