Mergers and Acquisitions

Think MarshBerry. Think Forward.

Sell Side Advisory

The decision to sell or perpetuate can be difficult. Knowing the buyers and finding the right fit is part of the magic at MarshBerry. You get the most experienced and #1 ranked M&A Sell-Side Advisory team in the insurance sector.

Time to Sell

MarshBerry will help you navigate the decision and the process with a balanced combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis to maximize the return on all those years of hard work.


MarshBerry helps you:  

  • Understand what your firm is worth
  • Assess if/when you should sell your firm
  • Evaluate options to transfer ownership within your firm
  • Ensure there is a plan in place after the deal


Perpetuation Planning is a continual process that enables a fluid transition of management, leadership, production, and ownership of your firm.

Preparing and executing a perpetuation plan tailored to the unique characteristics of your firm.

MarshBerry helps you with:

  • Understanding the Insurance Environment
  • Financial Guidelines
  • Sales Management
  • Legal Issues
  • Methods
  • Value Considerations

Buy Side Advisory

Acquiring an agency can be a means to drive growth, create opportunities and leverage economies of scale. MarshBerry’s M&A Buy-Side Advisory services brings you intrinsic expertise and market reach you can’t get on your own.

Time to Acquire

Growing your firm through acquisition requires a keen understanding of market conditions and trends. MarshBerry is the trusted advisor you need for finding the right agency to achieve your growth goals.


MarshBerry helps you:  

  • Develop strategic rationale for acquisition
  • Identify economies of scale and analyze book of business to determine profitability
  • Structure the deal with accurate agency valuation
  • Find the right agency fit
  • Position your firm as a buyer; ensure Due Diligence and Quality of Earnings are included
  • Leverage debt to acquire the firm and grow your business
  • Complete the closing
  • Develop Continuity Planning and Business Integration for post-deal management


  • Acquisition Planning
  • Deal Return Modeling
  • Strategic Options Analysis
  • Alternative Buyer Comparison
  • Capital Raising


  • Diagnostic & Confirmatory Due Diligence
  • Intangible Asset Allocation for GAAP
  • Fairness Opinion
  • Definitive Agreement


  • Market Comparables/Benchmarking
  • After-Tax Return Optimization
  • Return and Earnings Per Share Analysis
  • Agency Fair Market Valuation


  • Buy & Sell Side Representation
  • Buy Side Search and Screen
  • Letter of Intent/Negotiation
  • Creative Deal Structure & Alternatives


  • Sale Preparation Management
  • Offering Memorandum Development
  • Strategic Pitch Book Design
  • Candidate Profile Creation


  • Post Closing Integration
  • Goodwill Impairment Testing
  • Peer-to-Peer CEO Exchange
  • Earn-Out Maximization Consultation
M&A animated gif

Proof Is In The Numbers

Results & Achievements

M&A Sell Side Adviser (2008-2020) as tracked by S&P Global Market Intelligence
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Total M&A Transactions
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Total Sell Side Transactions in 2020
Total Buy Side Transactions in 2020
Total M&A Transactions Advised On Since 1999
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Bank-related insurance M&A Transactions since 1997
of Total Advised & Tracked M&A Deal Flow Receiving Advisory Credit since 1999 as reported by S&P Global Market Intelligence
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Benefit Agency Transactions with more than $2.8B of Transaction Value Advised On Since 2008
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Diagnostic and Confirmatory Due Diligence Projects since 2004
in Advised Transaction Value (2012-2020)
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M&A Transactions Since 1995 with the 100 largest Brokers of U.S. Insurance Business as identified by Business Insurance

Completed sell side transactions in the Merger & Acquisition Transactions in Insurance Brokerage 1999-2020 in which a financial adviser was used; Ranked by Total Number of Deals.

105 Total M&A Transactions in 2020.

These totals include certain transactions completed by MarshBerry professionals while employed at another firm, whereby substantially all of the assets were acquired by MarshBerry. Total completed buy side and sell side transactions in the United States as reported by S&P Global Market Intelligence. This data displays a snapshot at a particular point in time each year, of the total number of buy side and sell side deals as reported by S&P Global Market Intelligence. It has not been updated to reflect subsequent changes, if any.

These 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. Total completed buy side and sell side transactions in the United States as reported by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Based upon realistic purchase price.

Based upon maximum purchase price; MarshBerry advised deals through 12/31/20.

Hey guys, just wanted to give you kudos for a great program – very positive material. I had no idea what I was in for and I’m having fun and also learning a lot – that will help me become a better sales manager and also with future recruiting. I know our other agent participating is learning a lot and he is excited about his future increased production, so that’s encouraging – well worth the investment!

Private Client—AVP MO

The most valuable part of my MarshBerry training was my one on one calls. My consultant provided great insight and background that helped me prepare and properly evaluate my opportunities. As a seasoned sales professional, I truly appreciated their willingness to challenge my typical sales thought process which helped accelerate my learning curve. Selling insurance is like no other sale I’ve made and having a resource like MarshBerry was incredibly beneficial. I would recommend the MarshBerry program to any brokerages looking to properly onboard insurance professionals.

Private Client

Thank you so much for the superior training last week. I have to say, it was the best I have ever experienced. I’m sure it was mostly you, but I can’t help but think that my 20 years of right and wrong sales approaches and previous sales training, and other experiences prepared me to hear what you had to share last week. I think it all came together really well when I listened to your approach. I truly enjoyed it!

Private Client—Commercial Producer, Fresno, CA

Our partnership with MarshBerry and specifically the Organic Growth/Sales Management department has really transformed the way we help our producers succeed and in turn the agency has grown. It has been a joint effort by both teams working towards a very intense and specific goal. You all gave us the resources/scripts/planning tools/one on ones/manager feedback which helped us grow and also retain them. We were in a very unique situation competing with National Brokers and in my opinion, we are winning. I’m happy to be referral sources because I believe our partnership works.

Private Client—President, Miami, FL
Private Client

The advice we got through the transaction was invaluable. MarshBerry was by our side the entire time. They know our people, our culture, they’ve been to our office. MarshBerry also played a key role in our arriving to the decision to sell and who to sell to. When we first engaged with MarshBerry, we said, ‘We don’t want the whole world coming in here. You know us. Culture is very, very important. Bring us who you think would be a cultural fit.’ They boiled it down to seven firms.

Private Client
Private Client

They are honest as the day is long, they give complete information and make it easy to analyze. The team is great. I trust them.

Private Client
Private Client

MarshBerry had deeper insight into the market than we did. They had expertise at negotiating value and they sourced qualified buyers. The timeline on the process was right and they prepped us well for conversations.

Private Client
Private Client

They have a keen knowledge and deep insight into the insurance market space. They understand core value drivers and translate that well to future buyers.

Private Client
Private Client

The benefit of working with MarshBerry is absolutely, the consultative style. It shows up because most investment bankers don’t have due diligence teams. MarshBerry does and it deepens their understanding of the value.

Private Client
Private Client

They have deep technical expertise that enables them to make observations about what operations are really driving the numbers, they are really good at that.

Private Client
Private Client

MarshBerry is very substantial, they have a very consultative style, and they are knowledgeable. There is sizzle and substance to them. Not many of their competitors understand the business as well as MarshBerry does.

Private Client

Contact the Advisory Team

MarshBerry’s team of advisors are thought leaders and experts in the insurance brokerage and financial services industries. As a client, your firm benefits from their combined hands-on experience and professional designations in finance, accounting and economics. No matter what your needs are, they have the understanding to craft a personalized solution.

Contact Us

John Wepler
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Phil Trem
President, Financial Advisory
Christopher Darst
Managing Director
Sarah Lucas
Managing Director
Eric Hallinan
Rob Hamilton
John Wepler
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

A vital resource in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), as of December 31, 2017, John Wepler has personally advised on 207 M&A transactions since joining MarshBerry in 1991. He is an in-demand industry speaker because of his extensive knowledge in organic growth management, valuation enhancement strategies, business planning, perpetuation, financial management and M&A.

Phil Trem
President, Financial Advisory

As President of MarshBerry's Financial Advisory Division, Phil brings extensive knowledge in merger & acquisition (M&A) advisory and operations, specifically in the business and technology arenas and is a trusted partner for buyers and sellers who depend on his proficiency at deal negotiation, due diligence, deal execution and integration planning. His experience encompasses the full life cycle of an M&A transaction for independently-owned insurance agents & brokers, specialty distributors, wealth management advisors, retirement planning specialists, private equity firms, banks & credit unions and insurance carriers.

Christopher Darst
Managing Director

Christopher Darst joined MarshBerry in 1998 as a Financial Analyst responsible for the preparation of business valuation reports, perpetuation plans, and general consulting projects. In 2001, he moved to California to help launch the Dana Point office. With increased experience and responsibility, Chris expanded his responsibilities to include merger and acquisition ("M&A") work for various MarshBerry clients.

Sarah Lucas
Managing Director

Sarah Lucas joined Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. (“MarshBerry”) in 2006 as a Financial Analyst. She was promoted to Consultant in 2009, Senior Consultant in 2011, Vice President in 2013, and Senior Vice President in 2018. Sarah is a key contributor to the merger & acquisition and consulting practices of MarshBerry. Her primary responsibilities include merger and acquisition valuation and analysis, due diligence, document review, deal negotiation, integration planning and intangible asset valuation. Sarah is also the Due Diligence Practice Leader for MarshBerry.

Eric Hallinan

Eric Hallinan joined MarshBerry in 2011, bringing with him significant experience in insurance firm operations, finance, and technology. He is a trusted partner for buyers and sellers who depend on his proficiency at deal negotiation, due diligence, deal execution and integration planning. His involvement covers the full gamut of a merger & acquisition ("M&A") transaction, and he works hard to provide clients with a seamless, comprehensive experience.

Rob Hamilton

Rob Hamilton joined Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. (MarshBerry) in 2002 as a Consultant. He was promoted to senior consultant in 2005 and vice president in 2007. Rob is a key contributor to the merger and acquisition and consulting practices at MarshBerry. His primary responsibilities include merger and acquisition valuation and analysis, due diligence, deal negotiation and integration planning.