24 Independent Insurance, Benefits Agencies Form National Brokerage, Alera Group

January 4, 2017

There is a new national independent insurance brokerage and wealth management firm that opens its doors with more than 20,00 clients, $158 million in annual revenues and 750 employees in 40 offices across 15 states.

The new firm is called Alera Group and has been formed by the coming together of 24 independent employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firms.  Its founders say it’s the first time that this many independent insurance and benefits firms have combined forces.

Alera Group was formed with investment from Genstar Capital, a middle market private equity firm, and brokerage assistance from consulting and investment banking firm Marsh, Berry & Co. Inc.

Industry veterans Alan Levitz (chief executive officer), Billy Corrigan (chief financial officer), Rob Lieblein (chief development officer) and Peter Marathas (chief legal counsel) will be serving in key leadership roles within the executive team of Alera Group. The group brings a combined 100 years in the insurance and financial services industry to the new organization.

The “hand-picked” agencies include five from Pennsylvania, three from Connecticut, two from California, Illinois and Ohio, and one from each of these 10 the states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

“Our clients’ needs are changing and, frankly, our industry has been slow to respond,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “We brought together this hand-picked group to do more – and to be more – for our clients and employees.”

Levitz said clients will get the combined resources, technical experience and best practices of a larger firm along with the personal service and independent decision-making power of a local business.

The agencies get an opportunity to grow, according to the founders.

“We are partnering with an exceptional leadership team founded on the reputation of excellence, which is fostered within these 24 foundational firms,” said J. Ryan Clark, president and managing director at Genstar. “Our prior investments and experience in the insurance distribution space will help accelerate the growth of Alera Group as we provide capital to support the strategic and financial objectives of this new company.”

Rob Lieblein, chief development officer of Alera Group, adds, “Our committed focus on clients will lead to growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but Lieblein said the firms get a chance to be “part of a larger, innovative organization while retaining equity in Alera Group.”

Marsh, Berry & Co. served as the investment banking firm brokering this transaction and assisting the management group in closing the transaction.

San Francisco-based Genstar Capital manages funds with total capital commitments of over $5 billion and targets investments within the financial services, industrial technology, software and healthcare industries.

The group is open to other agencies joining it. “We know the insurance distribution industry will continue to consolidate for the foreseeable future,” says the firm’s website that outlines what it says are the benefits to agencies that join including national capabilities to support local offices, collaboration among partners, better atmosphere for employees, an entrepreneurial culture, additional products and services, access to capital, and equity in Alera.

Alera Group is headquartered in in Deerfield, Illinois.

The firm’s website includes a map with links to each individual firm.

In addition to property/casualty insurance, employee benefits, wealth management and risk management products and services, Alera Group promises industry expertise and specialized programs in 30 different markets from agriculture to wholesale trades.

The firms that have joined Alera Group are:

California

  • Centennial, Costa Mesa
  • PWA Insurance Services, Gold River

Colorado

  • Shirazi-Miller Benefits, Greeley

Connecticut

  • Beacon Retiree Benefits Group LLC, Plantsville
  • CBP, Stamford
  • C.M. Smith Agency Inc., Hartford / Central

Florida

  • A&B Insurance and Financial Inc., Tampa

Illinois

  • Benico, Ltd., Huntley
  • GCG Financial, Inc., Deerfield
  • Group Services, Inc., Bettendorf

Maryland

  • SIG, Baltimore

New York

  • Relph Benefit Advisors, Fairport

Ohio

  • Benefit Advisors Network, Solon
  • CPI-HR, Solon

Pennsylvania

  • American Insurance Administrators, Inc., Mechanicsburg
  • Coury Health Services, Inc., Pittsburgh
  • HMK Insurance, Bethlehem
  • INGROUP Associates, Inc., Lancaster
  • Pentra, Inc., Villanova

South Carolina

  • Forum, Greenville

Tennessee

  • Virtus Benefits, LLC, Nashville

Texas

  • Ardent Solutions, Sugar Land

Washington

  • TRUEbenefits, LLC, Seattle

Wisconsin

  • JA Counter, New Richmond
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Latest Comments

  • January 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm
    actu says:
    Combined services, like wealth management, etc., leading to more services for customers, possible retention of customers, new customers, economies of scale, and on and on.
  • January 5, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    markb says:
    So these 24 agencies now have new overhead including 4 high powered guys, their staff, HQ expenses and offices? Maybe $70-$100k new cost per agency. And for this, they get w... read more
  • January 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm
    actu says:
    Congratulations Agent! You're so smart and have such a good agency I am sure they couldn't have passed you up. What did you get a couple million?
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