BB&T, Marsh & Gallagher Announce Acquisitions

NU Online News Service, Nov. 4, 1:41 p.m. EDT

Three major insurance brokers announced acquisitions this week, with two taking place in the Midwest and one each on the East and West coasts.

Meanwhile a major London-based broker says it is combining its Italian business with an indigenous broker.

BBT Insurance Services of Raleigh, N.C., says it is continuing to expand its California operations with the acquisition of Precept Group with offices in Irvine and San Ramon, Calif.

Founded in 1987, Precept serves middle-market and large corporate clients, ranging from 50 to 50,000 employees, with benefits consulting, procurement, administration outsourcing, health management, retirement and online enrollment services. Precept serves organizations with employees in 42 states, as well as multinational organizations and governmental agencies.

BBT says the acquisition adds 140 employees to BBT Insurance Services. The new agency, which operates under the Precept Group name, will continue to manage Precept Consulting Services and ProView Benefits Administration Services.

Itasca, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher Co. says it acquired Trissel Graham Toole, Inc. headquartered in Davenport, Iowa.

With roots dating back to 1896, Trissel Graham Toole (TGT) offers risk management, property and casualty and employee benefit insurance services for its commercial and personal lines clients in the central United States. The firm also specializes in placing coverages for the manufacturing, education, healthcare, construction, municipality, and transportation industries.

Principals Mark Schwab, Robert Karll and their staff of over 50 insurance industry specialists will continue to operate in the firm’s Davenport and Sterling locations under the direction of Thomas J. Gallagher, Midwest regional manager of Gallagher’s retail PC brokerage operation.

Marsh McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of insurance broker Marsh Inc., says it acquired Gallagher Associates Inc., a $1 million PC insurance agency specializing in public school districts.

Gallagher Associates, based in Blaine, Minn., will operate within RJF, a Marsh McLennan Agency company.

MMC notes this is the first complementary acquisition for RJF, which MMA acquired in January 2011 to serve as its upper Midwest hub.

Tom Gallagher, John Siffert and the rest of the Gallagher Associates team will join RJF’s Minnesota office and continue in their current roles.

Gallagher Associates is not affiliated with Arthur J. Gallagher.

MMA also says it acquired the employee benefits division of Kaeding, Ernst Co., a Marlborough, Mass.-based employee benefits, life insurance, and financial planning consulting firm.

The division, with approximately $600,000 in annual revenue, will become a part of Bostonian Group, an MMC company, further expanding Bostonian’s depth and expertise in employee benefits.

The transaction is the second complementary acquisition for Bostonian and MMA following the February acquisition of the Boston office of Kinloch Consulting Group Inc., the employee benefits division of Kinloch Holdings Inc. 

Terms of all four transactions were not disclosed.

Overseas, London-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc says it is combining its existing Italian brokerage business with Marine Aviation S.P.A.

Under the terms of the agreement, JLT says it will have a 25 percent interest in the newly formed joint venture and will have representation on the board. Senior JLT employees will form part of the ongoing senior management team.

JLT will also acquire a 25 percent interest in Marine Aviation General (London) Ltd.

 JLT says Marine Aviation is one the oldest brokers in the Italian insurance market. With offices in Italy and the United Kingdom, the company industry expertise in marine, aviation, reinsurance, corporate clients, high net worth and affinity. Since 1993, the operation has also been a Lloyd’s broker placing Italian wholesale and reinsurance business into the London Market.

Marine Aviation’s operations generated net revenue of €9.5 million (U.S. $13 million) in 2010 and produced a profit before taxation of €1 million ($1.4 million).

The agreement is still subject to regulatory approvals.

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