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PCF to continue acquisition push following financing deal

Peter Foy and Felix Morgan

Acquisitive brokerage PCF Insurance Services will continue with its growth strategy following the $500 million equity investment it announced Friday, but the pace of deals may slow, its top executives said.

“This is strategic capital that we’re taking at this point so that we can be appropriately financed to take advantage of the market in the upcoming year,” Felix Morgan, chief financial officer and chief operating officer of the Lehi, Utah-based brokerage, said in an interview.

Although higher interest rates will likely slow the overall market for insurance brokerage mergers and acquisitions in 2023 and PCF’s pace of purchases will likely ease, said Peter Foy, CEO of PCF.

PCF, which completed a management buyout from its private equity owners in 2021, said last week it has secured a $500 million preferred equity investment in a transaction led by private equity firms Carlyle Group Inc. and HGGC LLC, one of its existing private equity investors. The investment values PCF at $4.7 billion, the company said.

PCF management will still own more than 75% of the company following the financing deal, Mr. Foy said.

According to data from Optis Partners LLC, PCF was the second-most active acquirer of agents and brokers in 2022 with 71 deals announced. In 2021, it announced 99 deals. Overall last year, M&A among brokers slowed considerably in the second half as interest rates rose.

“Our goal was to bring in more capital to keep our acquisitions going as the market kind of readjusts,” Mr. Foy said.

PCF has not completed any acquisitions so far in 2023 but has several in the pipeline that it expects to complete in March, he said.

PCF is the 20th-largest broker of U.S. business, according to Business Insurance’s most recent ranking.