Deals for property & casualty and benefits brokers in US and Canada dip 15% in first quarter, OPTIS Partners reports
CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / April 13, 2021 / There were 150 announced insurance agency mergers and acquisitions during the first quarter of 2021, down 15% from 176 in 2020, according to OPTIS Partners' M&A database.
It was the lowest first quarter total since 2016 and, while timing of announcements may account for some of the decline, much of it is a reaction to the race for many to close sales in the last quarter of 2020 to avoid an increase in taxes many expected in 2021.
The data covers U.S. and Canadian agencies selling primarily property-and-casualty insurance, agencies selling both P&C and employee benefits, and those selling only employee benefits.
'Following a record-breaking 2020, we suspect buyers took a breather to integrate acquired businesses,' said Timothy J. Cunningham, managing partner of OPTIS Partners, an investment banking and financial consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.
Activity by Buyer and Seller Types
The report breaks down buyers into four groups: private equity-backed/hybrid brokers, privately held brokers, publicly held brokers, and all others.
Each of the 10 most active buyers closed fewer deals last quarter than their recent historical averages. Broadstreet, backed by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Fund, led all buyers with 12 transactions in the first quarter compared to 16 for the same period in 2020.
Other top buyers were Acrisure (9 deals), Hub International (9), Assured Partners (6), and PCF Insurance (5). The private equity-backed/hybrid group of buyers maintained their dominance in the buying spree with 61% of all transactions for the quarter, while transactions between private parties accounted for 30%.
P&C sellers accounted for 91 transactions (61% of the total). Benefits agencies sales totaled 25 (17%), and there were 15 sales of P&C/benefits agencies (10%).
An increase in taxes is more likely in 2022, and thus a second wave of sellers should emerge in second half of 2021, fueling another robust year of M&A transactions, Cunningham said.
The full report can be read at https://optisins.com/wp/2021/04/mar-2021-ma-report/
OPTIS Partners was ranked in the top six most active agent-broker M&A advisory firms for 2014 - 2020 by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Focused exclusively on the insurance-distribution marketplace, Chicago-based OPTIS Partners (www.optisins.com) offers merger & acquisition representation for buyers and sellers, including due-diligence reviews. It provides appraisals of fair market value; financial performance review, including trend analysis and internal controls; and ownership transition and perpetuation planning.
Tim Cunningham, OPTIS Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-235-0081
Dan Menzer, OPTIS Partners, email@example.com, 630-520-0490
Steve Germundson, OPTIS Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-758-0598
Henry Stimpson, Stimpson Communications, 508-647-0705 Henry@StimpsonCommunications.com
SOURCE: OPTIS Partners
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