Hub International Limited announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the stock of Hooper, Hayes & Associates Inc., a Los Angeles-based insurance brokerage firm founded in 1946.
Included in the purchase is Hooper’s wholly-owned employee benefits affiliate, Brentwood Benefits & Consultants Inc. The acquisition, which is expected to close in November, will be paid for with a combination of Hub stock and cash. Hooper, which will remain in Los Angeles, has 35 employees and generates approximately $5.3 million in annual revenues.
Hub plans for Hooper to assume management of Kaye-Western Insurance & Risk Services Inc., Hub’s existing retail brokerage unit, which will remain in Arcadia, Calif. Both offices will be directed by Frank Hayes, president and majority shareholder of Hooper. Hayes, who will report to Bruce Guthart, president of Hub’s U.S. Operations, has been in the insurance industry 25 years.
In a joint statement announcing the agreement, Martin P. Hughes, Hub chairman and CEO, and Guthart said the planned Hooper purchase and Hooper’s assumption of the management of Kaye-Western is designed to create a southern California “hub” operation that could be expanded further by making local acquisitions within the region. Such acquisitions could then be folded into the hub. In recent months four other regional units of Hub, based in Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Ontario, have completed acquisitions of local firms.
Hayes said he was looking forward to joining the forces of his staff from Hooper and his new Hub colleagues to help grow the business. “Hub’s business model is very promising in today’s insurance climate.” Hayes added. “Our regional focus enables us to offer our clients and prospects in southern California a wide range of products, services and professional capabilities that the smaller local insurance firms and the large national outfits are often unable to provide. With prices for insurance continuing to rise and some important coverages becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, a broker with Hub’s depth of talent, array of resources and concentration on mid-size businesses is in a great position. It’s exciting to be a part of that effort.”
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