Four of the world’s largest insurance brokers have, in partnership with British Telecommunications Plc, launched an $83m global private network, which they hope will half the administrative costs that currently amount to 30% of the $400bn commercial insurance industry. After three years development, the brokers, Aon Group Inc, J&H Marsh & McLennan Inc, Sedgwick Group Plc, and Willis Corroon Plc, who together place 80% of the brokered gross written commercial premiums worldwide, will start to move their business through WINconnect, the Value Added Network service of the World Insurance Network, a company owned by the four. BT Syncordia Services, which has earned $28m from the deal, is providing an international Frame Relay network, via its joint venture company with MCI Communication Corp called Concert Communications Services. Control Data Systems Inc, in partnership with BT, has supplied its Rialto Mail Hub software for mail exchange between MS-Mail, cc:Mail and Lotus Mail systems. The WINconnect network uses Hewlett-Packard Co HP9000 mail servers and Andersen Consulting Co’s Java Script-developed browser-based WINconnect client software. The system enables e- mail and document exchange between brokers and underwriters across the network. At present, there is no electronic commerce because the system has no digital signature capabilities. These will be added in the next three months by Control Data. WIN believes that 500,000 brokers will eventually use the network, with 30 insurance companies signed worldwide by year end. A yearly WIN subscription costs between $8,000 and $170,000.