AON Corp. of Chicago, the world's second-largest insurance broker, said Thursday that it will fire 3,000 workers, or about 6% of its work force.

The overhaul will result in $325 million in expenses and charges, most of which will be taken this quarter and in the first quarter of 2001. Those losing their jobs are in posts made redundant by AON's recent acquisitions of several brokerages, the company said.

The broker's share price, which has been up only 1.6% all year, plunged 22%, to $31.56, on the news Thursday. Meanwhile, Marsh & McLennan, an AON competitor, has had a 34% rise in its share price and the Standard & Poor's property-casualty index had a 42% gain.

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