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Marsh agency unit buys Rutherfoord

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NEW YORK—Marsh Inc. subsidiary Marsh & McLennan Agency L.L.C. has acquired Thomas Rutherfoord Inc. in a move that accelerates the growth of Marsh's middle-market operation.

Rutherfoord is the 32nd largest broker of U.S. business, according Business Insurance's ranking based on 2008 revenues. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Marsh said the acquisition gives Marsh & McLennan Agency, which was launched in early 2009 and operates independently from Marsh, $171 million in annual revenue. The deal is the agency unit's fourth acquisition.

Established in 1916, Roanoke, Va.-based Rutherfoord has $81 million in annual revenue, with more than 300 employees operating out of 10 offices. Marsh said the firm will continue operating under the Rutherfoord name “for the foreseeable future,” serving as Marsh & McLennan Agency's lead brokerage operation in the Mid-Atlantic region and Washington.

Rutherfoord's top executives, Chairman Thomas D. Rutherfoord Jr., Thomas R. Brown, CEO, and George A. Steadman III, president and chief operating officer, will continue to lead the regional business, and all of Rutherfoord's employees will remain with the firm, according to the Marsh statement.

David L. Eslick, chairman and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Agency, said that Rutherfoord's attractions went beyond its volume of business. Among other factors, he cited the “great respect within the industry” Rutherfoord enjoys, its “phenomenal talent” and “strong capabilities around industry specializations.”

With the latest acquisition, “I would say right now we're definitely on pace with where we want to be,” Mr. Eslick said. He added that the company will be making additional acquisitions.

“We continue to be very happy about the pipeline and the people we're talking to,” said. “Good solid organizations are seeing that there's a good partnership opportunity.”