Business Moves

September 16, 2019

National

Arch Insurance, Ventus Risk Management

Arch Insurance North America has agreed to acquire Ventus Risk Management, a technology and analytics- driven managing general underwriter that specializes in providing coastal commercial property insurance solutions to small and mid-sized enterprises.

Ventus, founded in 2016, has 30 employees and offices in Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; Houston; and Richmond, Va. Ventus provides commercial property insurance from several carrier partners, including XL.

Ventus’ proprietary technology is designed to improve automation, efficiency and risk selection by augmenting data submitted by insureds with third-party sources and proprietary algorithms. It also reports on risks in real-time, which the firm says makes risks more attractive to both traditional reinsurers and capital markets investors.

The parties said that integrating Ventus into the Arch platform will enable third-party capital to provide capacity alongside Arch’s product offerings.

George Reeth, a Ventus co-founder, announced his retirement with the sale of the company.

Co-founder Stuart Mercer will become the CEO of Ventus upon the close of the sale.

Genstar, Worldwide

Worldwide Facilities has closed on the previously announced investment by Genstar Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm.

As part of the transaction, Lovell Minnick Partners is divesting its investment in Worldwide Facilities following four years of growth.

Los Angeles-based Worldwide Facilities is a wholesale insurance broker, managing general agent and program underwriter. In 2018, the firm reported that it had grown from $550 million in gross written premium three years earlier to about $1.5 billion in premium in 2018.

Genstar Capital is a private equity firm with a reported $17 billion of assets under management. Last month, Genstar sold its stake in insurance software firm Insurity to GI Partners.

East

USI Insurance Services, JRG Advisors

USI Insurance Services has acquired Wexford, Pa.-based employee benefits services firm JRG Advisors LLC. The company’s existing operations will be combined with Emerson Reid, USI’s employee benefits wholesale brokerage division. USI is a Valhalla, N.Y.-headquartered insurance brokerage and consulting firm, which delivers property and casualty, employee benefits, personal risk and retirement services to large risk management clients, middle-market companies, smaller firms and individuals.

Founded in 1974, Emerson Reid is a wholesale general agent. Its strategy is to differentiate brokers from their competition through the introduction of new programs, while providing the tools, knowledge and support necessary to expand and protect their business.

Brown & Brown Metro, Innovative Risk Solutions

Brown & Brown Metro LLC has acquired substantially all of the assets of Innovative Risk Solutions Inc.

Innovative Risk Solutions was founded in 2004 by sole shareholder Sean Gormley, with the goal of providing employee benefits for Innovative’s customers.

Following the transaction, Innovative will operate as a new stand-alone office within Brown & Brown’s retail segment and will continue doing business under the leadership of Sean Gormley from the Atlantic County, N.J., office.

Brown & Brown Inc. is an insurance brokerage firm that provides risk management to individuals and businesses.

The Hilb Group, Greenwald Bark Agency

The Hilb Group LLC has acquired Pennsylvania-based Greenwald Berk Agency LLC. The transaction became effective July 1.

GBA offers business insurance, personal insurance and life/health products and services. This acquisition will establish THG’s first location in Pennsylvania. Bob Greenwald, agency leader, will continue to lead GBA’s associates following the transaction.

THG is a middle-market insurance agency headquartered in Richmond, Va., and is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Abry Partners. THG seeks to grow through targeted acquisitions in the middle-market insurance brokerage space. The company now has more than 80 offices in 20 states.

South Central

One General Agency, Acton Inc.

One General Agency (OGA has acquired the renewal rights to the book of business previously owned by Oklahoma City-based Acton Inc.

Acton President Eric Acton will be joining the OGA staff.

One General Agency, also based in Oklahoma City, is a managing general agency and surplus lines broker that has been serving the specialty needs of independent insurance agents since 1951. OGA is a family owned and operated company centered on strong relationships and trust. It provides markets for commercial transportation, property and casualty, garage, oil and gas, personal lines, professional lines and workers’ compensation risks, and represents top-rated admitted and non-

admitted insurance carriers in Oklahoma and an expanding number of states.

Acton Inc. is a managing general agency and surplus lines broker that has served Oklahoma independent insurance agents since its founding in 1972. Acton’s area of expertise includes many of the same lines as OGA but with a concentration in larger, more complex accounts, especially in the lines of excess and umbrella, environmental, professional and excess workers’ compensation. Its markets complement the admitted and non-admitted insurance carriers represented by OGA.

Higginbotham, Exploration Insurance Group

Ft. Worth, Texas-based Higginbotham and Exploration Insurance Group have merged their operations in Tyler, Texas.

EIG opened in 2013 in Tyler to meet the east Texas region’s growing need for industry specific insurance. The independent seven-person agency brokers commercial insurance and employee benefits primarily to oil and gas, construction and manufacturing companies.

Higginbotham has nearly 40 offices statewide, including two in Tyler. EIG will collaborate to fortify Higginbotham’s practice in East Texas.

Higginbotham entered Tyler in 2014 and added another office in 2018, both through mergers.

Higginbotham said EIG will complement Higginbotham’s industry practice groups by adding property/casualty insurance and employee benefit expertise in the oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing industries.

EIG will operate under the Higginbotham name with EIG owners Angela Bridges, Colin Pope and Ryan Slaughter serving as vice presidents.

Higginbotham was founded in 1948 in Ft. Worth, with more than 35 additional offices statewide. It also has offices in Oklahoma and Georgia serving domestic and international customers.

Southeast

Brown & Brown, CKP

Brown & Brown of Florida Inc. has acquired substantially all of the assets of CKP.

CKP provides brokerage services for customers throughout the U.S. operating in agricultural industry. CKP also provides property/casualty insurance products and services to customers in Florida.

The CKP team will operate as a new stand-alone office within Brown & Brown’s retail segment, doing business under the leadership of Chuck Hemphill and Kevin Rader from CKP’s existing offices located in Florida, Arizona and New Mexico.

Brown & Brown Inc. is an insurance brokerage firm, providing risk management to individuals and businesses.

The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers, Moody Insurance Group

The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers, a privately held agency on the West Coast, has partnered with Moody Insurance Group of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

This marks Liberty’s first venture outside of California, laying the groundwork for more national growth in the future.

Established in 1992, Moody Insurance Group is a South Florida-based agency specializing in business, marine, aviation, and personal insurance for the Southeast.

The move into Florida is the first of several transactions Liberty plans to complete this year as part of its expansion outside the Golden State.

The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers provides producers and agency owners a platform to achieve equity partnership in a growing organization. Liberty is an independently owned, full-service broker with offices throughout the country.

U.S. Risk, Regency Insurance Brokerage Services

U.S. Risk, LLC, a property and casualty wholesaler and managing general agent (MGA), has acquired Regency Insurance Brokerage Services, a wholesale broker and MGA headquartered in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The company also operates from additional locations in New York, New Jersey and South Carolina.

The Regency team will join U.S. Risk Brokers, the wholesale brokerage division of U.S. Risk.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

U.S. Risk LLC, is an international specialty lines underwriting manager and wholesale broker headquartered in Dallas. The company operates 17 domestic and international branches, and offers a range of products and services through its affiliate companies, which include U.S. Risk Underwriters, U.S. Risk Brokers, U.S. Risk Solutions, Oxford Insurance Brokers Ltd. (UK), James Hampden International Insurance Brokers Ltd., (UK), MGB Insurance Brokers Ltd, (UK), Antarah FZE (UAE), and UNIS A.G. (Zurich).

West

Arthur J. Gallagher, Garnett-Powers

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired the university services business of Mission Viejo, Calif.-based benefits broker and consultant Garnett-Powers & Associates Insurance Services Inc.

Garnett-Powers & Associates leader Steve Johnson and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Norbert Chung, head of Gallagher’s Western region employee benefit consulting and brokerage operations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Garnett-Powers & Associates’ university services business offers medical, dental, vision, life, AD&D, and disability insurance plans to university postdoctoral scholars and visiting scholars. The company also offers health insurance plans to university students.

Arthur J. Gallagher is a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

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Insurance Journal West September 16, 2019
September 16, 2019
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Surplus Lines: Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association Annual; Market: Energy