The Boston-based firm has quickly grown to become a top broker in the U.S.
Boston-based Risk Strategies, Inc. announced the acquisition of two agencies in May and one in June, bringing its acquisitions so far in 2016 to a total of five.
Risk Strategies Acquisition of John Buttine, Inc. in New York
On May 24th, the brokerage firm announced the acquisition of New York City’s John Buttine, Inc., by DeWitt Stern, a Risk Strategies Company acquired in 2014. According to the terms of the transaction, former owner, Jack Buttine and his team, will join Risk Strategies Company and merge into its existing New York City office.
“Specialist industry knowledge is extremely important in managing the unique risks media businesses face,” said Jolyon F. Stern, chairman of Dewitt Stern Group. “The people at Buttine have a proven track record in this market space and will expand the universe of media and event-focused businesses that Risk Strategies can help.”
Founded in 1946, John Buttine, Inc. is an insurance brokerage firm focused on media-related businesses and services. The company is known for its expertise in working with advertising agencies, magazine publishers, trade and public show organizers and associations.
“It’s exciting to join an organization with a demonstrated track record of success in building out world class expertise in its practice areas and specialty groups,” said Jack M. Buttine, president of John Buttine Inc. “Having access to the resources of a top 25 national brokerage will enable us to do more for our current clients and extend our reach into our focus markets.”
Risk Strategies Acquires Atlass Insurance Brokerage in Florida
Exactly a week after the announcement of its acquisition of John Buttine, Inc., Risk Strategies issued a release announcing its acquisition of Atlass Insurance Brokerage.
Founded in 1981, Atlass Insurance is a well-known yacht and boat insurance specialist focusing on the owners and operators of boats, yachts, and commercial vessels worldwide. The firm is based in Fort Lauderdale with offices in Cocoa and Newport, RI and will continue to operate out of those locations after the merger of the two firms. As for Risk Strategies, the acquisition of Atlass marks the company’s first foray into the Florida marketplace.
“For the families and individuals our Private Client Group serves, owning a yacht or similar watercraft is not unusual,” said Bob Courtemanche, senior managing director-national private client practice leader, Risk Strategies. “Atlass brings unparalleled knowledge and specialty carrier access that will ensure our clients smoothly navigate the complexities of managing their marine risk and liability challenges.”
According to the announcement, Atlass operates through its retail and wholesale/managing general underwriter divisions, giving it unparalleled direct access to the leading U.S. and London recreational marine boat insurance and yacht insurance underwriters. In addition to insurance on yachts and other pleasure crafts, Atlass places commercial coverage for marine and non-marine property and casualty, and personal insurance.
“We’ve built a very successful business by understanding that focused specialization makes hard problems simple,” said Frank Atlass. “Risk Strategies has taken a similar approach in building its brokerage, so joining forces makes sense for us and our clients.”
Risk Strategies Company Acquires OakBridge Advisors in California
On June 2, 2016 Risk Strategies announced the expansion of its Employee Benefits practice in California with the acquisition of OakBridge Advisors. The June 2nd announcement marks the third acquisition deal for Risk Strategies in three weeks.
Based in Newport Beach, OakBridge Advisors focuses on the employee benefits market, including the proliferation of technology offerings further driving increased access and efficiency in this market.
“The Affordable Care Act and the rapid adoption of benefits technologies are placing a premium on firms that can blend deep market expertise with a clear sense of how to position clients for the future,” said John Greenbaum, Risk Strategies Company Employee Benefits national practice leader. “The demonstrated success of OakBridge Advisors in helping clients successfully navigate and simplify these complexities makes them a great fit for our business.”
OakBridge Founders Edward Kirkwood CLU®, ChFC® and Lawrence Hartley, OakBridge’s will continue on with Risk Strategies after the merger of its agency and will work in conjunction with Risk Strategies other California offices located in Irvine, Glendale, San Francisco, and Sacramento.
“We are pleased to join a firm that shares the same values as ours; putting clients’ interest first above all others,” said Hartley, president and co-founder of OakBridge Advisors. “Becoming part of Risk Strategies will allow us to expand our capabilities, which will benefit our current, and future, clients tremendously.”
Risk Strategies’ financial backing from private equity firm fuels growth
Founded in 1997, Risk Strategies has grown over the last 18 years to become one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the U.S. The privately-held Risk Strategies focuses on middle and upper-middle market commercial and high-net-worth clients with its vertical industry expertise including healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, professional liability, construction, entertainment, fine arts, private equity, private client and real estate.
In October of 2014 Risk Strategies acquired the DeWitt Stern Group, greatly expanding its Private Client practices into New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Sacramento. In July 2015, it went on to acquire the Burlingame, California-based MacCorkle Insurance Services giving it a foothold in the San Francisco area. In October 2015, the firm established a new Private Client practice in the Southern states of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama via its previous acquisition of the Crow Friedman Group.
In November 2015, Kelso & Co., one of the oldest and most established firms in the private equity industry as well as a leading investor in the insurance sector, announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Risk Strategies.