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MarshBerry is pleased to announce that the company completed 105 merger & acquisition (M&A) transactions (70 sell side/35 buy side) in 2020, closing another record year for the firm.

MarshBerry remains the number one sell side advisor for the 22nd year in a row and retains the top spot in the industry for total number of clients advised.1 The firm closed transactions representing sell side clients with more than 72 different buyers over the past five years, more than any other active advisor. What makes this feat even more incredible is it was achieved when economies across the globe nearly came to a standstill in Q2 due to COVID-19. However, merger & acquisition (M&A) activity regained its traction and continued at the ravenous pace that was originally anticipated for 2020.

“As the industry’s leading investment banker and strategic advisor for insurance firms in the U.S. and abroad, it’s more than just the volume of transactions. Our team of value creation architects are dedicated to working with our clients to help them embrace meaningful, and sometimes, painful change in order to grow their business, optimize their value and determine their future,” said John Wepler, MarshBerry Chairman & CEO.

With a full suite of solutions, the firm provides Merger & Acquisition Advisory, Business & Perpetuation Planning and Valuations and Debt and Equity Raising services. When considering a transaction, MarshBerry distinguishes itself on leveraging its proprietary approach to identifying the best overall fit for clients.

Based on year-end data, there have been 676 M&A transactions announced in the United States. The reported deal count indicates a 4.32% increase over 2019, which consisted of 648 announced transactions. It is worth noting that the announced 676 transactions de facto occurred in only ten months, as M&A activity was at a virtual stand-still for April and May.2

“In what was a challenging year, MarshBerry was proud to continue to serve our clientele,” said Phil Trem, MarshBerry President – Financial Advisory. “With hindsight being 20/20, it’s amazing to look back and see how agile our team members were to adjust to the circumstances and how our clients pivoted to integrate new processes and procedures to help them continue their momentum and create value for their partners and clients.”

Notable in 2020

MarshBerry Helps Form Oakbridge Insurance Agency (Oakbridge)

  • No stranger to transactions that bring together multiple independent agencies, MarshBerry led its third transaction of this nature in the last six years by helping four of Georgia’s premier insurance brokers, Founders Insurance, Hutchinson Traylor Insurance, McGinty-Gordon & Associates, and Waites & Foshee, to form Oakbridge. The transaction closed on December 31, 2020. The firm is now one of the largest privately-owned Insurance, Surety, Risk Management and Employee Benefits agencies in the Southeast as well as becoming one of the country’s “Top 100” firms as ranked by Business Insurance.

MarshBerry Acts as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Burnham Benefits Insurance Services, Inc. (Burnham)

  • Burnham, a full-service provider of employee benefits consulting, retirement consulting, wealth management and insurance brokerage services to mid-size and large enterprises, announced on December 9, 2020, that it entered into a partnership with BRP Group, Inc. Burnham (#79 in Business Insurance’s “Top 100” list of largest U.S. brokers), a member of MarshBerry’s Connect Network for nearly five years, has annual revenue north of $52 million and represents one of the largest partnerships in BRP’s history.

MarshBerry Acts as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Insgroup, Inc. (Insgroup)

  • Insgroup (#87 in Business Insurance’s “Top 100” list of largest U.S. brokers), a Connect Network member for almost ten years, was acquired by BRP Group, Inc. in November 2020. With a strong track record of growth, including increasing 2019 revenue by 31% versus 2018, Insgroup brings to BRP risk solutions to clients across a broad range of industries, with particular strengths in real estate, manufacturing, financial services, construction and development and professional and industrial services.

MarshBerry Acts as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Lighthouse Group (LHG)

  • LHG, a long-term Connect Network member, and one of the largest independent brokers in Michigan, was acquired by Alera Group in December 2020. LHG’s extensive team of experts deliver industry-leading, tailored solutions continues to meet the needs of clients throughout the country.

MarshBerry Acts as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Safeware Insurance Agency Inc. (Safeware)

  • One80 Intermediaries (One80), a national wholesale broker, program manager, third-party administrator (TPA), insurance consolidator, acquired Safeware, a fully licensed insurance agency and TPA for extended warranty and service plan solutions. One80 is affiliated with Risk Strategies – who was the most acquisitive property & casualty buyer of specialty firms in 2020.

MarshBerry Acts as Exclusive Financial Advisor to Beacon Hill Associates, Inc. (BHA)

  • Specialty Program Group LLC (SPG), a leading operator of specialty insurance brokerages and underwriting facilities, announced on July 8, 2020, that it has acquired the assets of BHA – a leading environmental wholesale brokerage firm, including BHA’s PartnerOne (P1) environmental underwriting division.

1Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, data pulled as of January 31, 2021; showing the top six advisors with the largest number of deals in 2020. “Clients Advised” represents the number of different buyers or sellers advised during 2020.

2Annual 2020 count as of January 21, 2021. Subsequent announcements may affect 2020 totals in future publications. All transactions are announced deals involving public companies, private equity backed brokers, private companies, banks as well as others including private equity groups, underwriters, specialty lenders, etc. All targets are U.S. only. This data displays a snapshot at a particular point in time and has not necessarily been updated to reflect subsequent changes in prior years, if any. MarshBerry estimates that historically, a low percentage of transactions were publicly announced, but we believe that this has risen to over 50% today. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Journal and other publicly available sources.

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