Briefly: Willis reported to be eyeing massive merger

TV network says company with large local presence has approached bigger rival

CNBC is reporting that Willis Group, the insurance brokerage that employs 1,000 people at its Nashville operations, has approached Marsh & McLennan about a merger that would create an industry leader.

The move echoes chatter that last surfaced more than a year ago, around the time Willis Chairman and CEO Joseph Plumeri visited his Nashville office and talked about his growth plans.

Marsh & McLennan also owns Kroll, which also has a substantial local presence. The company last year sold off its asset management unit and has struggled to placate investors disappointed with its struggling stock price.