Apax VIII, a fund advised by Apax Partners, is to sell its entire stake in AssuredPartners, a leading US insurance brokerage, to an investor group led by GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm.
GTCR previously owned AssuredPartners from its inception in 2011 until its sale to Apax VIII in 2015. The terms of today’s transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, have not been disclosed.
Apax IX, a separate fund advised by Apax Partners, will co-invest in the transaction alongside GTCR taking a significant minority stake in AssuredPartners. AssuredPartners’ management team retains its significant minority stake in the business.
Established in 2011, AssuredPartners is today one of the largest insurance brokers in the United States, distributing property and casualty (P&C), risk management, employee benefits and personal insurance. Headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, the company operates from 200 offices across 30 states and London, England.
In executing The Leaders Strategy, GTCR partnered with management to form AssuredPartners in 2011 with the goal of creating a leading middle market broker. Over the course of four years, the company completed 112 acquisitions, grew annualised revenue to over USD500 million and built a platform from which to achieve long-term success.
Apax VIII acquired a majority stake in AssuredPartners in 2015. During its ownership, AssuredPartners has delivered on its strategy of building a leading insurance brokerage franchise through consolidating a large, fragmented industry. This has been achieved through significant M&A, the business has completed 124 acquisitions, continued strong organic growth, driven by operational improvements including investment in IT, salesforce and infrastructure, and the recruitment of key senior hires, including CIO and Chief Organic Growth Officer positions. The result of these initiatives has seen revenue and EBITDA more than double during Apax VIII’s ownership as the business has benefited from scale and broader product ranges.
Jim Henderson, co-founder and CEO of AssuredPartners, says: “Apax has been a superb partner for Assured over the last three years and we are delighted to be renewing this successful partnership. At the same time, we are excited to welcome back the GTCR team who we know very well and value their expertise and insight. We look forward to working with both firms who share our vision and commitment to scaling the business further.”
Tom Riley, co-founder, President & COO of AssuredPartners, adds: “We have formed a partnership with agencies throughout the country and beyond through the partnership and support of GTCR and Apax Partners. Our acquisition strategy has allowed us to create something truly unique in our industry. The union of our two supporting entities joining forces makes for a very exciting future for AssuredPartners. We look forward to our continued success with Aaron Cohen and Ashish Karandikar and their respective winning teams.”
Ashish Karandikar, Partner at Apax Partners, says: “Three and half years ago, we backed Jim Henderson and his team on an ambitious journey to build the preeminent US middle market insurance brokerage firm. Since then, AssuredPartners has charted an impressive growth trajectory through organic investments in sales and technology and through acquisitions to create a scaled product and service proposition to carriers and customers. We believe there continues to be exceptional opportunities for AssuredPartners and its over 5,000 talented and entrepreneurial insurance professionals and are excited to be continuing our journey.”
Aaron Cohen, GTCR Managing Director, adds: “We had an incredible experience working with the Assured team and have watched with admiration their continued success over the last three years. We want to congratulate the entire Assured organization on building a leading insurance broker with over USD1 billion of revenue in just eight years. AssuredPartners is a trusted advisor to its customers, offering unique capabilities to assist leading companies in all of their insurance and risk management needs. We are thrilled to be partners with Jim Henderson, Tom Riley and the team once again and look forward to the continued expansion of the AssuredPartners platform.”
The Apax Funds have significant experience investing in the insurance sector, including Hub International and Genex, which were successfully exited in 2013 and 2018 respectively, and current investment Duck Creek Technologies.
The investment in AssuredPartners continues GTCR’s two decades of successful experience investing in the insurance industry with past investments in insurance brokers Alliant Resources and AssuredPartners, specialty carrier Ironshore, premium finance provider Premium Credit Limited and software company Solera.
AssuredPartners and Apax VIII were advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (M&A Advisor) and Kirkland & Ellis LLP (legal counsel). Harris Williams and Barclays also provided M&A advice to Apax VIII. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal advice to Apax IX. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal advisors to the management team of AssuredPartners. GTCR was advised by Morgan Stanley & Co LLC (financial advisor) and Latham & Watkins LLP (legal counsel).