How are agencies targeting new business today? Will historical growth rates be sustainable? And just how much do agencies need to reinvest to achieve desired growth and enable perpetuation? These are some of the questions that a new industry survey plans to answer.
The 2013 MarshBerry Market & Financial Outlook Survey results indicated that there was an optimistic outlook for the insurance industry. For most lines of business, commission income was growing and the survey respondents were expecting profits to be similar or better in 2013 compared to 2012.
“Another optimistic indicator was the amount of planned new hires for 2014. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents indicated that they were increasing headcount,” says Megan Bosma, senior vice president at MarshBerry. “Continued employee reinvestment is a positive sign for the industry. Hiring new employees is necessary for future growth; however, missteps in employee hiring can be very expensive.”
In the 2013 study, MarshBerry found that despite significant optimism in key market fundamentals, year-over-year agency valuation increases, and performance metrics, the internal perpetuation challenge continued to be the biggest long-term threat to the independently held distribution marketplace.
The 2014 survey asks key questions such as:
- What growth and profit expectations do agencies have for this year?
- What external factors impact agency performance?
- What agencies want most from their carriers?
- What lines of coverage are difficult to place?
- Hiring trends in the coming year?
- Are agencies adequately investing in the next generation?
- What are the developing trends in resource allocation?
- What’s the Merger & Acquisition (M&A) landscape look like?
“In addition to lackluster and often sporadic reinvestment, most independent agencies have not built the financial discipline, inclusive of an adequate balance sheet, to fund internal perpetuation,” says Tommy McDonald, vice president at MarshBerry. “The average balance sheet value in the independent agency sector actually dropped as a percentage of net revenues in 2012 despite the highest growth year in recent history and a high concentration of agency owners indicating higher profitability.”
Participate in the 29th Annual Market & Financial Outlook Survey conducted by MarshBerry and co-sponsored by Insurance Journal to find out the answers to these questions and more.
This exclusive survey compiles anonymous general agency information along with financial, market, carrier and technology data and then summarizes the findings in a State of the Industry Outlook report.
Fully completed survey participants will receive a complimentary copy of the Market & Financial Outlook report.
The report provides key market fundamental data, agency performance and valuation detail, along with expert analysis on the make-up of the insurance distribution marketplace.
Agency owners and principals are invited to take the survey by August 1, 2014, here.
Founded in 1981, MarshBerry assists insurance agents, brokers and carriers in merger and acquisition advisory, financial consulting, organic growth consulting, information services and peer exchange networks.