Joins Charlesbank Capital Partners As Co-Lead Equity Investors
In a landmark agreement signaling the continued consolidation of the insurance brokerage industry by private equity, World Insurance Associates LLC (“World”), announced a major investment from funds advised by Goldman Sachs Asset Management (“Goldman Sachs”). The deal will allow Goldman Sachs to inject more than $1 billion into World, effectively joining Charlesbank Capital Partners (“Charlesbank”), which first invested in World in April 2020, as co-lead equity investors.
As a result of the cash infusion, the company’s current total enterprise valuation now stands at approximately $3.4 billion.
A Decade of Growth and Innovation
This investment forms part of World’s strategic plan for its next chapter of growth and coincides with Goldman Sachs’s plan to lead a significant subordinated debt financing, aiming to further boost World’s acquisition strategy and organic expansion.
Since its establishment in 2011, World has demonstrated industry-leading growth through a blend of acquisitions and organic initiatives. Charlesbank’s original investment three years ago has played a crucial role in this acceleration. With over $500 million in revenue across three main business lines – retail insurance, wholesale insurance, and retirement/wealth advisory – World has risen as a diversified national brokerage platform.
World now employs more than 2,000 people across 260 offices in the United States, serving over 300,000 clients.
The company has extended its unique acquisition model and amplified its differentiated capabilities by acquiring Pensionmark, establishing the World Private Client Group, and enhancing its employee benefits practice.
Management and Shareholders’ Reaction
Rich Eknoian, World’s CEO and founder, expressed his enthusiasm about the announcement, stating, “The major investment Goldman Sachs is making in World will be an accelerant for us, and we intend to take full advantage of it. As we continue to aggressively execute our growth plan, this is a momentous affirmation that our unique, integrated business model is working.”
Representatives from both Goldman Sachs and Charlesbank expressed optimism regarding the investment. Anthony Arnold of Goldman Sachs lauded Rich and his team’s efforts in growing World, noting, “Rich and his team have done a fantastic job growing World over the past few years, creating a leading and integrated platform with a broad set of attractive client offerings. We believe our investment and access to both the insurance and wealth management capabilities within Goldman Sachs can help propel the company over the years ahead.”
Beat Cabiallavetta, Head of Hybrid Capital at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, noted World’s growing presence as a leading U.S. brokerage platform. “We are thrilled to be partnering with World. The company has firmly established itself as a leading U.S. brokerage platform with a highly differentiated business model and a proven track record of growth. We look forward to working together with management and Charlesbank on World’s next stage of growth and to execute on the significant opportunities ahead.”
As for Charlesbank Partners, the team their expressed its eagerness for the next chapter with Goldman Sachs. “While this marks a milestone for our investment in World, we are equally enthusiastic for our next chapter as co-lead investors with Goldman Sachs, ” added David Katz, Managing Director at Charlesbank. “World has made extensive investments in management, technology, service operations, and resources, becoming a fully integrated brokerage platform that is poised to benefit from industry tailwinds. We’re eager to continue collaborating with Rich and the team as they build on World’s differentiated operating model and impressive trajectory.”
Transaction Details and Future Plans
The transaction is slated to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Upon closing, both Charlesbank and Goldman Sachs will have equal representation on the World Board of Directors.
Evercore Group L.L.C. and Piper Sandler & Co. are serving as financial advisors to World, with legal counsel provided by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Goldman Sachs’ financial advisory is handled by Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, and legal counsel by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.
A Quick Review of the Parties Involved
World Insurance Associates, headquartered in Iselin, N.J., is a nationally recognized full-service insurance organization. Goldman Sachs Asset Management is a global investment and advisory service provider overseeing more than $2.5 trillion in assets. Charlesbank Capital Partners, based in Boston and New York, is a middle-market private investment firm with more than $15 billion of capital raised.
The investment in World Insurance underscores the bullish sentiment in the brokerage sector and marks a critical point in World’s ongoing growth journey. With strong partnerships and a clear vision, the company is well-positioned to build on its impressive trajectory.
World’s Presence in Massachusetts
Mirroring its trajectory nationally, World Insurance has seen explosive growth in our area over the past few years. The following is a list of the independent insurance agencies World has acquired in Massachusetts since 2021
2023 Agency Acquisitions in Massachusetts
- Not Slowed By High-Interest Rates: World Ins. Acquires Its Fifth Mass. Agency In 2023
- Wm F. Borhek & B. R. Alexander Agencies Join World Insurance Associates
- Bearce Insurance Agency Joins World Insurance Associates
- New Bedford’s Tomlinson & O’Neil Joins World Insurance Associates
2022 Agency Acquisitions in Massachusetts
- World Picks Up Another Two Agencies In New England (Durffe-Buffinton)
- World Insurance Associates Adds Another Mass. Agency To Its Ranks (Circle Insurance Agency)
- World Insurance Associates Acquires O’Brien And Gibbons Insurance Agency
- World Insurance Agency Acquisition Hat Trick: Two Massachusetts Agencies & A Rhode Island One (Tarpey and Rush-Kent Agency)
- World Insurance Associates Acquires The 174-Year-Old Allan M. Walker Insurance Agency
- World Insurance Associates Acquires Commercial Insurance Agency
- J.K. Olivieri Insurance Agency Joins World Insurance Associates