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Arthur J. Gallagher buys Bollinger for $276.5 million

Posted On: Aug. 13, 2013 12:00 AM CST

Arthur J. Gallagher buys Bollinger for $276.5 million

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., the third-largest broker of U.S. business according to Business Insurance's 2013 ranking, said it acquired Short Hills, N.J.-based insurance broker Bollinger Inc. for about $276.5 million.

With both commercial and personal lines of business, Bollinger has more than 500 employees operating out of eight offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and is ranked No. 21 in U.S. business, according to the 2013 Business Insurance ranking.

In a statement late Monday announcing the deal, Gallagher Chairman, President and CEO J. Patrick Gallagher Jr. said combining the companies' operations would produce long-term operational efficiencies and expand Itasca, Ill.-based Gallagher's footprint in New Jersey and New York.

“The Bollinger acquisition gives us a unique opportunity to significantly expand our Northeastern operating platform and market presence in three of our core businesses,'' Mr. Gallagher said. “Because Bollinger's growth strategy, operating structure and sales culture are very similar to Gallagher's, I'm confident that the integration will be extraordinarily successful.”

Under terms of the deal, Bollinger Chairman and CEO Jack Windolf will remain with the company and lead the transition and integration process.

“Gallagher is the perfect fit for our clients and employees,” Mr. Windolf said. “We are excited about joining Gallagher, and we are confident that the combined sales and services resources will provide significant opportunities for our future growth together.”

The acquisition is the largest ever for Gallagher. Its previous biggest was when it bought U.K.-based brokerage HLG Holdings Ltd. for $158 million in 2011.


Bollinger generated $131.9 million in U.S. revenue in 2012, compared with a collective $231 million in annual revenue for the 60 smaller brokerages Gallagher purchased in 2012.

On the property/casualty and benefits retail side, the companies will operate as Gallagher Bollinger, a subsidiary of Arthur J. Gallagher, while on the wholesale side, the company will use the RPS Bollinger brand, a Gallagher spokeswoman said.

Both Gallagher and Bollinger will maintain a focus on the middle-market and continue “their common strategies of growing organically and through mergers and acquisitions,” Gallagher said in the statement.

Timothy J. Cunningham, a broker consultant with Chicago-based Optis Partners L.L.C., said the transaction that makes a lot of sense for Gallagher.

“It's a book of business that looks a lot like Gallagher,” he said. “It adds $20 million worth of revenue in employee benefits, which is consistent with Gallagher's push in that regard, and also adds $10 million worth of program business.”