Time May be Ripe to Shop for Insurance Agency Buys
With agency valuations falling and owners looking for exit strategies, credit unions might want to consider searching for deals to acquire insurance agencies, according to one industry expert.
"For credit unions looking to build an annuitizing fee income stream while rapidly expanding their field of membership, buying a local insurance agency book of business may be one of the best deployments of capital," said Woody Ratterman, senior vice president at MarshBerry Inc., a mergers, acquisition and agency advisory firm, who spoke at NACUSO's annual conference in Las Vegas this week.
Ratterman said the Willoughby, Ohio-based MarshBerry has assisted more than a dozen credit unions in purchasing local insurance agencies.
A key strategy for buying insurance agency books of business is to start with a de novo agency that is built to support the credit union's current membership, said Jeff Chesky, president/CEO of Insuritas, a provider of outsourced insurance agencies based in East Granby, Conn. Outsourcing also provides a turnkey insurance agency without the significant capital investments required to build or buy your first agency, he added.