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M&A Market Update April 2022

The Latest Deals and Insights

Who’s buying? Who’s selling? And why should you care?

Phil Trem highlights the current M&A market and provides a look at transactions through the first four months of the year.

Brokerage M&A Off to Slow Start in Q1

As of March 31, 2022, there have been 91 announced merger & acquisition (M&A) transactions in the U.S. Activity in the first quarter was noticeably slower compared to the last four years. However, activity is anticipated to pick back up starting in the second quarter.

Private Capital backed buyers have accounted for 67 of the 91 transactions (73.6%) through March, which is consistent with the proportion of announced transactions that we have observed over the last five years.

67 of the 91

Accounted for Transactions were Private Capital Backed Buyers

Total deals by these buyers have increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.9% since 2018.

Announced transactions by Independent Agencies have declined considerably to start the new year.

On average, 23.1% of deals being were completed by Independent Agencies from 2018–2021 compared to 9.9% in 2022. High valuations and availability of capital could be two of the main drivers for this section of buyers’ decline in deal activity.

Strong deal activity from the marketplace’s most active acquirers has remained constant to begin 2022. Ten buyers have accounted for 53.8% of all announced transactions observed, while the top three account for 24.2% of the 91 total transactions.


Of All Announced Transactions were from Ten Buyers

2022 Acquisition Detail (YTD 3/31/2022)

Who’s Buying
Insurance Broker — Independent: 9
Insurance Broker — Public: 4
Insurance Broker — Private Capital Backed: 67
Insurance Company and Other: 7
Bank and Thrift: 4

What’s Being Bought
Full Service: 23
P&C: 53
Employee Benefits: 15

Retail vs. Specialty
Retail: 67
Wholesale: 13
MGA: 11

Four Recent Notable Transactions:

March 1:
Hub International Limited and Bold Penguin announced an agreement to acquire Insureon Holdings. Insureon is a digital insurance agency that delivers small–business insurance through its online marketplace. As a part of the transaction, Hub acquires Insureon’s digital insurance agency and brand, while Bold Penguin acquires its technology platform.

March 16:
Unison Risk Advisors (URA) announced a strategic investment partnership with Peloton Capital Management (PCM), a Canadian private equity firm. URA was formed in 2020 through the merger of Oswald Companies and RCM&D. The firm ranks among the country’s 30 largest insurance brokerage and risk management firms overall and in the top five largest independently owned firms. With the transaction, URA remains privately held, and majority employee–owned, with PCM gaining a minority ownership position. MarshBerry served as the exclusive advisor to URA.

April 12:
Distinguished Programs announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Aquiline Capital Partners LLC to acquire a majority stake in the Company. Distinguished Programs is one of the largest independent program managers in the country and underwrites and distributes 14 different programs with an approach centered on technology.

April 25:
Lockton Affinity announced its acquisition of SBG, Inc. The acquisition complements Lockton’s existing business and is part of a larger strategic vision to fully support RIA’s, financial advisors, and other financial professionals. Based in Minnetonka, MN, SBG provides wholesale distribution of annuities, life insurance, long–term care, and disability insurance.

2022 Year-to-Date Most Active Buyers

Buyer2022 YTD
2022 YTD
Inszone Insurance Services, Inc811716
Hub International Limited81494
Peter C. Foy & Associates Insurance Services, LLC63771
Higginbotham & Associates, Inc.63726
Integrity Marketing Group LLC55368
BroadStreet Partners, Inc.46465
The Hilb Group, LLC37289
Keystone Agency Investors LLC372313
Element Rise Management37432
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co372214
Acrisure, LLC37742

Disclosure: All deal count metrics are inclusive of completed deals with U.S. targets only. Scorecard year–to–date totals may change from month to month should an acquirer notify MarshBerry or the public of a prior acquisition. 2022 statistics are preliminary and may change in future publications. Please feel free to send any announcements to M& Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, http://www., and other publicly available sources as of 3/31/22.

Insurance Industry Trends and Insights: WayPoint by MarshBerry