mmc.jpgEveryone knows that China is a risky place to do business. So its surprising to see that Marsh & McLennan, one of the leading risk advisory companies, currently only gets 1% of its global revenues of $12bn from China.

Unsurprisingly, the firm wants to change that and it believes the 2008 Olympics could be a big catalyst for growth. In an interview ($)
with the Financial Times, the US firm says it hopes to increase its
business in China five-fold by 2009 and expand its China-based staff
from 380 workers today to around 1,000 workers.

One of its subsidiaries is risk consultancy Marsh, which recently established a new China practice
to serve the risk and insurance needs of mulinationals operating in or
entering China. It also wants to advise Chinese businesses looking to
expand internationally.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting, another of its subsidiaries, has
been growing especially fast in China, as western firms wake up to the
problems of recruiting, training and retaining skilled staff in China.
Finding capable mid-level managers that speak Chinese and understand
the market has become a key challenge for many companies.

Rafael Gil-Tienda, MarshMac's Asia chairman, said that about two
thirds of its clients in China are foreign companies, while the rest
are local, including government entities and domestic groups attempting
to go overseas.

The group's Marsh subsidiary has also been advising Beijing's
Olympic planners on various matters relating to public safety – such as
plans for sports stadiums or logistics operations – and on complex
insurance schemes.

As tens of billions of dollars are being spent on upgrading
infrastructure in the Chinese capital, demand for security-related
services and products is running high.

GE Security recently signed a contract to supply advanced baggage screening systems to Beijing's international airport.

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