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Gallagher reports 7.3% hike in Q3 revenue


Arthur Gallagher & Co. on Thursday reported a 7.3% increase in third-quarter brokerage revenue to $1.29 billion.

Total revenue was essentially flat at $1.8 billion. Net earnings increased 44%, to $236.4 million. That compared with the 5.3% revenue increase reported in the second quarter and a 39.5% increase in net earnings.

“We delivered a very strong third quarter” despite the health crisis and economic slowdown, and continued to execute at the highest level, said J. Patrick Gallagher, chairman, president and CEO, during the broker’s earnings call on Thursday after the markets closed.

The rate environment “continued to move higher around the globe,” increasing globally nearly 7%, with higher terms and conditions and increasingly restrained capacity, with the rate increase in the U.S. about 8%, he said.

Property experienced the strongest rate hikes at about 12%, while professional liability rates were up more than 10% and other casualty lines up 5% to 10%, “with umbrella at least twice that level,” Mr. Gallagher said.  Workers comp is flat, he said.

October numbers indicate continuing increases in the fourth quarter, Mr. Gallaher said, and the more difficult market will continue into 2021.

Mr. Gallagher said the broker completed five merger and acquisition deals during the quarter, with more in the pipeline.

Douglas K. Howell, vice president and chief financial officer, said future deals include two acquisitions, each with $25 million in revenue. Their due diligence process is nearly done, and Gallagher hopes to complete the deals by year-end, Mr. Howell said.

Asked about making a major acquisition, Mr. Gallagher said there are some 30,000 firms that are not in Business Insurance’s top 100, and a “good portion are still owned by baby boomers,” which presents more opportunities than a larger acquisition.

Mr. Gallagher said also the brokerage plans to continue its long-term strategy of encouraging its clients to move toward self-insurance, from first-dollar coverage to higher retentions and group captives.

“If anything, it makes it a more crucial conversation” in today’s economy, he said. “When you put a buyer against the wall, they’re all ears.”