Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

The market continues to move along as expected. More buyers, more sellers, more deals and higher values. And what may not be much of a surprise to anyone, there is still not any clarity on potential tax changes. The clear as mud visibility has some racing to get deals done this year, while others are okay taking their time to complete a transaction next year. 

Through the end of October, MarshBerry has observed deal activity unlike any other year in history.  There have been 585 announced merger & acquisition (M&A) transactions in the U.S., representing a 12.9% increase compared to this time last year. As the push to close deals prior to year-end continues to rage on, even more deals are anticipated to be announced retroactively, which will only compound the historic deal pace in 2021.

Private Capital backed buyers have accounted for 434 of the 585 transactions (74.2%) through October, while independent agencies have held steady at 14.4% of the total deal count. The market is continuing to see a decline in deals completed by independent agencies since the pandemic began. From 2015-2020 approximately 23.2% of deals were completed by independent agencies. Limitations on spending due to uncertainty around the pandemic, as well as all-time levels of private capital dry powder in the market, may be the primary contributors to this decline.

Peter C. Foy & Associates Insurance Services, Inc., Acrisure LLC, and Integrity Marketing Group, LLC, are the top three most active buyers in the U.S. in 2021, totaling a combined 19.8% of the 585 total transactions. The top 10 most active buyers completed 293 of the 585 announced transactions (50.1% of total).

With the typical flurry of year-end deal activity being further exacerbated by speculation around changes to federal tax laws, it’s expected that 2021 will finish as the most active year in terms of announced deal count we have observed to date.

A few notable recent transactions in which MarshBerry served as the sell side financial advisor include:

  • October 1: BRP Group, Inc. completed its previously announced acquisition of Jacobson, Goldfarb & Scott, Inc. (JGS). Based in Holmdel, NJ, JGS is a specialty insurance broker and managing general agent primarily focused on providing commercial insurance services to middle-market clients across the country. With annual revenue of approximately $43.3M, JGS has a keen focus on offering complex and differentiated coverages in the construction and habitational real estate industries.    
  • October 7: Specialty Program Group (SPG) acquired the assets of CM&F Group. CM&F is a digital provider of healthcare liability insurance coverages for individuals and groups. The firm is responsible for developing the first nursing professional liability policy, which has served as a foundation of the business for over 70 years.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about activity in the M&A marketplace, email or call Phil Trem, President – Financial Advisory, at 440.392.6547.

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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. 2021 statistics are preliminary and may change in future publications.  Please feel free to send any announcements to M&A@MarshBerry.com.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Journal, Business Insurance, and other publicly available sources.

MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own. 

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