MarshBerry Announces Record Breaking 2019 Results

February 25, 2020


With industry transactions at an all-time high, MarshBerry remains #1 sell side adviser by completing 91 transactions

MarshBerry is pleased to announce it helped more than 72 clients realize their value in 2019. The company completed 91 transactions (60 sell side/31 buy side) in 2019, closing a record year for the firm. MarshBerry retains the top spot in the industry for total number of clients advised and keeps its title as the number one sell side adviser for the 21st year in a row.1 MarshBerry distinguishes itself on leveraging its proprietary approach to identifying the best overall fit for clients. The Financial Advisory division has closed transactions representing sell side clients with more than 60 different sell side buyers over the past five years, more than twice as many as the next most active adviser.

“MarshBerry is proud to continue to serve as the premier investment banker and strategic adviser for insurance firms across the United States,” said John Wepler, MarshBerry Chairman & CEO. “We are excited to evolve and expand our services to better help firms learn, improve and realize their value as industry dynamics continue to shift over the next decade.”

With 2019 in the books and a new annual record of 642 announced transactions across the industry, MarshBerry industry tracking reports the deal count for the past five years (2015–2019) has exceeded the prior 10 years (2005–2014) by 133 transactions or 5.2%.2

As with overall deal count, valuations saw yet another increase through the year end 2019. The average Base Purchase Price jumped to 9.05x Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“EBITDA”), an increase of 5% over the upfront proceeds that sellers received in 2018. The trend suggests buyers are not backing away from taking on the risks of an asset performing following closing. Buyers are stepping up to offer higher proceeds at closing as the acquisition market remains very competitive.

Notable in 2019

MarshBerry started 2019 with a bang by serving as the investment banking firm that created a national broker, Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC (“Patriot”), by bringing together 17 independent insurance brokers. Subsequent to the closing, Patriot was extremely aggressive in the acquisition space, closing 2019 as the sixth most active U.S. buyer with 27 announced acquisitions.1

Following closely as the eighth most active U.S. buyer this year, Alera Group, Inc. (“Alera”) has achieved continued growth since its inception three years ago. MarshBerry was the investment banker and assisted the management group for Alera in December 2016, bringing together 27 independent insurance brokers.

MarshBerry also represented Genstar Capital, LLC (“Genstar”) in its September acquisition of Worldwide Facilities, LLC (“Worldwide Facilities”) from Lovell Minnick Partners, LLC. Worldwide Facilities, the fifth largest specialty distributor in the U.S. per Business Insurance, has acquired six firms since 2017. As the financial and strategic adviser to Genstar, MarshBerry utilized proprietary and industry knowledge to orchestrate a transaction that supports continued growth for Worldwide Facilities as the firm continues to remain an active player in the merger & acquisition (“M&A”) space.

1Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, data pulled as of January 21, 2020; showing the top six advisers with the largest number of deals in 2019. “Clients Advised” represents the number of different buyers or sellers advised during 2019.

2Annual 2019 count as of January 21, 2020. Subsequent announcements may affect 2019 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.