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Davis Polk & Wardwell doesn’t usually let itself serve as a rest stop for its former partners, but the patrician New York firm made an exception for William Rosoff. After losing his general counsel spot at RJR Nabisco Inc., in October 1999 (his position was eliminated after the company’s reorganization), Rosoff camped out for eight months at Davis Polk, where he’d been a partner prior to joining RJR. Davis Polk’s hospitality should pay off: Rosoff is now GC and senior vice president of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. in New York, a professional services firm whose annual revenues exceed $9 billion. Davis Polk, he says, could get some MMC work. Even without this latest appointment, 54-year-old Rosoff has a formidable resume. Besides having made partner at a tony firm, he has a degree from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in economic history from the University of California at Berkeley. At RJR, according to the 1999 Corporate Counsel Salary Survey, his salary was $1 million and his stock option grants reached almost $9 million. So, when that gig was done, he could have pursued his heart’s desires — like starting a dot-com, running for mayor, or writing haiku. Instead, he chose to go to MMC, an establishment company where he oversees 40 lawyers in MMC’s consulting, and its risk and insurance divisions. MMC is the world’s largest insurance broker. Rosoff says he likes challenges, but not risks. And joining MMC is a good business bet for him. It’s a big-deal company raking in big bucks. Run by chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Greenberg (to whom Rosoff reports), MMC has an ace reputation for management and profitability. MMC is solid, says analyst Brian Meredith of New York’s Banc of America Securities, with “few problems” on the horizon. This is in sharp contrast to RJR, where crisis ruled the day during Rosoff’s time there. At RJR he had to deal with tobacco litigation and a complicated restructuring. Says Rosoff: “I’m happy to be in a company that can look forward to growth rather than fight wars all the time.” “Stable but not staid” is how Rosoff describes his current post. Indeed, he seems positively serene sitting in his understated office with commanding views of Central Park and the Hudson River. The rest of his life seems equally calm. He talks about collecting art from the Tang dynasty and traveling (he favors Vietnam, Myanmar [Burma], western China). He also likes to spend time at his country home — in Bali, Indonesia. “I feel pretty lucky,” he says.

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