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Short month not short on M&A activity


February may be the shortest month of the year, but this February hasn't come up short in terms of broker merger and acquisition activity.

On Tuesday, Itasca, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced the acquisition of First Premium Insurance Group, Inc. in Covington, La. First Premium is a managing general agent and wholesale insurance broker providing insurance products for independent insurance agents and brokers throughout the Southern United States. First Premium specializes in manufactured homes, personal lines and commercial property/casualty business, according to Gallagher. Jay Pellegrini, Jr., Greg Pellegrini and their associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Joel Cavaness, president of Gallagher's Risk Placement Services, Inc. subsidiary, said Gallagher.

"First Premium will be our first true wholesale/MGA presence in Louisiana which will enable us to expand our sales and services capabilities in that region," said Gallagher Chairman, President and CEO J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., in a statement announcing the acquisition

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In addition, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.-based USI Insurance Services announced that it has acquired most of the assets of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Pinnacle Group. Pinnacle is a full-service employee benefits consulting firm specializing in middle-market business and is expected to contribute approximately $3.3 million in annual revenues to USI, according to USI.

"Under Anthony Jernigan's leadership, Pinnacle has built a solid reputation for superior client service in the Hampton Roads area,” said USI's MidAtlantic Regional CEO Steven C. Deal of Mr. Jernigan, president, CEO and founder of Pinnacle, in a statement concerning the acquisition. “The Pinnacle acquisition strengthens our existing MidAtlantic organization and USI's rapidly expanding employee benefit practice in the state of Virginia," said Mr. Deal.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.