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Helmsman to acquire boutique TPA Eberle Vivian

Posted On: Oct. 3, 2019 8:30 AM CST

Acquisition agreement

Third-party administrator Helmsman Management Services LLC has agreed to acquire boutique TPA Eberle Vivian Inc., marking the first acquisition by the wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Liberty Mutual announced Thursday.

The acquisition of Kent, Washington-based Eberle Vivian, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, Liberty Mutual said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eberle Vivian will continue as a stand-alone operation under Helmsman, and its current president, Lisa Vivian, will remain head of Eberle Vivian and join Helmsman’s leadership team.

Helmsman is the ninth-largest TPA by gross revenue, growing 7.4% between 2017 and 2018 to $316.7 million, according to Business Insurance’s 2019 rankings.

Prior to this acquisition agreement, Boston-based Helmsman had only grown organically, said Dave Dwortz, the company’s president and CEO.

“It was critical for us to find the right partner to get into the (merger and acquisition) side of growth for the first time,” he said. “Our two firms have had the good fortune of working side by side for the better part of a decade.”

“Our cultures were such a natural fit together,” said Ms. Vivian, who said she looked to Helmsman as a potential purchaser because of its expertise in managed care and data analytics and the professional growth opportunities that Helmsman could offer her employees.

Eberle Vivian has grown from six employees in 1986 to 47 employees administering 64 self-insured accounts predominantly located in Washington state, according to Ms. Vivian. The TPA also services clients in Oregon and Alaska and has a strong presence in aviation and public entities.

“I think (the acquisition) opens up some really great organic opportunities for us in the future,” said Mr. Dwortz. “Now Lisa and her team will have the resources of a Fortune 100 company while maintaining a boutique operation. I think it will lead to some nice opportunities.”

While this is Helmsman’s first acquisition, Mr. Dwortz said the company expects to grow both organically and through future strategic acquisitions.