SOURCE: OPTIS Partners

OPTIS Partners

May 12, 2014 11:53 ET

Insurance Agency M&A Sets Scorching Pace in 2014, OPTIS Partners' Report Reveals

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 12, 2014) - There were 110 announced mergers and acquisitions of insurance agencies the US and Canada in the first four months of 2014, the strongest showing of any comparable period for at least seven years, OPTIS Partners' new survey reveals.

"While it's still early, 2014 could surpass the record set in 2012 if the rest of the year continues to perform as it has through April," said Timothy J. Cunningham, managing director of OPTIS, an investment banking and financial consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry. "Buyers continue to be hungry and aggressive for deals, and there's a robust inventory of sellers."

The report covers property/casualty agencies, agencies selling both P/C and employee benefits, and employee benefits agencies.

On the buy side, the privately held buyers and private-equity-backed firms accounted for nearly 80 percent of all announced M&A activity during the first four months of 2014. Nevertheless, all major categories of buyers increased their transaction counts except for the all other group (banks, insurance companies, others), which declined again in 2014, he said.

The leaders, Hub International and Assured Partners, have each purchased 12 agencies so far in 2014.

The full report can be read online at http://optisins.com/articles_and_thought_pieces/read.php?id=20.

OPTIS Partners (www.optisins.com) is ranked as one of the most active agent-broker M&A advisory firm by SNL Financial.

Focused exclusively on the insurance distribution marketplace, OPTIS offers merger & acquisition representation of buyers and sellers, including due-diligence reviews; appraisals of fair market value; financial performance review, including trend analysis and internal controls; ownership transition and perpetuation planning; quality control; E&O loss control; and process improvement. Offices are in Chicago and Minneapolis.

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