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Insurance broker Alliant buys 'fantastic platform,' plans expansion

Posted On: Jul. 13, 2016 12:00 AM CST

Acquisitive brokerage Alliant Insurance Services Inc. on Wednesday announced a significant expansion in the Midwest with a deal to take on the insurance brokerage operation of Chicago-based financial services firm Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mesirow Insurance Services has about $100 million in U.S. brokerage revenue and is the 41st-largest broker of U.S. business, according to the latest Business Insurance ranking. Alliant is the 12th-largest broker of U.S.-based business, according to the ranking.

Alliant had about $858 million in 2015 revenue with more than 2,300 employees and more than 80 offices, according to its website.

Mesirow Insurance will continue to operate under its existing organizational structure, and the division's leadership team and employees will join Alliant, the Newport Beach, California-based brokerage said in a statement.

Mesirow Insurance also will continue to operate satellite offices in Illinois and Denver.

“Mesirow provides a fantastic platform for us,” Tom Corbett, chairman and CEO of Alliant, said in an interview Wednesday. “We couldn't have designed one better ourselves as we build out our Alliant Americas strategy. There'll be no layoffs here. Our goal is to grow the organization substantially with the support of the management leadership team there.”

Mr. Corbett said Mesirow Insurance will still have a relationship with Mesirow Financial.

“They've been working together on cooperative basis for years,” he said. “We don't see that changing. They provide insurance services to a lot of Mesirow clients, and we see that continuing.”

Mr. Corbett said the deal was in the works for about three months. He added that the acquisition fits well with Alliant's growth strategy.

“We have substantial platforms in the Southwest, Northeast and Northwest,” he said. “Mesirow brings a tremendous growth opportunity, a tremendous platform for that strategy that will be central to our Midwest operation.”

The deal is expected to close later in July, Mr. Corbett said.

“We believe there's a lot more we can do and a lot of other areas we can expand into, but this is just a huge move for us,” he said.

Founded in 1972, Mesirow Insurance places property/casualty, employee benefits and life business for publicly traded companies, midsize businesses, nonprofit organizations, public entities and high-net-worth individuals. The company has more than 350 employees.

Mesirow in 2003 bought the assets of Near North National Group Inc., whose former executive, Michael Segal, was released early from prison in 2012 for a fraud conviction.

“Our new agreement with Alliant is an incredible opportunity that immediately launches our insurance division onto a national platform,” Richard Price, chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial, said in the statement.