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AssuredPartners expands brokerage footprint with purchase of Keenan

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Acquisitive insurance brokerage AssuredPartners Inc. is making a significant move into California with the purchase of Keenan & Associates in a deal that will push AssuredPartners’ annual revenue over $800 million.

The deal announced Thursday is one of the largest mergers of privately held insurance brokers and will give Lake Mary, Florida-based AssuredPartners, which has bought nearly 70 rival brokers and agents over the past two years, a well-established operation in California that focuses on insurance and employee benefits programs for school districts, other public entities and the health care sector.

The acquisition is expected to close in late March or early April. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AssuredPartners, which ranked as the 13th-largest broker of U.S. business in Business Insurance’s most recent ranking, has more than $670 million in annual revenue, according to a statement announcing the deal. Torrance, California-based Keenan ranked 22nd and has about $170 million in annual revenue.

AssuredPartners Chairman and CEO Jim Henderson said in the statement: “We focus on partnering with agencies with strong management that demonstrate a dedication to growth and building lasting relationships — we have found this with Keenan.” 

The purchase is the biggest deal that AssuredPartners has sealed since it was established six years ago, Mr. Henderson said, in an interview.

And it is the brokerage's first major deal in California. Last month, AssuredPartners bought Dealey, Renton & Associates Insurance Brokers, a roughly $16 million revenue professional liability specialist in Oakland, California, but prior to that its presence in California was limited, he said.

The size of deal will not restrict AssuredPartners from continuing its acquisition-fueled growth, Mr. Henderson said.

“We will continue with our very aggressive plan,” he said. “We have significant support so we can continue to do smaller deals and big deals, should we choose to do that.”

Keenan will continue to operate under the Keenan brand and be led by President and CEO Sean Smith. It will be the largest insurance agency in the AssuredPartners network.

“This partnership is extremely exciting for Keenan. We will have access to additional capital and a national footprint that will enable us to grow,” Mr. Smith said in the statement.

Keenan, which has nearly 700 employees, was founded in 1972 by John R. Keenan and three associates. Mr. Keenan died in 2014. 

AssuredPartners, which has more than 3,000 employees, was founded in 2011 and was bought by London-based private equity firm Apax Partners L.L.P. in 2015.