Business Moves

March 23, 2015

Integro, Design Insurance Agency

Insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro has acquired Design Insurance Agency Inc., a specialist brokerage providing professional liability coverage and risk management services to architects, engineers and other design consultants in private practice. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

New York-based Design Insurance Agency Inc., founded by Thomas G. Coghlan in 1984, offers professional liability coverage to licensed design professionals, errors and omissions liability coverage to specialty design and construction consultants, and the accompanying lines of property/casualty coverage for design firms.

Coghlan will continue to lead the Design Insurance team and report to Michael Klaschka, co-head of Integro’s Management Risk practice in New York.

World Insurance Associates, John Cecchettini Agency

World Insurance Associates LLC, an independent insurance agency based in Tinton Falls, N.J., completed its acquisition of the John Cecchettini Agency of South Plainfield, N.J. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The John Cecchettini Agency is an independent agency that has been providing personal and commercial insurance products to New Jersey residents for more than 50 years. The agency specializes in classic car, garage and contractors insurance. Steve and Gina Cecchettini, owners/sellers of the John Cecchettini Agency, and their team will continue to serve clients from their location in South Plainfield.

Founded in 2011, World Insurance Associates offers personal and business insurance services in 34 states, and specializes in insurance for transportation companies, hospitality companies, and coastal and high-value home markets. The firm serves more than 10,000 customers and places more than $50 million in annual premiums.

Higginbotham, Aycock & Fowler

Fort Worth, Texas-based Higginbotham and Aycock & Fowler, in Lubbock, Texas, have merged.

Both are independent insurance firms providing property and liability insurance, risk management, and employee benefit services to businesses and individuals.

Higginbotham in recent years has expanded throughout Texas by partnering with like-minded brokers that add geographic scale and service capabilities to its practice. The union with Aycock & Fowler marks Higginbotham’s entrance into Lubbock, bringing its number of locations in Texas to 22, and adding 12 employees to its workforce of 650.

Brent Aycock and Jeff Fowler partnered in 2002 to open their namesake agency in Lubbock. Aycock, a commercial property and casualty broker, and Fowler, an employee benefits broker, combined their two disciplines to become one all-inclusive insurance service provider.

Aycock and Fowler will serve as managing directors and continue operating as Aycock & Fowler with current staff.

Hilb, West Coast

The Hilb Group, LLC (THG) has acquired West Coast Insurance (WCI) of Tampa, Fla. The transaction became effective on March 1. WCI will continue to operate at its current location under the leadership of previous owner and president, George Lackey. WCI is THG’s second acquisition in 2015.

Founded in 1993, WCI is focused on commercial and personal lines in Florida. It also has developed a national insurance practice focused on supporting the marine industry. The Hilb Group was founded in 2009 by Robert H. Hilb, the former founder, CEO and Chairman of Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs (HRH), and Robert J. Hilb, a former corporate VP of HRH.

The Hilb Group seeks to grow through targeted acquisitions in the middle market insurance brokerage space. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Va., with 22 offices in Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Arthur J. Gallagher, Excel Insurance Services, Metcom Excess, NationAir

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of two New Jersey-based wholesale brokers: Excel Insurance Services Inc., located in Hamilton; and McCloskey Surplus & Excess Inc. (d/b/a Metcom Excess), located in Ridgefield Park. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

Established in 1999, Excel Insurance Services is a commercial property/casualty and personal lines wholesale broker that offers coverages for difficult-to-place risks to its agent and broker clients throughout the Northeastern United States. The firm specializes in the hospitality, real estate, construction and auto industries. Dennis Pellegrino, Jr. and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Joel Cavaness, president of Risk Placement Services Inc., a subsidiary of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Founded in 1979, Metcom Excess is a managing general agent and wholesale insurance broker that provides excess and surplus, property/casualty, commercial binding and brokerage, professional liability and other specialty insurance products and services to its agent and broker clients throughout the Northeastern U.S. The firm also specializes in personal lines and insurance coverages for the transportation industry. Charles McCloskey, Jr. and his colleagues will also operate from their current location under the direction of Risk Placement Services’ Cavaness.

In a separate agreement, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of NationAir Aviation Insurance (NationAir) based in West Chicago, Ill. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1978, NationAir is a retail insurance broker offering commercial property/casualty and risk management insurance services for the aviation industry. It provides insurance for the entire spectrum of aircraft owners and operations worldwide, and specializes in corporate, commercial, private and public entity coverages.

Jeffrey Bauer and his associates will continue to operate in West Chicago under the direction of Michael Pesch, head of Gallagher’s Midwest region retail property/casualty brokerage operation.

Headquartered in Itasca, Ill., Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. is an international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm. It offers client service capabilities in more than 140 countries through a network of brokers and consultants.

Hub, Laubacher

Hub International Ltd. has acquired the assets of Laubacher Insurance Agency Inc., which services the California counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agencies will become part of the California operations of Hub California. The firm’s owners, Tom Laubacher and Harry Crosby, will join Hub California as senior vice presidents, reporting to Darren Caesar, senior executive vice president. With this acquisition, Hub California will employ more than 950 employees in the state.

Laubacher is a full-service property/casualty, employee benefits and personal lines agency and brokerage with locations in Oxnard and Solvang. The firm’s focus is on farm and ranch insurance.

Chicago, Ill.-based Hub is a global insurance brokerage through offices located throughout North America.

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Insurance Journal West March 23, 2015
March 23, 2015
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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