CRC/Crump Acquires Preferred Brokerage Unit of Preferred Concepts

September 11, 2012

CRC|Crump has signed an agreement with Preferred Concepts in New York to acquire select assets of the company’s Preferred Brokerage business unit.

Terms were not disclosed.

J.C. Sparling, who led Preferred Brokerage, will be joining CRC|Crump as a senior vice president and senior property broker effectively immediately. He will manage the transition of the Preferred Brokerage book to CRC|Crump and will be based in Atlanta, Ga.

Sparling has more than 20 years of insurance experience and was one of the original founders of Mercator Risk Services, where he served as executive vice president of property and casualty.

Preferred Concepts, LLC is an insurance program administrator and wholesale broker. The company has offices in New York, N.Y., Atlanta, Ga., Hartford, Conn., Westport, Conn. and Overland Park, Kan.

Preferred Concepts was founded in 1989 by Stuart Farber. Preferred began by offering policies through risk purchasing groups (RPGs). Farber took the RPG concept digital by creating the website ezumbrella.com for retail brokers and agents to quote multiple umbrella insurance policy limits and bind coverage.

In January of 2006, Trident III, a fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC, acquired a minority interest in Preferred Concepts.

Preferred’s current divisions include Preferred Underwriting, specializing in programs; Preferred Brokerage, providing wholesale brokerage for complex property/casualty risks; Preferred Advantage, offering professional liability products for all risks and for small business risks; ezumbrella.com, an online umbrella liability platform; and SeaFire Insurance Services, launched in 2011, which provides property/ casualty programs for the automotive industry.

In June 2010, Preferred acquired the assets of Mercator Risk Services. Founded by Christopher M. Treanor, Michael Ryan and J.C. Sparling, Mercator Risk Services was a national wholesaler whose specialty brokerage became the Preferred Brokerage division of Preferred Concepts.

CRC is the second largest wholesale broker in the U.S. The company operates eight wholesale-dedicated brands including CRC Brokerage, CRC|Crump, Southern Cross Underwriters, Tapco Underwriters, 5Star Specialty Programs, Negley & Associates, Hanleigh, and Target Insurance Services. The company, based in Birmingham, Ala., employs nearly 1,700 people, operates more than 55 office locations in the U.S., and reports it placed more than $3.5 billion in premium in 2011.

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