Newly Formed Alera Group Brings Together 24 Employee Benefits, Property/Casualty, Risk Management and Wealth Management Firms

01.04.17

A historic M&A deal creates the nation’s 14th largest privately held insurance firm
and 7th largest privately held employee benefits firm

DEERFIELD, IL — Today, 24 independent employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firms announced that they have joined to form Alera Group, an independent national insurance brokerage and wealth management firm with over 20,000 clients. The new organization has $158 million in annual revenues and more than 750 employees in 40 offices across 15 states. This merger marks the first time that 24 independent firms in this industry have combined forces.

Addressing the Need for an Exceptional Client Experience

“Our clients’ needs are changing and, frankly, our industry has been slow to respond,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “We brought together this hand-picked group to do more – and to be more – for our clients and employees. Clients will see two benefits rarely delivered by a single organization. First, they will get the combined resources, technical experience and best practices of a larger firm. Second, they will continue to receive the personal service and independent decision-making power of a local business. Our goal is to set a new, higher standard for their experience.”

A Powerful, Sizable Combination

Alera Group is the 14th largest privately held insurance firm and 7th largest privately held employee benefits firm in the U.S. It was formed with investment from Genstar Capital, LLC, a leading middle market private equity firm, and brokerage assistance from consulting and investment banking firm Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc., Industry veterans Alan Levitz (Chief Executive Officer), Billy Corrigan (Chief Financial Officer), Rob Lieblein (Chief Development Officer) and Peter Marathas (Chief Legal Counsel) will be serving in key leadership roles within the executive team of Alera Group. The group brings a combined 100 years in the insurance and financial services industry to the new organization.
“We are partnering with an exceptional leadership team founded on the reputation of excellence, which is fostered within these 24 foundational firms,” said J. Ryan Clark, president and managing director at Genstar. “Our prior investments and experience in the insurance distribution space will help accelerate the growth of Alera Group as we provide capital to support the strategic and financial objectives of this new company.”

Rob Lieblein, chief development officer of Alera Group, adds, “Our committed focus on clients will lead to growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Alera Group’s business model provides a unique opportunity for other entrepreneurial financial services firms to grow their business. This is a chance to be part of a larger, innovative organization while retaining equity in Alera Group.”

These are the founding insurance and financial services firms within Alera Group:
A&B Insurance and Financial, Inc., Tampa, FL
American Insurance Administrators, Inc., Mechanicsburg, PA
Ardent Solutions, Sugar Land, TX
Beacon Retiree Benefits Group LLC, Plantsville, CT
Benico, Ltd., Huntley, IL
Benefit Advisors Network, Solon, OH
CBP, Stamford, CT
C. M. Smith Agency, Inc., Hartford / Central CT
Centennial, Costa Mesa, CA
Coury Health Services, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
CPI-HR, Solon, OH
Forum, Greenville, SC
GCG Financial, Inc., Deerfield, IL
Group Services, Inc., Bettendorf, IA
HMK Insurance, Bethlehem, PA
INGROUP Associates, Inc., Lancaster, PA
JA Counter, New Richmond, WI
Pentra, Inc., Villanova, PA
PWA Insurance Services, Gold River, CA
Relph Benefit Advisors, Fairport, NY
Shirazi-Miller Benefits, Greeley, CO
SIG, Baltimore, MD
TRUEbenefits, LLC, Seattle, WA
Virtus Benefits, LLC, Nashville, TN

“We are honored to be the investment banking firm brokering this transaction and assisting the management group in closing this momentous transaction,” said John Wepler, chairman and CEO of Marsh, Berry & Company. “We support the Alera Group and its undoubtedly bright future.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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About Alera Group
Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 750 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit www.aleragroup.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS

About Genstar Capital
Genstar Capital is a leading private equity firm that has been actively investing in high quality companies for more than 20 years. Based in San Francisco, Genstar works in partnership with its management teams and its network of operating executives and strategic advisors to transform its portfolio companies into industry leading businesses. Genstar manages funds with total capital commitments of over $5 billion and targets investments focused on selected sectors within the financial services, industrial technology, software and healthcare industries. For more information, visit www.gencap.com.

About Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc.
Founded in 1981, Marsh, Berry & Company’s primary objective has been to help insurance agents, brokers and carriers as they work to maximize their value through industry specific services, including merger & acquisition advisory¹ , management consulting, organic growth consulting, intellectual capital and peer exchange networks. Ranked as the top M&A Advisor by SNL Financial for the past 17 years² , Marsh, Berry & Company has advised on more than 500³ transactions since 1999 and completed more than 250 diagnostic and confirmatory due diligence projects over the last 12 years. For more information, visit www.MarshBerry.com

¹Securities offered though MarshBerry Capital, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC, and an affiliate of Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 400, Woodmere OH 44122, 440-354-3230

²Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) Announced Transactions in Insurance Brokerage (1999-2015). Ranked by total number of deals.

³These totals include certain transactions completed by Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. professionals while employed at another firm, whereby substantially all of the assets were acquired by Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc.


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