M&A activity momentum “unstoppable” says latest OPTIS Partners Report
Following its review of insurance agency and mergers acquisition activity in 2015, OPTIS Partners says in a new report that 2016 is already turning out to be a banner year for M&A activity. Based in Chicago, OPTIS Partners is an investment banking and financial consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.
The first quarter of 2016 saw an all-time high of 109 reported transactions says the agent-broker M&A advisory firm. In comparison, during the first quarter of 2015 there were 107 deals all of which contributed to the record 455 M&A transactions recorded in 2015.
“The actual number of sales was undoubtedly greater than the 109 reported during the quarter since many buyers and sellers do not announce transactions,” said Daniel P. Menzer, CPA, partner with OPTIS. “However, because our database tracks a consistent pool of the most active acquirers, it’s a reasonably accurate barometer of activity.”
The latest report looks at five different M&A buying groups
As it has done in past, the latest OPTIS report breaks down buyers into five different groups. These groups are:
- Private-equity backed brokers,
- Privately held brokers,
- publicly held brokers,
- And all others.
Private Equity (PE)-backed buyers continued to monopolize M&A activity with a reported 50 transactions in the First Quarter of 2016. This number represents a 25 percent increase over the same time period in 2015. The top buyers so far in 2016 have been Acrisure with 13 transactions, followed by AssuredPartners with 11 transactions and Hub International with eight transactions.
Following on PE-backed buyers, privately held brokers were the second group with the largest amount of M&A activity in the First Quarter of 2016. This group completed 34 deals, down from the 41 completed in the first quarter of 2015. As for Publicly traded brokers, 10 deals were completed in 2016, down from the 12 completed during the same time period in 2015. There were seven acquisitions reported by banks, the exact same number as in the first quarter of 2015. As for transactions by all others, eight were reported this quarter, one more than last year at this time.
OPTIS Partners did note that agency acquisitions continue to focus on Property & Casualty shops along with P&C/benefits brokers with the former including 63 announced transactions and the later 21. The report also notes there 10 employee benefits agency sales reported during the quarter as well.
In summing up the report’s findings, Timothy J. Cunningham, managing director of OPTIS commented that “M&A activity seems to have unstoppable momentum.”
What’s happening in Massachusetts?
After reviewing the latest numbers from the OPTIS Partners report, Agency Checklists thought it might be interesting to list all of the agency acquisitions we have reported on so far this year. While we do our best to report on every agency acquisition, please note this is by no means an official list of every transaction reported in Massachusetts during 2016.
More than anything, we thought it might be useful and interesting for our readers to compare what is happening in the Commonwealth versus what is happening in the rest of the company. For example, in the first quarter of 2016 we reported on nine different transactions. Unlike the OPTIS Report, however, with a few exceptions, the majority of these transactions were between regional, family-owned agencies.
The following is a list of all the transactions through May of this year.
2016 Transactions in Massachusetts
Two Mass. Agents in Leominster Join Forces (The Judy A. Mendolusky Insurance Agency and The Anderson, Bagley & Mayo Insurance)
Brown & Brown, Inc. Acquisition of Social Security Advocates for the Disabledv (Norwell)