Insurance Brokerage Merger & Acquisition Market Report

Follow AMGO Capital on Twitter to view the latest merger & acquisition announcements within the insurance brokerage sector.

December 31, 2021

Hilb Group announced that it had acquired a top 100 broker, PSA Insurance & Financial Services based in Hunt Valley, Maryland.  PSA has over 150 employees and reported revenue of $32.2 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

November 30, 2021

BRP Group agreed to acquire a couple of platform-sized agencies, Construction Risk Partners ("CRP") and Wood Gutmann & Bogart Insurance Brokers ("WGB"), during the month of November.  CRP is a specialty construction insurance brokerage firm based in Branchburg, New Jersey, having revenue of $32.6 million and approximately 85 employees.  WGB is a multi-lines middle market insurance brokerage firm based in Tustin, California, having revenue of $29.7 million and approximately 130 employees.

October 31, 2021

IMA Financial Group makes its largest acquisition to date with the addition of Parker, Smith, & Feek ("PS&F").  PS&F is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington with five other office locations.  PS&F has 330 employees and reported 2020 revenue of approximately $82 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

September 30, 2021

Several top 100 insurance brokers announced a change in ownership during the month.  Patriot Growth Insurance Services ("Patriot') will have GI Partners take a stake in the company as part of a recapitalization.  Patriot was previously funded by Summit Partners, which will still maintain a significant ownership position after the transaction.  Patriot reported $124 million in brokerage revenue* and has completed 64 acquisitions since its founding less than three years ago.

Alera Group will be merging with Propel Insurance in concurrent with a recapitalization by their existing private equity partners.  Alera Group is backed by Genstar Capital while Propel is supported by Flexpoint Ford.  Alera Group reported $554 million in revenue while Propel reported $108 million in revenue*.

BRP Group agreed to acquire the assets of Jacobson, Goldfarb & Scott ("JGS"), a specialty insurance broker and MGA based in Holmdel, New Jersey.  JGS generated annual revenue of $43 million with 130 employees according to BRP.

* Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July/August 2021 issue

August 30, 2021

BHMS Investments makes an investment in King Insurance, a property & casualty and benefits insurance broker, to support its acquisition growth in the southeastern U.S.  King Insurance is headquartered in Gainsville, Florida and has completed seven acquisitions over the past year.  This marks BHMS Investments' fourth investment in the insurance brokerage sector, having previously invested in The Hilb Group, PCF Insurance Services, and Inszone Insurance Services.

July 30, 2021

ABD Insurance and Financial Services ("ABD") will be merging with Newfront Insurance to form a new company with over 600 employees.  ABD is headquartered in San Mateo, California and reported revenue of approximately $113 million according to the most recent list of 100 largest brokers by Business Insurance.

Abry Partners announced that it will be making an investment in Socius Insurance Services.  Socius is an insurance wholesaler specializing in management liability and property & casualty products and plans to make acquisitions with the investment proceeds.

June 30, 2021

BRP Group announces its largest acquisition to date in 2021 with its agreement to buy RogersGray, a South Dennis, Massachusetts-based multi-lines insurance agency.  With approximately 220 employees and $38.8 million of annual revenue, RogersGray provided commercial lines, personal lines, and employee benefit insurance services to large and mid-sized companies and individuals.

May 28, 2021

Arthur J. Gallagher ("AJG") agreed to acquire certain Willis Towers Watson ("WTW") insurance brokerage operations as a result of the pending merger between Aon and WTW.  AJG will be acquiring an estimated $1.3 billion of estimated pro forma revenue consisting of approximately $750 million in reinsurance brokerage revenue, $500 million of United Kingdom and European retail and specialty brokerage revenue, and $50 million of North American property and casualty brokerage revenue.

Truist Insurance Holdings bolsters its MGA and program manager business by agreeing to acquire Constellation Affiliated Partners from RedBird Capital Partners.  Formed in 2019 by RedBird Capital Partners, Constellation Affiliated Partners has approximately $160 million of annual revenue.

IMA Financial Group announced that it acquired California-based Bolton & Company.  Bolton, with 200 employees in offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and the San Francisco Bay area, reported revenue of approximately $55 million according to the latest list of 100 largest brokers from Business Insurance.

April 30, 2021

Several top 100 brokers announced a change of ownership during the month of April.  Confie agreed to be acquired by Alliant Insurance Services.  Confie, which is owned by Abry Partners, has more than 3,500 employees and over $500 million in revenue according to Insurance Journal's top 100 list of property and casualty agencies.

PayneWest Insurance was acquired by Marsh & McLennan Agency.  Based out of Montana with offices in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington as well, PayneWest has over 700 employees and $134 million of revenue*.

Bolton & Company agreed to merge with IMA Financial Group.  California-based Bolton has 200 employees and revenue of approximately $55 million*.

High Street Insurance Partners ("HSIP") was acquired by the previously mentioned Abry Partners.  Headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, HSIP has acquired 24 insurance agencies since its founding in 2018 and reported revenue approaching $30 million*.

* Source: Business Insurance 100 largest brokers - July/August 2020 issue

March 31, 2021

Acrisure raises $3.4 billion in capital through the sale of senior and junior preferred stock to continue funding its acquisition strategy.  BDT Capital Partners led the $3 billion investment into Acrisure's senior preferred stock while a consortium of other investors invested $454 million in junior preferred stock.

Amwins Group signed a definitive agreement to purchase Worldwide Facilities, the fourth-largest wholesale broker in the U.S.  The combined firms will have more than 6,151 employees in over 155 offices across the U.S. and place in excess of $24 billion in premium annually.

KKR agreed to acquire a majority interest in Integrated Specialty Coverages ("ISC") from Sightway Capital.  ISC is a program administrator writing approximately $300 million of specialty premium.

February 28, 2021

The Hilb Group announced its largest acquisition to date with the purchase of Rampart Brokerage Corporation & Affiliates.  Headquartered in Lake Success, NY, with nearly 200 employees, Rampart is an insurance broker with a focus on upper middle-market commercial lines, high net worth personal lines, individual life, and group benefits.

January 31, 2021

AssuredPartners begins the year with a platform acquisition in Pennsylvania through the acquisition of Murray Insurance Associates ("Murray").  Murray, based in Lancaster, has 170 employees and $31 million in annualized revenue.

Higginbotham also made a platform acquisition, this time in Tennessee, with the purchase of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance ("LPI").  Headquartered in Memphis, LPI has 134 employees and approximately $23 million in revenue according to Insurance Journal's most recent list of top 100 property & casualty agencies.

Private equity firm GCP Capital Partners ("GCP") announced that it will be funding the creation of a national retail insurance platform, ALKEME Insurance.  GCP's prior insurance investments include Acrisure, ClearView Risk, Ironshore, and Republic Insurance.

December 31, 2020

A flurry of deals were announced to cap the end of the year including the following:
  • BRP Group continues to add platform agencies with the acquisitions of Burnham Benefits Insurance Services ("BBIS") and Armfield, Harrison & Thomas ("AHT").  BBIS, with $52.6 million of annualized revenue, is based out of Irvine, California and provides employee benefits consulting, retirement consulting, wealth management, and insurance brokerage services.  AHT, with $52.3 million of annualized revenue, is headquartered out of Leesburg, Virginia and is a multi-line insurance broker providing property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement, personal, and international services.
  • Oswald Companies and RCM&D agreed to merge and form Unison Risk Advisors.  Oswald Companies (based in Cleveland) ranked as the 39th largest insurance broker according to Business Insurance while RCM&D (headquartered in Towson, Maryland) ranked as the 69th largest broker in the same survey.  The combined companies will have more than 650 employee-owners in 12 office locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.
  • DOXA Insurance Holdings announced that Century Equity Partners, a private equity firm, acquired a majority interest in the firm.  DOXA is a holding company that is an acquirer of niche-focused managing general agencies, wholesale brokers, and program administrators.
  • Corsair Capital made a strategic investment in Oakbridge Insurance Agency, which was formed through the combination of four retail insurance brokers based in Georgia.  Oakbridge will have approximately 175 employees in 15 office locations throughout the state.  Founders Insurance, Hutchinson Traylor Insurance, McGinty-Gordon & Associates, and Waites & Foshee are the four agencies that will be merging together to form Oakbridge.

November 23, 2020

BRP Group expands its presence in Texas by agreeing to acquire Insgroup.  Based in Houston with additional offices in Dallas, Addison, and Austin, Insgroup has approximately 160 employees and $38.5 million of annualized revenue.

October 27, 2020

Onex agreed to make a majority investment in OneDigital by acquiring a stake in the company from New Mountain Capital.  OneDigital is a provider of employee benefits insurance brokerage and retirement consulting services with more than 2,000 employees.  The transaction values OneDigital at $2.65 billion.

September 24, 2020

The Carlyle Group makes another investment in the insurance brokerage space with its Global Credit platform leading a $150 million preferred investment in Alera Group.  The Carlyle Group is also involved with Galway Insurance Holdings, which was recently announced in June.

AssuredPartners acquires the insurance brokerage subsidiary of People's United Bank adding to its footprint in the Northeast.  People's United Insurance Agency reported approximately $32 million of revenue during 2019 according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

August 17, 2020

NFP makes a sizable acquisition in the Albany, New York area with the addition of Rose & Kiernan.  The multi-lines insurance agency reported approximately $56 million of revenue during 2019 with 200 employees according to Insurance Journal's list of 100 largest property & casualty agencies.

July 10, 2020

Private equity continues its active presence within the industry with the following deal announcements:
  • Oak Hill Capital and The Carlyle Group announce the combination of their portfolio companies to form Galway Insurance Holdings.  Oak Hill Capital will be contributing EPIC Brokers and Consultants (a retail broker) while The Carlyle Group will be contributing JenCap Holdings (a wholesaler, MGA, and program administrator) to this new entity.
  • BBH Capital Partners completed the recapitalization of Sunstar Insurance Group with Sunstar management and employees remaining significant shareholders in the firm.  Sunstar is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with 18 branch offices in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
  • BHMS Investments made an investment in Inszone Insurance Services to support Inszone's acquisition growth.  Inszone has completed ten acquisitions over the last fifteen months with offices in California, Arizona, and Nevada.
In the wholesale and MGA arena, Ryan Specialty Group and All Risks will be merging their operations.  Ryan Specialty Group is approaching $12 billion in premium in 2020 while All Risks is projecting $2.6 billion in premium during this same time period.

June 15, 2020

BRP Group announced a couple of acquisitions that will add over $35 million to its revenue base.  It agreed to acquire Rosenthal Brothers, a Chicago-based multi-line insurance broker with approximately 55 employees and $18.8 million in revenue.  It also is adding Trinity Benefit Advisors and Russ Blakely & Associates, which are Tennessee-based providers of employee benefits and generating revenue of approximately $17.3 million.  BRP Group became a publicly-traded company in October 2019 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

May 11, 2020

USI Insurance Services agreed to acquire Associated Benefits & Risk Consulting ("ABRC"), which is the insurance brokerage subsidiary of Associated-Banc Corp.  ABRC is a Midwest-based firm with 400 employees and $89 million in revenue ranking it as the 36th largest broker of U.S. business according to Associated Banc-Corp.

TigerRisk Partners announced that it will be receiving a strategic growth investment from private equity firm Flexpoint Ford.  TigerRisk has 200 employees across 10 offices around the world and is the fourth largest reinsurance broker in the world according to the company.

April 13, 2020

Marsh & McLennan Agency acquires a Midwest regional platform with the purchase of Assurance Holdings, which is located in the suburban Chicago area.  Assurance has 525 employees and reported revenue of $115 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

Private equity firm HGGC announced that it completed the acquisition of PCF Insurance headquartered in Woodland Hills, California.  PCF has over 400 employees and was backed by another private equity firm, BHMS Investments, which will retain a minority stake in PCF.

March 16, 2020

Aon and Willis Towers Watson combine in an all-stock deal valuing the combined companies at approximately $80 billion in equity.  This mega-merger was finalized a year after initial discussions broke off when Irish regulations forced the companies to disclose these talks.

Risk Strategies completed a recapitalization with Kelso & Company, who is a current investor.  The infusion of a new equity investment from Kelso will further support Risk Strategies' acquisition strategy.

World Insurance Associates ("WIA") announced that Charlesbank Capital Partners will be making a majority investment in the company.  WIA is an active acquirer having completed 53 transactions since it was founded in 2012.

February 13, 2020

AssuredPartners makes a couple of significant purchases with the acquisitions of LMC Insurance & Risk Managment ("LMC") as well as Corkill Insurance Agency ("Corkill").  LMC, headquartered in West De Moines, Iowa, has 290 employees and reported revenue of $57 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.  Corkill, located in the Chicago area, has 104 employees and $23 million in annualized revenues.

Marsh & McLennan Agency announced that it acquired Momentous Insurance Brokerage ("Momentous"), which is based in Los Angeles.  Momentous has 220 employees and specializes in insurance solutions for the entertainment industry as well as high net worth private client services.

January 6, 2020

Hub International makes a significant acquisition in the Midwest with the purchase of SilverStone Group.  Headquartered in Omaha with 225 employees across 3 locations, SilverStone is the largest insurance broker in Nebraska.

Risk Strategies also announced that it was buying Gowrie Group (a specialty retail insurance broker with over 80 employees) and Maritime Program Group (a marine-focused managing general agent with over 60 employees).  The combined entities reported almost $43 million in revenue during 2018 according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

November 11, 2019

The Hilb Group changes ownership as The Carlyle Group agrees to acquire a majority interest in the company from Abry Partners.  Hilb has more than 900 employees and reported approximately $142 million of revenue during 2018 according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

October 25, 2019

Prime Risk Partners joins EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants in a merger of two private equity backed brokers.  Prime Risk Partners, backed by Thomas H. Lee Partners, has approximately 600 employees and generates over $115 million in revenue.  EPIC, backed by Oak Hill Capital Partners, reported $579 million of revenue during 2018 according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

Abry Partners is rumored to be exploring a sale of its majority stake in Hilb Group according to a Reuters report.  Hilb generates EBITDA ("earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization") of $75 million according to sources who spoke to Reuters.

September 13, 2019

Worldwide Facilities swaps private equity owners as Genstar Capital becomes a new investor while Lovell Minnick Partners exits its investment.  Worldwide Facilities, headquartered in Los Angeles, is a wholesale insurance broker, managing general agency, and program manager with over 700 employees in 37 offices.

August 5, 2019

Private equity continues its foray into the insurance brokerage sector as SkyKnight Capital makes a minority investment in Heffernan Insurance Brokers headquartered out of Walnut Creek, California.  Heffernan, which has 450 employees in 10 offices across the U.S. and London, generated revenue of over $100 million.  Another private equity sponsored firm, Integrated Specialty Coverages ("ISC"), announced that it had acquired Safebuilt Insurance Services.  ISC is a managing general agent that is funded by Two Sigma's Sightway Capital.

July 9, 2019

A couple of private equity backed insurance brokers formed within the past year have entered the pool of buyers with recent add-on acquisitions.  Patriot Growth Insurance Services ("Patriot") announced that it acquired Schaefer Enterprises, a full-service insurance agency based in New York City.  Patriot was created in January 2019 in collaboration with 17 independent agencies and TRUE Network Advisors along with the financial backing of Summit Partners.  Meanwhile, High Street Insurance Partners ("High Street") acquired Tompkins Insurance Agency based in Traverse City, Michigan.  High Street was formed in August 2018 with the platform acquisition of Peterson McGregor and Associates, also based in Traverse City, with financial support from Huron Capital.

May 20, 2019

Lee Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on the middle market, announced that it will be acquiring a majority ownership interest in K2 Insurance Services.  K2 is a holding company that owns 14 managing general agents and program managers writing over $650 million in premium in aggregate.

AssuredPartners adds an agency in the Chicago area with the purchase of Esser Hayes Insurance Group.  Esser Hayes has 103 employees and reports annualized revenue of $18 million.

April 12, 2019

Marsh & McLennan Agency makes its first acquisition in Arizona with the purchase of Lovitt & Touché.  Based out of Phoenix with 181 employees in three locations, Lovitt & Touché reported revenue of approximately $40 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

March 11, 2019

AssuredPartners will be changing ownership as Apax Partners agreed to sell its entire stake in the company to GTCR.  This marks a reunion for the two firms as GTCR had previously owned AssuredPartners from its inception in 2011 to 2015.  Apax will then make a minority investment in AssuredPartners through a separate fund as part of the transaction.

Aquiline Capital Partners entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Relation Insurance Services from Parthenon Capital and Century Equity Partners.  Relation Insurance Services, previously known as Ascension Insurance, reported revenue of approximately $97 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

USI Insurance will be acquiring one of the nation's largest property and casualty program managers with its agreement to buy U.S. Risk Insurance Group.  Kohlberg & Company had previously made an investment in U.S. Risk in 2016.

AssuredPartners expands its presence in California with the purchase of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services.  Based out of Ventura, Tolman & Wiker has 150 employees and $33 million in revenue.

February 6, 2019

Alliant Insurance Services will be receiving an investment from the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, which is a Canadian pension investment manager.  Stone Point Capital will be making an additional investment and will remain Alliant's largest institutional shareholder while the company's management and producers will continue to own the majority of the firm.

Marsh & McLennan Agency agreed to acquire Bouchard Insurance based out of Clearwater, Florida.  Bouchard has 260 employees and over $42 million in revenue according to the most recent listing of Business Insurance's 100 largest brokers.

January 9, 2019

EPIC Holdings announced an agreement to acquire substantially all of the U.S. operations of Integro Group Holdings.  Integro has revenue in excess of $150 million and reunites with Pete Garvey, CEO of EPIC, who was a founder and former CEO of Integro.  EPIC currently has annual revenue of over $440 million and is backed by Oak Hill Capital Partners.

December 18, 2018

Acrisure reached an agreement with a group of investors who will be committing $2 billion in exchange for preferred equity in the company.  The group includes funds managed by Blackstone's GSO Capital Partners and Tactical Opportunities businesses, Partners Group (on behalf of its clients), and Harvest Partners SCF.  The investment implies a valuation of more than $7 billion for Acrisure with 83% of the company remaining owned by its management team and agency partners after completion of the transaction.

November 12, 2018

Brown & Brown agreed to acquire Hays Companies, which ranked 22 on Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers and has revenue of approximately $200 million.  Headquartered in Minneapolis, Hays Companies has over 700 employees in 32 locations across 21 states.

Hub International announced that it will be receiving a substantial minority investment from Altas Partners valuing Hub at a total enterprise value of over $10 billion.  Altas is a long-term oriented investment firm based in Toronto, with its most recent fund having the capability to hold investments for up to 17 years.

October 15, 2018

AIG announced an agreement to acquire Glatfelter Insurance Group, a program manager and retail insurance broker with over 500 employees.  Upon closing of the transaction, Tony Campisi, Chief Executive Officer of Glatfelter Insurance Group, will report directly to David McElroy, the incoming Chief Executive Officer of AIG General Insurance’s Lexington business.

Marsh & McLennan Agency buys its first agency in Louisiana with the purchase of Eustis Insurance & Benefits based out of Metairie.  Eustis has 109 employees and was last listed in Insurance Journal's 2015 top 100 independent P&C agencies with revenue of over $16 million.   

September 24, 2018

Marsh & McLennan agreed to acquire Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group ("JLT") at an enterprise value of approximately $6.4 billion.  JLT operates in 40 countries with strength in the UK and Australia.  The transaction is expected to close in the spring of 2019.

August 13, 2018

World Insurance Associates announced two acquisitions at the end of July with the purchase of RB Lewis Insurance Agents & Brokers as well as Northern Insurance Group/Worldwide Risk Management.  Founded in 2011, World Insurance Associates is based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey and recently made Insurance Journal's list of top 100 Property & Casualty ("P&C") agencies with approximately $18 million of P&C revenue in 2017.

July 11, 2018

Marsh reached an agreement to acquire Wortham Insurance based out of Houston.  With more than 530 employees throughout 5 locations in Texas, Wortham reported 2016 revenue of approximately $127 million according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

June 11, 2018

Onex announced that it made a $175 million investment in Ryan Specialty Group, consisting of $150 million in preferred equity and $25 million of common equity.  Onex is a private equity firm based out of Toronto while Ryan Specialty Group is a wholesale broker and managing general underwriter led by Pat Ryan, the former CEO and founder of Aon.

Propel Insurance partnered with another private equity firm, Flexpoint Ford, with current shareholders retaining a significant ownership stake after the transaction.  According to Propel, it is the second largest independent insurance agency in the Northwest with six offices throughout Washington and Oregon, and it reported $71 million in revenue during 2016 according to Business Insurance's list of 100 largest brokers.

North Risk Partners merged with Bearence Management Group creating an independent agency with over $50 million in revenue, 265 employees, and 21 locations across Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.  Both firms have been majority owned by BroadStreet Partners.

USI Insurance Services announced that it closed on the acquisition of CHS Insurance, an insurance broker specializing in the agribusiness industry.  According to Insurance Journal's list of 100 largest property & casualty agencies, CHS Insurance had 2016 revenue of approximately $19 million.

May 7, 2018

Alliant Insurance Services makes a significant acquisition with its agreement to acquire Crystal & Company.  Based out of New York, Crystal & Company has more than 450 employees and reported $163 million of revenue in 2016 according to the most recent Business Insurance list.

Brown & Brown agreed to acquire Servco Pacific Insurance's operations in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.  This acquisition will add annual revenue of $24 million and will provide Brown & Brown's primary retail presence in the Hawaiian Islands.

Peter C. Foy & Associates adds its name to the list of active insurance broker buyers with the completion of four acquisitions in California and Nevada.  Backed by BHMS Investments, it also completed a recapitalization with Madison Capital Funding.

April 9, 2018

Two banks announced the divestiture of their insurance brokerage operations shaking up the top 100 list of largest brokers.  Regions Financial agreed to sell Regions Insurance Group to BB&T, boosting BB&T's insurance brokerage revenue to almost $2 billion.  Regions Insurance Group, with a footprint in the Southeast, Texas, and Indiana, had $142 million of revenue in 2016 according to the most recent Business Insurance list.

KeyBank for its part announced that it was selling Key Insurance & Benefits Services to USI Insurance Services.  Key Insurance & Benefits Services, with a footprint in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, reported $59 million of revenue in 2016 according to the same Business Insurance list.

March 12, 2018

A couple of banks make a push towards expanding their insurance brokerage business with some recent acquisitions.  Associated Banc-Corp agreed to acquire Diversified Insurance Solutions in Wisconsin and Salem Five acquired Cape Ann Insurance in Massachusetts.

February 12, 2018

Alera Group joins the parade of insurance broker buyers with the announcement that it acquired four firms effective February 1, 2018.  Since launching in January of last year, it has made 20 acquisitions.  Alera Group was created through the merger of 24 firms across the U.S. with the backing of private equity firm Genstar Capital.

January 8, 2018

AssuredPartners continues its expansion in California with the acquisition of Owen-Dunn Insurance Services.  Based in Sacramento, Owen-Dunn has 50 employees and revenue of approximately $10.5 million.

December 4, 2017

The Carlyle Group agreed in November to acquire BenefitMall from an investor group led by Austin Ventures.  BenefitMall is a provider of employee benefits and payroll services primarily to small and medium sized businesses.  The firm ranks as the largest national General Agency and second largest privately-owned payroll services firm in the United States.

November 3, 2017

Frenkel & Company changes ownership as EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants agrees to acquire the firm.  With revenue approaching $80 million, Frenkel has a significant presence in the Northeast with locations and teams in New York City, Jersey City, and Boston.  This deal complements EPIC's acquisition of The Capacity Group earlier in the year.

October 9, 2017

Rumors of a Hub International partial sale haven't slowed down the firm's M&A activity.  During September through October 6, Hub announced 12 acquisitions consisting of 10 retail broker acquisitions and 2 acquisitions in its program underwriting and MGA subsidiary, Specialty Program Group.

September 8, 2017

Hub International's private equity owner, Hellman & Friedman, is rumored to be exploring a partial sale of its ownership stake as reported in a Reuters article.  Hellman & Friedman would be seeking to retain control over Hub should a transaction take place based on various sources.  Hellman & Friedman had acquired Hub from Apax Partners four years ago.

August 7, 2017

EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants announced that Oak Hill Capital Partners will be acquiring a controlling equity position in EPIC through the purchase of The Carlyle Group's entire ownership stake.  EPIC has annual revenue approaching $300 million and over 1,000 employees.  According to EPIC, it ranks among the top 20 retail insurance brokers in the United States and is the 10th largest privately held broker in the nation.

OneDigital Health and Benefits completes its first two acquisitions under its new owner, New Mountain Capital, with the purchase of the employee benefits business of Legacy Capital Group as well as The Benefits Agency at JJ Wade & Associates.  New Mountain Capital had acquired a majority ownership position in OneDigital from Fidelity National Financial Ventures for $560 million in an all-cash transaction in June.

July 10, 2017

USI Insurance Services reached an agreement to acquire Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA from Wells Fargo & Company with the closing of the transaction anticipated to be in the fourth quarter of 2017.  This is a sequel to a previous deal that USI had done with Wells Fargo when it had acquired 42 smaller insurance brokerage offices from the bank in 2014.  Wells Fargo will be retaining the personal insurance portion of the business after the sale of the commercial insurance business to USI is completed.

June 2, 2017

In early May, Bloomberg reported that Wells Fargo was exploring a sale of its insurance brokerage business.  A few weeks later, The Insurance Insider noted that Hub and USI were rumored to be the front runners to acquire the bank's insurance brokerage division with an estimated $600 million of revenue.  Wells Fargo appears to be ruling out private equity firms without an insurance brokerage platform due to the need to separate the insurance agency operations from its banking infrastructure.

May 8, 2017

AmWINS Group continues its expansion with the purchase of both Partners Specialty Group and Networked Insurance Agents.  According to the insurance wholesaler, Partners Specialty Group is the 9th largest wholesale brokerage operation in the United States with over 160 employees and $500 million of gross premium placed in 2016.  Networked Insurance Agents is an insurance aggregator and membership organization that serves more than 1,100 affiliate members comprised of independent P&C agencies.

April 10, 2017

Three top 100 insurance brokers will be undergoing a change in ownership as deal activity shows no signs of slowing down.  KKR and CDPQ announced that it would be acquiring USI Insurance Services from Onex Corporation in a transaction valuing USI at $4.3 billion.  CDPQ is a Canadian institutional fund manager that manages funds primarily for public pension and insurance plans.  KKR and CDPQ will have equal ownership in USI after the deal is completed.

AssuredPartners announced that it will be acquiring the largest privately-held insurance broker in California with its purchase of Keenan & Associates.  Keenan has over $170 million in annual revenue and will be AssuredPartners' largest acquisition since its founding.

Meanwhile, The Capacity Group of Companies merged with EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants providing EPIC with a Northeast platform in the process.  According to Business Insurance's 100 largest brokers list, The Capacity Group had approximately $110 million in revenue during 2015.

March 6, 2017

AssuredPartners expands in California with the purchase of Dealey, Renton & Associates Insurance Brokers ("DRA") headquartered in Oakland, California.  DRA has 78 employees in three office locations and approximately $17 million in revenue.

USI Insurance Services has reportedly garnered first-round bids in an auction held by its private equity owner Onex according to a Bloomberg article.  Carlyle Group, CVC Capital Partners, and KKR are rumored to be some of the bidders in this process.

February 8, 2017

Marsh & McLennan Agency makes a platform acquisition in the Southeast by agreeing to buy J. Smith Lanier & Co. ("JSL"), which is based out of West Point, Georgia.  JSL has annual revenue of approximately $130 million and 600 employees in 21 offices across Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida.

A new private equity backed property & casualty and employee benefits broker, Alera Group, was created through the merger of 24 firms across the United States.  Through this merger, Alera Group will have $158 million in annual revenue and 750 employees across 15 states.  Genstar Capital made an investment leading to the formation of Alera Group.

USI Insurance Services is rumored to be on the auction block according to a Reuters article.  Private equity firm Onex had acquired USI in December 2012 from Goldman Sachs' private equity arm for $2.3 billion.

January 10, 2017

Risk Strategies Company continues to grow its presence in Florida with the purchase of Advanced Insurance Underwriters ("AIU").  Headquartered in Hollywood, AIU is the fourth largest independent broker in South Florida and has over 140 employees.  According to Insurance Journal's list of top 100 independent P&C agencies, AIU reported approximately $24 million in revenue during 2015.

JenCap Holdings agreed to acquire NIF Group, which is a managing general agency ("MGA"), program administrator, and wholesale insurance broker based in Manhasset, New York.  NIF Group has over 120 employees in six locations and manages over $185 million in annual written premiums.  JenCap Holdings is backed by The Carlyle Group and was formed in 2016 to consolidate MGAs, program administrators, and insurance wholesale brokers.

December 6, 2016

AssuredPartners expands into the Pittsburgh market with the acquisition of Tucker, Johnston & Smelzer, Inc. ("TJS"), a commercial insurance and employee benefits broker with 45 employees.  TJS has revenue of approximately $7.0 million and has had a presence in the Pittsburgh area going back to 1924.

November 7, 2016

Acrisure undergoes a change in ownership with its management-led buyout from Genstar Capital.  Greg Williams, Acrisure's CEO and co-founder, and a consortium of investors will acquire control of the company as a result of the transaction.  Acrisure has been one of the most acquisitive firms in the industry with annual revenue exceeding $670 million.  Genstar acquired Acrisure in 2013 and under Genstar's ownership, Acrisure acquired over 138 insurance agencies and brokers.

October 14, 2016

OneDigital Health and Benefits continues its string of benefits acquisitions with the purchase of MRCT in the St. Louis area.  OneDigital, which rebranded itself from Digital Insurance and Digital Benefit Advisors in August, has more than 800 employees and is headquartered in Atlanta.

September 12, 2016

NSM Insurance Group reunites with ABRY Partners after the private equity firm agreed to enter into a joint venture with NSM and AIG.  AIG will contribute its controlling equity ownership of NSM into the joint venture, which will be majority owned by ABRY.  ABRY had previously made an investment in NSM in 2012 before selling its interest to AIG in 2015.

August 8, 2016

Alliant Insurance Services expands in the Midwest with the acquisition of Mesirow Insurance Services from Mesirow Financial.  Mesirow Insurance Services has annual revenue of approximately $105 million according to Business Insurance's latest list of 100 largest brokers published in July.

In the wholesale and underwriting managing sector, private equity firm Kohlberg & Company will be making a significant equity investment in U.S. Risk Insurance Group.  Based in Dallas, U.S. Risk is the sixth largest property and casualty wholesaler according to the company.

July 8, 2016

Blackstone Group is rumored to be the front-runner in the auction of Acrisure according to a Reuters article.  Blackstone is familiar with the insurance brokerage sector through its prior ownership of Alliant Insurance Services, which was later sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

June 3, 2016

Brown & Brown will be expanding its wholesale division with the pending acquisition of Morstan General Agency.  Morstan is a wholesale MGA/MGU producing approximately $34 million of revenue in 2015.  Morstan is based in Long Island, New York and has additional offices in New York City, New Jersey, and Florida.

May 6, 2016

Conner Strong & Buckelew becomes the latest broker to partner with a private equity firm after Century Equity Partners acquired a minority interest in the New Jersey-based firm.  Conner Strong & Buckelew spun out of Commerce Bank in 2008 and has approximately 350 employees.

Prime Risk Partners announced that it is acquiring Old National Bank's insurance brokerage division, which has over 270 employees and a footprint predominantly in Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.  According to the bank's annual report, the insurance brokerage business had approximately $43 million in revenue during 2015.

April 8, 2016

USI Insurance Services beefs up its presence in the Midwest after announcing a couple of recent acquisitions.  It picked up a bank-owned agency with the purchase of Forrest Sherer Insurance from First Financial Corporation.  With two locations in Indiana, First Financial's insurance agency operations generated approximately $7 million in revenue during 2015 according to its annual report.  USI also acquired Brooks Insurance Agency (based out of Toledo, Ohio) with 75 employees.

March 4, 2016

BB&T announced that it agreed to acquire insurance wholesaler, Swett & Crawford, for $500 million in cash.  Swett & Crawford is expected to add more than $200 million in annual revenue to BB&T Insurance.  The deal will complement BB&T Insurance's other wholesale operations including CRC Insurance Services, Crump Life Insurance Services, and managing general underwriter AmRisc.

On the retail side, Marsh & McLennan Agency made a significant acquisition in Florida with the buyout of Celedinas Insurance Group.  Based in Palm Beach Gardens, Celedinas has 120 employees and approximately $22 million in annual revenue.

February 5, 2016

Acrisure is reportedly exploring a sale as Genstar Capital, the private equity firm that owns Acrisure, has hired an investment bank to gather bids for the company according to a Reuters article.  Acrisure has grown rapidly through acquisitions and generated revenue of $231 million for the trailing twelve months ended September 2015.

January 11, 2016

Several banks announced deals on the buy-side to ring in the new year.  First Bancorp acquired Bankingport, an insurance agency based in Sanford, North Carolina.  Tompkins Financial bought Shepard, Maxwell & Hale Insurance located in Batavia, New York.  Continuing up the East Coast, Eastern Bank purchased Northwestern Benefit Associates, a group benefits broker based in Boston, from Northwestern Mutual.  The bank group looks to become more of a competitive force with Wells Fargo also saying that it is looking more closely at M&A to build out its industry expertise.

December 7, 2015

Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford ("CGSC") announced that it was exploring the sale of its North American business unit, which consists of wholesale broker Swett & Crawford, specialty managing general agencies including J.H. Blades & Co and Creechurch International Underwriters, and a U.S. reinsurance broker.  An Insurance Journal article provides more color on the underlying reasons for the sale, which include reducing corporate debt.

November 6, 2015

Another private equity backed insurance broker changes ownership with Kelso & Company acquiring a majority interest in Risk Strategies Company ("RSC") from Kohlberg & Company.  RSC had 2014 revenue of $98 million according to Business Insurance's 2015 list of 100 largest brokers.  Headquartered in Boston, RSC has acquired several firms during the year including Northwest Comprehensive, Dubraski & Associates Insurance Services, and MacCorkle Insurance Service.

October 2, 2015

The latest industry rumor involves Confie and its private equity owner ABRY Partners exploring a sale of the personal lines and small commercial insurance broker.  According to a Reuters article, Confie is expected to generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA") of $134 million this year.  ABRY Partners acquired a majority interest in the firm, then known as Confie Seguros, in 2012.

USI Insurance Services announced its first acquisition in North Carolina with the purchase of the employee benefits business of Benefit Controls of the Carolinas.  Benefit Controls, which is headquartered in Charlotte, was previously ranked in Business Insurance's largest 100 brokers list and at that time reported 2012 revenue of $23 million.

September 8, 2015

Patriot National joins the parade of acquirers within the insurance intermediary sector.  Since its initial public offering in January of this year, the company has acquired managing general agents, program administrators, and specialty insurance brokers with its most recent deal in the sector involving R.C.A. Insurance Group, a property and liability program administrator to the hospitality industry.  Patriot National is a provider of technology and outsourcing solutions to the insurance industry and has a market capitalization of over $450 million.

August 9, 2015

M&A activity continues its hot streak during the summer with some private equity backed brokers making the news as either sellers or buyers including:
  • Apax Partners acquiring AssuredPartners from GTCR.  AssuredPartners, which has completed over 100 acquisitions since its founding in 2011, has revenue of $449 million*.  Apax previously was an investor in Hub International before it was acquired by Hellman & Friedman.
  • Odyssey Investment Partners acquiring Integro, which has revenue of $170 million*.  Integro has more than 40 offices located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Bermuda.
  • NFP acquiring BWD Group, based in Plainview, New York on Long Island.  According to an Insurance Journal article, BWD Group has 211 employees and revenue of $40 million.
  • Hub acquiring BW Insurance Agency ("BWIA") from Bank of the West.  BWIA has revenue of $29 million** and operates from more than 40 offices in eight states.
* Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July 20, 2015
** Insurance Journal - Top 100 Independent Property/Casualty Agencies - August 3, 2015

July 7, 2015

There are no signs of summer doldrums within the M&A market as a flurry of deals made the news.  Notable deals include:
  • Willis Group and Towers Watson announcing a merger of equals with an implied equity value of approximately $18 billion.  The combined company will have pro forma revenue of approximately $8.2 billion and adjusted EBITDA of over $1.7 billion based on the twelve months ended December 31, 2014.
  • Stone Point Capital making an investment in Alliant Insurance Services replacing KKR as the largest institutional shareholder in the company.  KKR and Alliant's employees will continue to remain significant shareholders in the business.
  • ABRY Partners making an investment in The Hilb Group replacing BHMS Investments who is exiting as an investor.  The Hilb Group, based in Richmond, Virginia, has acquired 15 firms since 2010.
  • Arthur J. Gallagher acquiring William Gallagher Associates, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts.  William Gallagher Associates has annualized revenue of approximately $50 million.
  • Marsh & McLennan Agency acquiring J.W. Terrill, which is based in St. Louis, Missouri.  J.W. Terrill has revenue of approximately $32 million.
  • Prime Risk Partners acquiring Cook Maran & Associates as its first platform acquisition.  Cook Maran, with five offices in New York and New Jersey, has approximately $31 million in revenue*.  Prime Risk Partners is backed by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners.
* Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July 21, 2014

June 5, 2015

Marsh & McLennan Agency announced the acquisition of MHBT, significantly expanding its operations in Texas.  MHBT, which is based in Dallas and has four other locations in Texas, has revenue of $76 million and 350 employees.

May 4, 2015

Ascension Insurance strengthens its California presence with the acquisition of Belvedere Pacific Insurance Services, an employee benefits firm in the San Francisco area.  Ascension, backed by private equity firms Parthenon Capital Partners and Century Capital Partners, has over 430 employees and revenue exceeding $75 million.

April 6, 2015

Some significant deals outside of the retail agency arena made the headlines recently.  AIG agreed to acquire a controlling stake in NSM Insurance Group ("NSM"), a managing general agent ("MGA") and insurance program administrator, from ABRY Partners and NSM management.  NSM is headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and has 300 employees.  ABRY Partners, a private equity firm based out of Boston, made an investment in NSM in January 2012.

BB&T Insurance announced that it was increasing its partnership interest in AmRisc, a managing general underwriter ("MGU") with gross written premiums of almost $1 billion.  In a related development, BB&T agreed to sell American Coastal Insurance Company to AmRisc's management team.

CRC Insurance Services, a wholesale insurance subsidiary of BB&T Insurance, also agreed to acquire NAPCO. Based in Iselin, New Jersey, NAPCO is a wholesale broker of commercial property catastrophe insurance coverage.

March 9, 2015

Willis Group Holdings sells off another one of its offices with the divestiture of its Omaha, Nebraska-based operations.  In this purchase, Holmes Murphy & Associates picks up a retail insurance brokerage office that specializes in servicing college-based student organizations.  This deal follows another transaction where Willis sold its Schaumburg, Illinois office to DSP Insurance Services in January.

February 9, 2015

The blockbuster deal of January is Alliant Insurance Services' acquisition of QBE US Agencies, which is comprised of three specialty managing general agents serving the community association, transportation, and earthquake markets.  Total potential sale consideration is approximately $300 million made up of a $217 million up-front cash payment and a five year earn-out subject to performance-based measures.

Regional brokers making the headlines in January include the following:
  • Leavitt Group acquiring Brown & Brown's book of business in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The firm also acquired Smart Insurance Solutions in Kalispell, Montana.
  • Hylant acquiring The Gardner Group, an employee benefits agency based in Neptune Beach, Florida.
  • SterlingRisk Insurance acquiring Gramercy Brokerage/Planned Protection based in Rego Park, New York.
January 6, 2015

Hub International continues its expansion in Florida with the recent acquisition of Smith Watson Parker Insurance, whose main office is located in Hollywood.  During 2014, Hub also acquired Kuykendall Gardner (based in Winter Park) and Ballard Insurance Agency (based in Melbourne).  Hub established its presence in Florida with the platform acquisition of Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols (based in Clearwater) in October 2013.

December 4, 2014

Banks appear to be more acquisitive in the insurance agency space compared to prior years.  Some bank transactions announced during 2014 include the following deals:
  • Regions Insurance (an affiliate of Regions Bank) acquiring Teaberry Health and Welfare Benefits Practice's book of business in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • First Commonwealth Insurance Agency (a subsidiary of First Commonwealth Financial) acquiring Thompson/McLay Insurance Associates in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
  • Bryn Mawr Bank acquiring Powers Craft Parker & Beard in Rosemont, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia).
  • Univest acquiring Sterner Insurance Associates with offices in Coopersburg and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.
  • Financial Institutions acquiring Scott Danahy Naylon in Amherst, New York (a suburb of Buffalo).
  • Towne Insurance (a subsidiary of TowneBank) acquiring Southern Insurance Agency in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • Eastern Insurance Group (a subsidiary of Eastern Bank) acquiring Smith Buckley & Hunt in Brockton, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston).
  • BancorpSouth Insurance Services (a subsidiary of BancorpSouth Bank) acquiring Knox Insurance Group in Lafayette, Louisiana.
November 8, 2014

Some regional brokers are providing added competition to the national consolidators in the hunt for insurance agency acquisitions.  In just the past 30 days, the following brokers announced these transactions:
  • Lawley Insurance acquired S. Turteltaub Sons in northern New Jersey.  Lawley is the 54th* largest U.S. broker and headquartered in Buffalo, New York.
  • Heffernan Insurance Brokers acquired Pilot Employee Benefits in Long Island, New York.  Heffernan is the 35th* largest U.S. broker and headquartered in Walnut Creek, California.
  • The Horton Group acquired Boyle, Flagg and Seaman Insurance with offices in Illinois and Michigan.  Horton is the 58th* largest U.S. broker and headquartered in Orland Park, Illinois.
  • Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage acquired Universal Insurance Agency in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Starkweather & Shepley is the 69th* largest U.S. broker and headquartered in East Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Frenkel and Company acquired The Moyer Group in New York, New York.  Frenkel is the 46th* largest U.S. broker and headquartered in New York, New York.
* Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July 21, 2014

October 3, 2014

Risk Strategies Company announced that it had merged with DeWitt Stern Group creating an organization with almost $100 million in revenue.  DeWitt Stern, based in New York, has approximately 140 employees with specialties in fine art, entertainment & media, and executive liability insurance.  This merger builds on top of two purchases Risk Strategies Company had made earlier this year with its acquisition of both Singer Nelson Charlmers and DataRisk.  Risk Strategies Company is backed by Kohlberg & Company, a private equity firm based in New York.

September 5, 2014

Willis Group Holdings divests some additional offices with its agreement to sell seven of its United States retail locations to USI Insurance Services.  The offices involved are Wilmington, Delaware; Vero Beach, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Moline, Illinois; Wichita, Kansas; and both Cheyenne and Mills, Wyoming.  This transaction comes on the heels of the sale of some of Willis' Texas offices (see July 8, 2014 post) and Willis' Northern New England operations (see May 2, 2014 post).

August 8, 2014

Edgewood Partners Insurance Center ("EPIC") significantly adds to its revenue base with the acquisition of Jenkins Insurance Services ("Jenkins") from Leavitt Group Enterprises and existing shareholders of Jenkins.  Jenkins, with 160 employees and $34 million of revenue, has offices in California and Nevada.  EPIC currently generates over $150 million in revenue and is looking to grow this number to $250 million by 2018 according to its press release announcement.

On the wholesale side, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services acquired Highland Capital Brokerage ("Highland") for approximately $42 million.  Highland is a wholesale broker providing life insurance, annuities, and long-term care solutions to investment and insurance providers.  Highland had revenue of $46 million for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2014.

July 8, 2014

Integro accelerates its acquisition pace with a couple of insurance broker purchases in California during the month of June.  It acquired Daugherty Insurance Services, a multi-lines retail agency based in Stockton, and Lugo & Associates Insurance Services, an employee benefits specialist based in Newport Beach.

Meanwhile, Higginbotham continues its expansion in Texas with the purchase of a portion of Willis of Texas, Inc.'s operations.  The transaction involves 35 employees in San Antonio, McAllen, Victoria, and Tyler.  Higginbotham has approximately 650 employees and 23 offices throughout the state of Texas.

June 9, 2014

Marsh & McLennan Agency acquired the largest independent insurance agency in North Carolina through its purchase of Senn Dunn Insurance.  Senn Dunn has annual revenue of approximately $30 million and 155 employees with offices in Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, High Point, and Wilmington.

A couple of regional brokers made acquisitions on the East Coast as well:
  • The Hilb Group, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, acquired Newman Crane & Associates based in Orlando, Florida.  The Hilb Group was founded by Robert H. Hilb (former founder, CEO, and Chairman of Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs) and Robert J. Hilb (former VP of Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs).  The firm is backed by BHMS Investments, a private equity firm located in New York City.
  • Declaration Brokerage, headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey, acquired RBLA of PA located in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.  Capacity Coverage Company of New Jersey and Dowling Capital Partners formed Declaration Brokerage in 2013 with the intent of acquiring commercial insurance brokers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.
May 2, 2014

Cross Insurance continues to grow its presence in the New England area with the acquisition of Troy, Pires & Allen Insurance.  Cross Insurance had previously acquired the northern New England operations of Willis taking on its approximately 70 employees earlier this year.  It also purchased The Insurance Exchange and The Driscoll Agency during 2014 bringing its acquisition total to four so far this year.  With offices in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Florida, Cross Insurance has acquired more than 100 insurance agencies since inception in 1954.

April 4, 2014

BB&T Insurance recently announced a couple of acquisitions after having been on the sidelines since its purchase of insurance wholesaler Crump in the early part of 2012.  The bank-owned insurance broker agreed to acquire Woodbury, a multi-lines insurance agency with more than 50 employees and offices in North Carolina and South Carolina.  It also bought Caledonian Insurance Group, an aviation insurance specialist based near Seattle with 24 employees.

March 14, 2014

AssuredPartners continues its aggressive acquisition spree in 2014 racking up 8 purchases of insurance agencies during the first two months of the year.  Some of its more notable transactions during the past twelve months include the acquisition of Lee F. Murphy (based in St. Paul, Minnesota with $8 million in revenue), AHM Financial Group's insurance business (based in St. Louis, Missouri with $17 million in revenue), Leonard Insurance Services (based in North Canton, Ohio with $10 million in revenue), Commercial Insurance Services (based in West Virginia with $10 million in revenue), and AirSure Limited (based in Golden, Colorado with $13 million in revenue).  From its founding in 2011, AssuredPartners has rapidly grown to approximately $325 million in annualized revenue.

February 7, 2014

A flurry of M&A announcements were made over the past few weeks providing a busy start to 2014.  Some notable acquisitions include:
  • Marsh & McLennan's acquisition of Barney & Barney, the country's 34th largest insurance broker with approximately $100 million in revenue.  Based in San Diego, California, Barney & Barney will serve as Marsh & McLennan Agency's western regional hub.
  • USI Insurance Services' acquisition of 42 Wells Fargo's insurance brokerage locations.  According to a Bloomberg article, about 750 employees will be affected by the divestiture of these offices.
  • Brown & Brown's acquisition of The Wright Insurance Group ("Wright") from Aquiline Capital Partners. Wright, which has programs operations relating to flood insurance and government entities, is projected to have net revenue of $121 million and EBITDA of $58.8 million for the first twelve months after closing of the transaction.
  • Edgewood Partners Insurance Center ("EPIC")'s acquisition of The McCart Group, a retail property & casualty and employee benefits insurance firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.  The McCart Group has approximately $20 million in revenue and will serve as EPIC's first significant regional platform outside of California.
January 3, 2014

USI Insurance Services picked up a former top 100 insurance broker in Van Gilder Insurance Corporation expanding its presence in the Rocky Mountain area.  Van Gilder, based out of Denver, Colorado, had approximately $20 million in revenue according to the latest figures provided in Business Insurance's 100 largest brokers list (dated July 16, 2012).  In addition, USI purchased Molton, Allen & Williams, a multi-lines insurance agency headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.

In other developments, bank acquisitions of insurance brokers appear to be picking up from depressed levels. BancorpSouth agreed to acquire GEM Insurance Agencies, which has approximately $9 million in revenue and is based out of Houston, Texas.  Old National Bancorp announced that it was acquiring a book of business from Wells Fargo Insurance's Evansville, Indiana office as well.

December 10, 2013

Edgewood Partners Insurance Center ("EPIC") has a new private equity owner after The Carlyle Group announced that it agreed to acquire a controlling equity stake in the company.  Stone Point Capital, which funded the startup of EPIC in 2007, will remain an investor in the company.  Headquartered in California, EPIC has approximately $80 million in annual revenue.

In the wholesale and reinsurance space, AmWINS Group announced that it is acquiring Bliss & Glennon and eReinsure from Fortegra Financial Corporation.  Bliss & Glennon is an excess and surplus ("E&S") lines wholesale insurance broker and managing general agency ("MGA") and was ranked by Business Insurance in September 2013 as the 10th largest P&C wholesaler with $229 million in premium.  eReinsure provides Internet-based technology solutions for managing the placement of facultative reinsurance.

November 6, 2013

Ryan Specialty Group announced another insurance wholesale broker acquisition with its agreement to merge with Westrope.  Headquartered in Kansas City, Westrope is the 7th largest wholesale broker in the U.S. according to Business Insurance.

In the rumor mill, Edgewood Partners Holdings is reportedly being shopped around by its private equity owner, Stone Point Capital, according to a Bloomberg article.  Edgewood (based in San Mateo, California) has over $80 million in revenue as listed on its website.

October 4, 2013

A couple of significant transactions outside of the traditional retail brokerage space made the news in September. Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group ("JLT") announced that it will be acquiring Towers Watson's reinsurance brokerage business for $250 million in cash.  Towers Watson's reinsurance brokerage business generated revenue of $166 million and pretax profit of $26 million for the year ended June 30, 2013, making it the fourth largest reinsurance broker in the world.  An article by The Insurance Insider that provides background on the events leading up to the deal can be viewed here by way of SNL.

In the wholesale arena, Ryan Specialty Group ("RSG") announced that it acquired S.H. Smith & Company, a wholesale broker with more than 90 employees.  RSG is a holding company consisting of managing general agents ("MGAs"), managing general underwriters ("MGUs"), wholesale operations, a Lloyd's specialty insurer, and other entities offering specialty services to agents, brokers, and insurance carriers.  RSG was formed by Patrick Ryan who previously was the founder and CEO of Aon.

September 6, 2013

Two more top 100 brokers officially announced a change in ownership as previously reported rumors became reality during the month of August.  Hub International agreed to be acquired by Hellman & Friedman in a transaction valuing the company at approximately $4.4 billion.  It was earlier reported (see May 3, 2013 post) that Hub's owners, Apax Partners and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, had begun exploring a sale in April.  Hub is projected to have 2013 revenue of $1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Arthur J. Gallagher announced that it was acquiring Bollinger from Evercore Capital Partners.  Total gross consideration was $312 million in cash and stock with net consideration being approximately $277 million once the value of tax assets acquired is factored in.  Rumors had begun surfacing in February (see February 6, 2013 post) that Evercore had begun the sale process of Bollinger.  The New Jersey-based broker is expected to generate over $100 million in revenue and approximately $40 million of EBITDAC (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and the change in estimated acquisition earnout payables).

August 3, 2013

According to a Crain's Chicago Business article, Arthur J. Gallagher is in advanced discussions to acquire Bollinger Insurance.  Bloomberg had previously reported (see February 6, 2013 post) that the owner of Bollinger, Evercore Partners, had begun gathering bids for the New Jersey-based insurance broker.  The Bloomberg report mentioned that AssuredPartners, owned by GTCR, was also another top suitor in the bidding process.

July 8, 2013

Risk Strategies Company ("RSC") becomes the latest insurance broker to partner with a private equity firm after announcing that Kohlberg & Company has acquired a majority interest in the firm.  Headquartered in Boston, RSC had 2011 revenue of $41 million according to Business Insurance's 100 largest brokers list.  As part of the transaction, Roger Egan will join RSC as Executive Chairman after having previous stints as CEO of Integro and President at Marsh Inc.

June 12, 2013

Brown & Brown's acquisition of Beecher Carlson Holdings from Austin Ventures continues the trend of private equity backed brokers changing ownership.  Beecher Carlson had net revenue of $105.6 million in 2012, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.  This transaction is expected to close in July of 2013.

May 3, 2013

A month after National Financial Partners ("NFP") announced that it was exploring a sale, the firm agreed to be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners in a transaction valuing NFP's equity at approximately $1.3 billion.  This private equity transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, another top 100 insurance broker may change hands as Hub International is reported to be in the initial stages of exploring a sale.  Apax Partners and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, the current owners of Hub, took the broker private in 2007.  Hub had 2011 revenue of approximately $571 million according to Business Insurance's ranking of the 100 largest U.S. brokers.

April 5, 2013

National Financial Partners ("NFP") announced in the middle of March that it was exploring the potential sale of the company as a result of private equity overtures.  TPG and Madison Dearborn Partners are currently rumored to be the final bidders for the company.  NFP, which provides benefits, insurance, and wealth management services, had revenue of $1.1 billion during 2012.

March 4, 2013

Digital Insurance, a specialist in employee benefits for small and mid-sized companies, had an acquisitive month in February with the purchase of three benefits firms.  Digital, itself, was recently acquired by Fidelity National Financial in January.  Digital had approximately $50 million in revenue during 2012 and acquired 18 benefits agencies during 2011 and 2012.

Private equity activity also continues with Genstar Capital's acquisition of Acrisure, which is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With a footprint primarily focused on the Midwest, Acrisure had 2010 revenue1 of $29 million and was previously owned by GCP Capital Partners.  Genstar is no stranger to the insurance brokerage sector having recently sold Confie Seguros in November 2012.

1 Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July 18, 2011

February 6, 2013

Rumors have been floating around that Evercore Capital Partners, the private equity owner of Bollinger, is exploring a sale of the top 100 insurance broker.  Bollinger had approximately $118 million in 2011 revenue according to Business Insurance.

Meanwhile, another private equity firm, Lightyear Capital announced in January the closing of its controlling investment in Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford ("CGSC").  CGSC had revenue of $344 million and EBITDA of $69 million in 2011.

December 27, 2012

There was a flurry of deals during November and December as sellers were motivated in part to take advantage of current capital gains tax rates.  As a result, several top 100 insurance brokers changed hands including:
  • The sale of USI Insurance Services to Onex.  USI had $659 million in revenue1 and was previously owned by GS Capital Partners, a Goldman Sachs private equity fund.
  • The sale of Alliant Insurance Services to KKR.  Alliant had $460 million in revenue1 and was previously owned by Blackstone.
  • The sale of Confie Seguros to ABRY Partners.  Confie Seguros had $180 million in P&C revenue2 and was previously owned by Genstar Capital.
In the middle market, Marsh & McLennan Agency continued its acquisition spree acquiring various agencies throughout the country such as Howalt+McDowell Insurance ($16 million in revenue and based in South Dakota), Protector Group ($14 million in revenue and based in Massachusetts), and Brower Insurance Agency ($24 million in revenue and based in Ohio).

On the wholesale side, AmWINS Group announced it was acquiring Gresham & Associates, which was ranked by Business Insurance as the sixth-largest managing general agent.  AmWINS itself is under new ownership having been recapitalized by New Mountain Capital earlier this year.

1 Business Insurance - 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business - July 16, 2012
2 Insurance Journal - Top 100 Privately Held Property/Casualty Agencies - August 6, 2012

October 11, 2012

National Financial Partners ("NFP") continues the buildout of its property & casualty ("P&C") insurance business with the acquisition of Lane McVicker, a personal lines P&C provider to high net worth clients.  Lane McVicker, having approximately $8 million of annualized revenue, was a portfolio company of Stone Point Capital.  NFP had previously acquired Lapre Scali & Company Insurance Services in the middle of last year to serve as a platform for its P&C business.  Lapre Scali had approximately $21 million in annualized revenue at the time of acquisition.

September 16, 2012

USI Insurance Services hasn't let rumors of its sale by a Goldman Sachs' private equity fund get in the way of its acquisition efforts.  It picked up two significant bank-owned insurance brokerage operations, one from TD Bank having $58.2 million in revenue and one from BBVA Compass having $26.7 million in revenue, during the past few months.

July 17, 2012

The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold most of the healthcare reform law passed by Congress will likely lead to further acquisition activity of benefits firms.  Some owners of benefits firms may decide that they need to align themselves with larger firms that have additional resources and capabilities to deal with the complexities of this healthcare reform legislation.  Some views on the future role of insurance agencies in the group benefits business can be viewed here with East Coast and West Coast perspectives.

May 1, 2012

A synopsis of acquisition activity by the three primary groups of acquirers within the insurance brokerage sector is summarized below.
  • Publicly traded brokers - Arthur J. Gallagher, Brown & Brown, and Marsh & McLennan have been aggressive in snapping up insurance brokers and are expected to maintain this pace during 2012.  Arthur J. Gallagher acquired $277 million of annualized revenue in 2011 with a significant portion driven by the purchase of international broker Heath Lambert Group, which is expected to contribute $158 million of annualized revenue.  Brown & Brown for its part acquired 38 insurance agencies in 2011 and announced in December 2011 the acquisition of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency, a program manager and managing general agent ("MGA") with approximately $105 million in revenue.  Marsh & McLennan announced the acquisition of Seitlin, a Business Insurance top 100 broker, in November 2011 and also made several fold-in acquisitions to grow its middle market segment.
  • Private equity backed and privately held brokers - HUB International, USI Insurance Services, Ascension Insurance, and AssuredPartners provided competition to the publicly traded brokers in the acquisition arena as well.  HUB (owned by Apax Partners and Morgan Stanley Principal Investments) bought 33 agencies during 2011.  USI (owned by a Goldman Sachs' private equity fund) and Ascension Insurance (owned by Parthenon Capital and Century Capital) also bought several agencies during the year.  AssuredPartners (owned by GTCR) acquired a couple of top 100 brokers in Neace Lukens and Dawson.  AssuredPartners is a new entrant in the space having been formed by Jim Henderson and Tom Riley, former executives at Brown & Brown, during 2011.
  • Banks - Wells Fargo and BB&T have two of the largest bank-owned insurance brokers and were also active acquirers in 2011.  Wells Fargo acquired smaller insurance agencies to augment its operations.  BB&T ramped up its acquisition activity with the purchase of Crump's wholesale insurance business, having $300 million in annual revenue, and Precept, a top 100 broker.