Barney & Barney CEO Speaks Out on MMA Acquisition

By Don Jergler | February 10, 2014

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC has acquired San Diego, Calif.-based Barney & Barney LLC, making Barney & Barney MMA’s Western regional hub.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Barney & Barney CEO Paul Hering, who will continue to head Barney & Barney operations, said the timing is right and he talked about the future of the firm.

“I think in a nutshell, after a lot of consideration, we felt like this was exactly the right opportunity at exactly the right point in time for our organization,” Hering said.

Marsh & McLennan Agency, a subsidiary of Marsh, was established in 2008 to meet the needs of midsize businesses in the U.S.  MMA, which has acquired numerous agencies since its founding, called Barney & Barney is its largest acquisition.

According to Hering, the deal also gives the 100-plus-year-old firm access to a great deal of capital

“One of the first things it does for us is it give us access to capital,” Hering said. “We’ve had tremendous growth and success as a private company, but virtually all of our growth has been organic.”

Barney & Barney is a provider of insurance, risk management and employee benefits to businesses and individuals. The firm has a reported annual revenue of $100 million and 500 employees, all of whom will join MMA, according to a company announcement.

Barney & Barney has had a lot of growth organically, and it will continue to focus on doing just that, but with access to capital the firm can also grow by acquisition, Hering said.

“We’re going to be looking for great partners in the region for which we’re responsible now, which is California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada,” Hering said. “We’re going to be looking to bring other organizations into the Marsh and McLennan Agency organization, and we’ll be able to do that now in a way that we were never able to do that before.”

Beside the plans to grown, Hering said employees and customers at Barney & Barney  don’t need to brace for any dramatic changes.

“First and foremost, I want to be clear that there are no layoffs, no reductions in force, no changes in terms of what this means to our own people,” Hering said. “Every single person in Barney & Barney keeps their job, keeps their title, keeps their current position.”

In fact, the firm may be doing some hiring at some point.

“As we grow and expand the business into new regions, there’s going to be even more of a need for leadership and leadership talent,” Hering said.

Barney & Barney was established in 1909, and early on insured tuna fleets in the San Diego harbor. In 2005 the firm expanded to Orange County, and in 2008 Barney & Barney merged with Salyor & Hill Co. The firm opened a San Francisco office in 2012.

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