Published in Finance

Acrisure continues buying spree with deal for U.K. insurance broker

BY Sunday, November 06, 2022 06:50pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Acrisure LLC’s latest global acquisition would help solidify the company’s footprint in the United Kingdom.

The deal for Twickenham, England-based Sutton Winson and Sutton Specialist Risks, which the company expects to close soon pending regulatory approval, continues an aggressive M&A strategy that made the Grand Rapids-based Acrisure a top 10 global insurance brokerage. 

For 2022, Acrisure remains on track to exceed its dealmaking pace in 2021, said Elliott Bundy, Acrisure’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

The company closed on 122 acquisitions last year in North America, according to Chicago-based Optis Partners LLC, which tracks M&A in the insurance industry.

“We’re getting close to the end of the year, but all signs point to that continuing trend,” Bundy said.

Through the first nine months of 2022, Acrisure continued to rank as the top acquirer of independent insurance brokerages in North America. The company closed 80 acquisitions through the third quarter, according to Optis Partners.

Since 2017, Acrisure has completed 601 acquisitions.

Lehi, Utah-based PCF Insurance Services LLC was the second-largest acquirer with 56 transactions this year between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. Traverse City-based High Street Insurance Partners Inc. ranked fourth with 30 acquisitions after closing 71 last year.

Overall, Optis Partners reported 627 insurance agency acquisitions in the first three quarters of 2022, down 6 percent from the same period in 2021, but the second-highest deal flow ever for a July-to-September period.

“Deal flow is still very healthy,” authors at Optis Partners wrote in the latest quarterly M&A activity report on the brokerage industry, citing a spike in activity toward the end of 2021. “We anticipate a return to normal (yet still robust) deal environment as we close out 2022; likely off the all-time highs of Q4 ’21.”

In the U.K., Acrisure’s deal for Sutton Winson and Sutton Specialist Risks furthers an ongoing global expansion. Founded in 1955, Sutton Winson is a commercial and specialist personal lines insurance broker and professional risk advisory business.

Acrisure expects to make further deals in the U.K. market “in the near term,” according to a statement. The company said it recently closed on a $725 million Series B-2 preferred equity offering and received a $23 billion valuation, which represents a 31-percent increase from the last preferred equity raise in March 2021. 

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