Business Moves

December 3, 2018

Hilb Group, Burns & Eustice Insurance Agency

Hilb Group LLC has acquired Michigan-based Burns & Eustice Insurance Agency.

B&E has been offering property/casualty insurance products and services to businesses and individuals throughout northern Michigan since 1931. Led by Managing Director Tony Eustice, B&E’s associates will continue to operate out of their two existing locations in Cheboygan and Onaway.

The Hilb Group is a middle market insurance agency headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm, Abry Partners. The Hilb Group seeks to grow through targeted acquisitions in the middle market insurance brokerage space. The company now has 62 offices in 17 states.

Sleeper Sewell, ANBTX, DMS Insurance Holdings

A longtime Texas insurance agency is now operating under its former name, Sleeper Sewell Insurance, following the purchase of the assets of ANBTX Insurance Services by agency president, Von E. Breaux, and industry veteran D. Michael Sherman, owner of DMS Insurance Holdings.

Founded in 1962 by Dwight Sleeper, Sleeper Sewell Insurance, located in Dallas, formerly operated as a division of ANBTX Insurance Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American National Bank of Texas.

Sleeper Sewell will operate as an LLC and Breaux will remain president of the privately held, independent insurance agency.

Breaux will lead the shareholder team of Myles Mendenhall, Michael Darnell, Kristin Lonergan, Kevin Edwards and Jeri Payne, and will work closely with Michael Sherman in the strategic direction and overall growth plan of Sleeper Sewell Insurance and DMS Insurance Holdings.

Sleeper Sewell Insurance will continue in a strategic partnership with American National Bank of Texas and support their customers’ insurance needs.

A holding company for D. Michael Sherman, DMS Insurance Holdings LLC has ownership in Melcher & Prescott Insurance (New Hampshire) and Sleeper Sewell Insurance (Texas). A focus on internal perpetuation of independent insurance agencies is the business model for DMS.

Hub International, Jones Retirement

Hub International Investment Services Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, and a subsidiary of Chicago-based global insurance brokerage Hub International Limited (Hub), has acquired the Oklahoma-based retirement plan consulting and financial services business of Felix Jones, Jones Retirement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Located in Tulsa, Jones Retirement specializes in long-term investment solutions focused on qualified plans, which adds to Hub’s foundation and expands the firm’s capabilities in the retirement plan space. Felix Jones will join Hub Mid-America as director of Retirement Plan Services, reporting to Stuart DeSelms, president of Hub Mid-America.

Hub International Limited (Hub) provides property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services.

Baldwin, Trilogy Financial Group

Baldwin Risk Partners, a Tampa, Fla., based insurance distribution holding company, has closed its partnership with the Medicare Division of Trilogy Financial Group, a financial agency based in Ocala, Fla. The partnership, which finalized on Oct. 15, 2018, marks BRP’s continued Medicare expansion in Central Florida.

This year alone, BRP has augmented their Medicare services through partnership in both the Ocala and New Port Richey, Fla., markets.

Kim Beam, Trilogy Group CEO, said the partnership will serve to enhance the client experience and improve the Trilogy team’s efficiency when delivering services.

Trilogy Financial Group’s Medicare division contributes to Trilogy’s retirement services, annuity marketing and estate planning. The Group has been active in Lake, Sumter, Marion counties and beyond since 2008.

SOBC DARAG, Peachtree

SOBC DARAG, the joint venture formed between SOBC, the US-based run-off specialist and DARAG, the leading legacy acquirer, has completed of its first acquisition of Peachtree Casualty Insurance Co. of Florida.

The acquisition Peachtree was completed after receipt of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approval. SOBC DARAG’s Ohio based team has also taken over the day-to-day management and claims handling.

Peachtree Casualty Insurance Co. is a Florida domiciled non-standard auto insurer in run-off.

The joint venture and acquisition are part of DARAG’s planned expansion into the US and Bermuda/Caribbean markets, and follow the appointment of Tom Booth as CEO and the completion of a $300 million capital raise by DARAG.

According to Booth, DARAG is targeting the U.S. and Bermuda/Caribbean markets through the SOBC DARAG joint venture.

Peachtree is now owned by the newly-formed DARAG Guernsey, owned by DARAG Group Investors. SOBC DARAG Holdings, a direct subsidiary of DARAG Guernsey, is to be the principal vehicle for future US and other non-EU based acquisitions. According to Stephanie Mocatta, CEO of SOBC DARAG, the joint venture is now working together on several more potential transactions and has plans for expansion of SOBC DARAG in the U.S.

Cascade, Leavitt Group

Oak Harbor, Wash.-based Cascade Insurance Agency merged operations with Leavitt Group Northwest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shelli Trumbull will join Sue Blouin and Bonnie Wallin in Leavitt Group’s Oak Harbor office. With this merger, the combined agency will serve the insurance needs of Whidbey Island as well as the rest of Washington state and surrounding states.

Cascade Insurance offers a variety of services, including personal and business insurance. Leavitt Group Northwest has offices in Oak Harbor, Auburn, Everett, and University Place. Clients receive employee benefits, property/casualty insurance, risk management, health insurance and other services.

Markel, Nephila

Specialty insurer Markel Corp. has completed its acquisition of Nephila Holdings, an investment manager specializing in reinsurance risk.

According to the transaction that was first announced in August, Nephila will continue to operate as a separate business unit. The management team, led by Greg Hagood and Frank Majors, will remain in place and will continue to be based in Bermuda, San Francisco, Nashville and London.

Nephila offers investment products focusing on instruments including insurance-linked securities, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps, and weather derivatives. Nephila has been managing institutional assets in this space since it was founded in 1998. The firm has 180 employees.

Details were not disclosed.Markel has said the transaction was not subject to any financing condition and that it would use cash balances on hand.

Nephila has assets under management of approximately $12.3 billion. The combined assets under management between Nephila and Markel will stand at approximately $19 billion, representing approximately 20 percent of the insurance-linked securities sector, according to the announcement. With this transaction, Markel will become the largest manager of funds in this sector, according to Richie Whitt, Markel’s co-chief executive officer.

Fitch analysts have noted that in a time of reinsurance consolidation, the deal allows Markel to further expand into the more fee-based insurance-linked securities (ILS) sector, solidifying its position as the leading manager of ILS funds. In 2015, Markel purchased CatCo, a retrocession and reinsurance investment specialist, demonstrating the further convergence of traditional (re)insurance and alternative capital market reinsurance.

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