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Marsh & McLennan's Units Sign Pact with Evident, Morningstar

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Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.’s (MMC - Free Report) unit Marsh recently announced its collaboration with Evident to develop its very first blockchain-based verification solution in the expanding sharing and gig economies. This blockchain solution will streamline the onboarding of gig economy clients, providing easy and simple solutions to the insurance and identity verification process with better reliability, safety and risk management.

Earlier this year, Marsh informed about its commercial blockchain for proof of insurance, built on IBM Corporation’s (IBM - Free Report) Blockchain Platform and open source Hyperledger Fabric with input from insurance standards leader, ACORD.

Further, with this alliance, Marsh would be boosting its blockchain capabilities. Evident is the perfect partner in this case, courtesy of its Identity Assurance Platform that will help digitalizing certificates of insurance into immutable records, which in turn, would allow authorized parties to verify their information.

 Marsh & McLennan seems to be on an acquisition spree to enhance its business portfolio. The company also notified that its Mercer unit has tied up with Morningstar, Inc. , a leading provider of independent investment research to offer a sole international digital domain for institutional investment manager data, performance analytics and qualitative exploration.

With this deal, Mercer’s wide global institutional manager data and research would be combined with Morningstar’s independent research and data spanning open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, separately managed accounts and indexes, which would be highly useful for investors, institutional consultants and advisors.

The collective business intelligence and intellectual capital reflect a solid source of global investment manager data, performance analytics, qualitative research, strategic research, artificial intelligence applied to fund data, etc. This teamwork would allow both companies to access comprehensive and research solutions, which the two have struggled to achieve over the past several years.

Morningstar is an ideal partner as the company has the know-how of the changing landscape pertaining to financial advisors’ needs.

This joint endeavor will be rolled out regionwise in the United States, starting early 2019.

All these initiatives poise the company well for growth going forward.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have inched up 0.3% in a year’s time, underperforming the industry’s growth of almost 4%.


Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the insurance sector might take a look at a few better-ranked stocks like The Navigators Group, Inc. (NAVG - Free Report) and First American Financial Corp. (FAF - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Navigators Group underwrites marine, property and casualty plus professional liability insurance products and services in the United States as well as globally. The company managed to deliver positive results in three of the trailing four quarters with an average four-quarter positive surprise of 19.54%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

First American Financial and its subsidiaries provide financial services to its customers. It pulled off an average four-quarter beat of 8.22%.

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