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New private equity-owned brokerage makes construction buy

Matt Gardner

Patriot Growth Insurance Services LLC, a recently launched private equity-backed brokerage, announced its first significant property/casualty brokerage acquisition Tuesday.

Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based Patriot has bought Montgomery, Alabama-based construction insurance broker Turner Insurance & Bonding Co. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Turner’s 16 staff, including CEO David Durden, have joined Patriot.

Turner, which handles property/casualty and employee benefits business, is the 18th brokerage purchased by Patriot in the past few weeks. Last month, Patriot announced the acquisition of 17 employee benefits agencies located throughout the country and TRUE Network Advisors, a benefits agency network.

Patriot, which is backed by Boston-based private equity firm Summit Partners LP, says its annual revenues would place it among the largest 60 US brokerages, which would put its annualized revenue at about $60 million. The brokerage will look to complement the employee benefits firm purchases with property/casualty brokers, said founder and CEO Matt Gardner in an interview. 

“All of the employee benefits firms that we bought have great relationships with P/C firms in their own areas, so we’ll be looking to build off those,” he said. 

Going forward, Patriot will make about 12-15 acquisitions a year, and its revenue will likely be evenly split between employee benefits and property/casualty business by the end of 2020, Mr. Gardner said. 

Previously, Mr. Gardner was mid-Atlantic regional president of AssuredPartners Inc., another private equity-backed brokerage, which he left in 2016. Prior to AssuredPartners, he worked at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and Aon PLC, among other brokerages.

Other senior staff at Patriot include Jay Grevers, executive vice president/chief acquisition officer, who previously was on the acquisition team at AssuredPartners; and Steve Carroll, senior vice president for mergers and acquisitions, who previously worked on mergers and acquisitions at Willis Towers Watson PLC.

“Our model is a little different: The average age of the sale owners is high 40s … so we are looking for them not only to stay with us but to take a fairly significant part of their sales to purchase Patriot stock,” he said.

The brokerages will operate under their own brands with a Patriot affiliation, Mr. Gardner said.





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