Insurance Agency Mergers and Acquisitions Decline

OPTIS Partners reports that property and casualty insurance and service broker offerings in the US and Canada fell 15% in the first quarter

CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / April 13, 2021 / According to OPTIS Partners’ M&A database, 150 insurance agency mergers and acquisitions were announced in the first quarter of 2021, down 15% from 176 in 2020.

It was the lowest total in the first quarter since 2016, and while the timing of the announcements may have been some of the decline, much of it is in response to a race by many to complete sales in the final quarter of 2020 to avoid tax hikes by many expected in 2021.

The data includes US and Canadian agencies that primarily sell property and casualty insurance, agencies that sell both P&C and employee benefits, and agencies that sell only employee benefits.

“After a record year in 2020, we suspect buyers have taken a breather to integrate acquired businesses,” said Timothy J. Cunningham, managing partner of OPTIS Partners, an investment banking and financial advisory firm specializing in the insurance industry.

Activity by type of buyer and seller

The report divides buyers into four groups: private equity-backed / hybrid brokers, privately held brokers, publicly held brokers, and everyone else.

Each of the top 10 most active buyers closed fewer deals in the most recent quarter than the historical average. Broadstreet, backed by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, led all buyers with 12 transactions in the first quarter, compared with 16 in the same period in 2020.

Other top buyers were Acrisure (9 deals), Hub International (9), Assured Partners (6) and PCF Insurance (5). The private equity-backed / hybrid buyer group maintained their dominance in buying frenzy with 61% of all deals in the quarter, while 30% were deals between private parties.

P&C sellers accounted for 91 transactions (61% of the total). Performance agency sales were 25 (17%) and there were 15 P&C / performance agency sales (10%).

Taxes are more likely to hike in 2022, so a second wave of sellers should emerge in the second half of 2021, fueling another robust year of M&A deals, Cunningham said.

The full report can be read at

OPTIS Partners was ranked among the six most active M&A advisory firms for agent brokers by S&P Global Market Intelligence from 2014 to 2020.

Chicago-based OPTIS Partners ( focuses solely on the insurance sales market, providing buyers and sellers with merger and acquisition representation, including due diligence. It offers ratings of fair market value; Review of financial performance, including trend analysis and internal controls; and Transfer of Title and Perpetuation Planning.


Cunningham Team, OPTIS Partner,, 312-235-0081

Dan Menzer, OPTIS Partners,, 630-520-0490

Steve Germundson, OPTIS partner,, 612-758-0598

Henry Stimpson, Stimpson Communications, 508-647-0705


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