Faced with continuing market softness, the largest commercial insurance agencies are beginning to target small and midsize customers, a study found.

Behemoths like Marsh & McLennan Cos. and Aon Corp., which together control 20% of the $112.9 billion-premium market, are set to challenge smaller agents by marketing to the smaller companies they once shunned, said Nancy Carini, a Conning & Co. vice president who wrote the 102-page study, "Commercial Insurance Brokers: They Snooze, They Lose."

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