(Bloomberg) -- Aon Plc, the second-largest insurance broker by market value, authorized $5 billion of additional share buybacks.
The move by the board of directors increases the authorization to $6.1 billion, the London-based broker said today in a statement.
Chief Executive Officer Greg Case has been returning capital to shareholders at a record pace as revenue climbs at the consulting operation and the business that connects insurance buyers and sellers. The company spent $1.75 billion in the first nine months of the year repurchasing 20.4 million shares, equivalent to 7 percent of the stock outstanding as of Sept. 30, according to today’s statement.
“Broking business is ideal in that insurance typically needs to be purchased annually allowing for stable results with minimal capital needs,” Deutsche Bank AG analysts led by Joshua Shanker said in a Nov. 2 research note. “Long-term growth prospects are robust as economic expansion naturally lends itself to insured exposure growth.”
Aon has advanced 7.1 percent this year to $89.85 as of Nov. 14 in New York trading. That compares with the 15 percent gain of larger rival Marsh & McLennan Cos.
The latest authorization reflects “our belief in the underlying strength of the firm, strong free cash flow generation outlook and our continued focus on maximizing total return,” Case said in the statement.
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