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Arthur J. Gallagher posts higher revenue, earnings

J. Patrick Gallagher

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. on Thursday reported a 7.7% increase in second-quarter brokerage revenue to $1.2 billion.

Total revenue rose 5.3% from the year-earlier period to $1.39 billion. Net earnings increased 39.5% to $229 million. That compared with a 9% revenue increase in the first quarter and a 13.3% rise in net earnings.

The broker had an “excellent second quarter despite the economic deterioration” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said J. Patrick Gallagher, chairman, president and CEO, during the broker’s earnings call on Thursday after the markets closed.

He said the company completed four acquisitions during the second quarter and “discussions are picking up in the third quarter.”

Mr. Gallagher was asked whether, in light of Aon PLC’s planned acquisition of Willis Towers Watson PLC,  Gallagher expects to make inroads in the midsized to large account space. (The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021.)

Gallagher has been in the large account risk management business since the 1960s, Mr. Gallagher responded. “The fact that the four top players are going to consolidate to three has clearly given us more opportunities,” he said. “We feel really good about our chances to expand that business.”

The pricing environment in the second quarter “continued to move higher around the globe,” with most geographic areas reporting price increases of 5% or more, with increasingly tighter conditions and “somewhat restrained” capacity, he said.

Property had the strongest increases, with rate hikes of about 10%, while workers comp was down about 2%, he said.

Rates are continuing to increase, Mr. Gallagher said. “It’s certainly a more difficult market today but not yet a hard market because most risks can still find a home,” he said.

Clients are adjusting their programs and reconsidering limits and retentions, Mr. Gallagher said.

“A lot of the work we do is around that. That helps our clients mitigate the cost of their insurance while at the same time protecting them for the future,” he said.

 More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.