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Top Insurance Broker, No. 6: Brown & Brown Inc.



2020 brokerage revenue: $ 2.61 billion

Percentage increase (decrease): 9.3%

Brown & Brown Inc. continued its long-term acquisition strategy in 2020, dividing 25 smaller brokers and reporting 3.8% Organic revenue growth despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The broker's pace of business has slowed in 2021, but it saw almost double-digit organic growth in the first quarter as the economy recovered.

Last year's offerings included a couple of international purchases and an insurtech company. Internally, the broker reorganized its wholesale business.

Daytona Beach, Florida-based Brown & Brown reported $ 2.61

billion in brokerage revenue by 2020, an increase of 9.3% over 2019, and maintained its No. 6 position in the Business Insurance ranking of the world's largest broker.

In 2020, Brown & Brown beat the consensus calculations before COVID-19 for equities analysts for revenue and earnings, says C. Gregory Peters, St. Petersburg, Florida-based CEO, Stock Research, at Raymond James & Associates

"They are a company that has performed very well in the face of incredible headwinds over the past year," he said.

The performance can be partly attributed to Brown & Brown's decentralized structure, which gives individual authorities the opportunity to manage their own business and rising commercial insurance rates, says Peters.

Growth for 2020 was followed by 9.8% organic growth during the first quarter of this year.

The exposure unit is increasing, new sales, good retention levels and higher insurance prices drove growth, says J. Powell Brown, President and CEO of Brown & Brown.

While companies such as restaurants and hotels were hit hard by the pandemic, construction contractors and other companies have experienced significant growth, he said.

Brown & Brown did not change their M&A protocols significantly during the pandemic, Brown said.

"We did not buy companies on the Internet," he said.

For the business it completed, Brown & Brown executives had either met the companies before the outbreak or they met them during the pandemic while taking appropriate precautions, he said.

Included in the offers was special risk insurance. Managers Ltd., a Langley, British Columbia-based managing agent, and O & # 39; Leary Insurances Ltd., a Cork, Ireland-based broker.

International business does not signal a specific global growth plan, Brown said. “We are looking at opportunities and we found two that fit culturally and sensibly economically in Canada and Ireland, and we would like to expand in these places. But we are also looking at other places. It's that simple, "he said.

Brown & Brown's overseas expansion is likely to be slow, says Meyer Shields, Baltimore – based CEO of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

" Brown & Brown is, perhaps more than any other broker, obsessed with culture, and I think they realize that it is more difficult to identify culturally compatible companies when going to different countries, ”he said.

In November, CoverHound Inc. purchased a San Francisco-based online insurance policy. platform, expands Brown & Brown's digital footprint and its technology can be used by several Brown & Brown divisions, says Brown.

The deal could lead to more efficiency and growth, says Shields from KBW.

"Suddenly they have got this really, really respected technical attitude in the company's employment," he says. "I think we'll see a pretty impressive organic sales growth as a result of them being able to act so much faster and so much more accurately than, not necessarily the big public brokers, but tens of thousands of smaller guys."

Brown & Brown completed only two deals in the first quarter of the year, but the broker continues to look for acquisitions, Brown said.

Internally, Brown & Brown consolidated its 25 wholesale units under the umbrella of the Bridge Specialty Group. , which allows the units to work closer, Brown said.

"It also allows us to use data in our wholesale department to create additional new and different products," he said.

With the economy reopening, about half of Brown & Brown's employees go into the office at least one day a week, said Mr. Brown.

“We are not a company from home, we are a company that works anywhere and I think there is a difference. I also think you can not run a culture virtually, he said. Catalog

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