Unparalleled number of acquisitions for the first three months of 2017 says OPTIS Partners’ latest quarterly report
Insurance agency mergers and acquisitions are exploding in 2017 says OPTIS Partners‘ in its first quarterly report of 2017. According to firm’s M&A Database, there were 178 reported transactions recorded during the first three months of 2017, 63 more than the 115 reported in the first quarter of 2016.
“The actual number of sales was undoubtedly greater than the 178 reported during the quarter since many buyers and sellers do not announce transactions,” said Daniel P. Menzer, CPA, partner with OPTIS Partners. “However, because our database tracks a consistent pool of the most active acquirers, it’s a fairly accurate barometer of activity.”
The investment banking and financial consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry bases its data on U.S. and Canadian agencies that primarily sell property & casualty insurance, or both Property & Casualty and employee benefits as well as those selling only employee benefits. Basing its predictions on the first quarter results, the company says that 2017 may turn out to be the best year yet for buying or selling an agency.
“By all measures, 2017 will likely be another banner year for M&A,” said Timothy J. Cunningham, managing director of OPTIS Partners, an . “Buyers are still being very aggressive in their valuations of prospective acquisition partners.”
Who bought what in the first quarter of 2017?
Each quarter, The OPTIS Partners report breaks down insurance agency buyers into five different groups:
- private-equity (PE) backed brokers,
- privately held brokers,
- publicly held brokers,
- banks, and
- all others.
Continuing the trend, the largest group of insurance agency buyers across the U.S. continues to be PE-backed buyers who logged an impressive 93 transactions in 2017’s First Quarter. Compare this to 2016, when PE-backed buyers acquired 56 agencies during the same time period. Acrisure again led this group with 29 announced transactions, followed by a new entrant, the Alera Group, that closed and additional 24 deals.
In second place, privately held brokers comprised the second largest group of buyers this quarter, completing 49 deals. This number is up from a comparative 35 deals in Q1 2016. As for publicly traded brokers, this group also saw an increase in completed deals with 17 reported transactions this quarter, up from 10 last year. As for Bank acquisitions, this group maintained the same rythmn with seven reported acquisitions, the same as last year.
In the other category, insurance companies also saw an increase in reported transactions with buying 11 agencies this quarter versus just four a year ago.
Who sold what in the first quarter of 2017?
Property & Casualty agencies were the majority of sellers again in the first quarter of 2017 with 79 announced transactions. They were followed by P&C/benefits brokers agencies which announced 28 deals this quarter. In an interesting trend to watch, sales of employee benefits agencies saw an important surge in the beginning of this year, with 58 announced deals, as opposed to the First Quarter of 2016, when only 13 transactions were reported.
What is happening in Massachusetts?
The following are the agency acquisitions that Agency Checklists has tracked and written about in 2017.
Please note that while we try and keep our own data up-to-date as much as possible, we cannot guarantee that we have included every transaction that has taken place in the Commonwealth so far this year. According to OPTIS Partners and Agency Checklists’ records, there were a total of seven announced mergers and acquisitions announced in the Commonwealth during 2017. If you know of an agency that was bought or sold and does not appear on this list, please help us out by letting us know here.
January 2017 (Q1)
February 2017 (Q1)
March 2017 (Q1)