Welcome to the February 2013 edition of the Insurance Agent and Broker Sales Alerts. Typical for this early point in the annual business cycle we are seeing a rebuilding of activity. The Q4 turmoil created by the anticipated capital gains tax changes has died down and fresh seller leads are beginning to return to the market.
Please remember that access to sellers can be difficult because open exposure of the desire to sell can be a concern for sellers, due to the impact this information could have on insurance carriers (markets), employees, clients and the competition. As evidence and as reported by our strategic partners Marsh Berry, only 10% of all deals in the $1M range are publicly known.
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Springtree Group (STG), a Mergers and Acquisition consulting and financial support firm, announced its successful representation of Independent Insurance Group Benefits of Dallas in its merger with Marsh & McLennan Agency. Independent Insurance Group Benefits is an insurance brokerage firm specializing in group employee benefits. Marsh & McLennan Agency is a leading North American brokerage firm. The Independent Insurance Group Benefits operation led by Joe Wiseman will remain in Dallas and will become part of Marsh’s Dallas hub, Prescott Pailet. For full details, please call Springtree Group at (972) 395-8811 or contact us online
Dallas, TX and Fort Wayne, IN (PRWEB) December 16, 2012
The current economic upheaval has been especially hard on the insurance and financial industries. To remain competitive insurance Agents and Brokers must become even more productive by uncovering hidden revenue opportunities, especially within their current books of business. The new STG/ATS partnership combines existing skills to form a Best-of-Breed service provider. The agreement calls for the two companies to pool resources and intellectual property to speed the development and adoption of products and services that increase the productivity and profitability of Insurance Agents and Brokers. For full details, please call Springtree Group at (972) 395-8811 or contact us online.
Springtree Group is the largest company in the U.S. to offer a portfolio of loan packages and services to specifically support the insurance agent and brokerage community. In our daily conversations with clients, we address the two most common questions, “Will you finance an agency or brokerage operation?” and “Do you know of any agencies for sale”?
We only work with buyers; however, over the years we have developed relationships with an extensive group of more than 3,100 business intermediaries across the U.S. that represent sellers. We are also recognized by select DOIs, and by numerous professionals in the Consulting, Legal, Venture, Banking and Private Equity ranks as a source for financing and strong relationships with buyers. Because of the specialized nature of our business, these intermediaries look to STG as the “go to” source for financing, as well as relationships with active buyers in this space.
On a monthly basis, we send notifications to our group of contracted buyers, alerting them to a new fresh group of sellers in the different markets around the U.S. Please keep in mind we do not represent sellers, we represent you, the buyer. Most of the listings sent to us are what are referred to as “Pocket Listings” with little general market knowledge of the availability. Often, sellers want the sale kept very low-key so as not to raise concerns among employees, clients and their insurance markets.
By utilizing our national approach, buyers are able to view listings in needed development areas for their companies, not just their home towns. As an example, we have a considerable number of current owners in the upper Midwest and North East that have the desire to consider shops in Florida. We have a very active and sizable group of sellers in Florida.
As an added advantage, the cost of this service is credited towards the M&A fees we charge once the deal is completed. If you have interest in knowing more about this our any of our products or services please contact us online.
Countless business owners are unaware of the fact that the SBA has guaranteed in excess of $18 Billion in small business loans so far this year. Why not you?
The Springtree Group (STG) offers The Seven Myths of Getting a SBA Loan as a free service to brokerage/agency owners who need capital to grow, buy or sell their firms. STG is the largest company in the U.S. to offer a portfolio of financial packages to specifically support the agent and brokerage community. Our SBA package is one of these offerings. As with our other loan packages, our SBA program typically provides loans based on your firm’s cash flow, not your personal hard assets. See which of the seven myths below you previously believed, and how getting the facts can help you achieve your business goals.
The Seven Myths of Getting a SBA Loan:
Myth #1 – The SBA is for small business loans for people with poor credit who cannot find capital elsewhere.
Not true – SBA working capital loans go up to $5 million.
Myth #2 – Getting a SBA loan means you will have to deal with the government.
Not true – The SBA guarantees the loan. The funds are loaned from a bank. You will deal with the bank.
Myth #3 – To get a SBA loan you must be fully collateralized.
Not true – “A loan request is not to be declined solely on the basis of inadequate collateral.” SBA Standard Operational Procedures
Myth #4 – SBA loans have higher interest rates and shorter terms than conventional loans.
Not true – Current working capital loans are at 6% with terms out to 10 years.
Myth #5 – The SBA requires you put down at least 20%.
Not true – Your existing equity in your company can allow you to borrow without an additional cash injection. When you purchase an agency, a seller note is considered equity.
Myth #6 – Since you are preparing to sell your business, you have no need to understand the SBA as a source of capital.
Not true – Educating potential buyers of the SBA as a source of capital can allow you to reach a broader market – and prevent you from having to finance the buyout yourself.
Myth #7 – The process of getting an SBA loan is a nightmare.
This one happens to be true – if you do not have a professional team that knows the system, has the banking connections with SBA lenders, and can get advocacy from the SBA on your behalf.
If you are agency owner looking to sell to an outside entity, sell to your children, buy other agencies, grow their agencies or start a new agency please contact us.
To schedule a phone conversation and receive a FREE FINANCIAL ANALYSIS to determine whether an SBA loan is right for you, please contact us online.
We are highly encouraged by the activity we are seeing in our pipeline of buyers interested in acquiring an established insurance agency or brokerage. Generally, our buyers are looking for firms under $5 million in commission revenues. All of our fees are paid by the purchaser. You incur no obligation or expense and all inquiries are kept confidential.
Springtree Group (STG) also facilitates the financing of these deals. As a consequence, our clients have the ability to move quickly and can provide terms with limited contingencies. Financing is a critical need for agencies in this size range. STG is the only national company that offers a full range of financing options for the agent and brokerage community.
STG represents buyers across the continental U.S. looking for multiple agencies of all sizes. If you represent sellers or have knowledge of any such firms please contact us.
Today’s insurance industry is highly fragmented, with more than 400,000 agencies and brokerages nationwide. Most agencies have fewer than five employees, and the average age of agency owner is 59 years old. With thousands of agency owners nearing retirement, experts estimate that 75% of the current insurance agencies in the U.S. will have a transition ownership event over the next 7-10 years. These events can take many forms, including family perpetuation, partner buy-outs, mergers, book purchases and an actual sale.
If you are looking to buy or sell an agency, you may have already discovered the unique challenges that this type of transaction poses. Because independent agencies typically have few hard assets to borrow against, the market is ignored by banks and national insurance M&A firms. In contrast, Springtree Group supports insurance entrepreneurs whose firms have commission and fee levels under $10M annually, with a specific sweet spot from $5M down to $300K. We are uniquely qualified to broker M&A transactions in the independent insurance agency space.
Springtree Group satisfies the three primary concerns for both buyers and sellers in this market:
We view acquisition target development as a multi-level and joint endeavor, using the national approach that STG provides in concert with the “boots on the ground” local market intelligence that only the client has access to. STG provides unique buyer services, such as the monthly Seller Notification Services provided to our buyers offer a North American sampling of agencies available for sale. We offer a well-articulated step by step approached for our clients to find, negotiate, analyze, fund and close insurance agency transaction. Of course the critical piece is the employment of our multiple loan platforms and financial packages that bring the deal together.
No other company in the U.S. provides a complete program of acquisition process development, surrounded by a full suite of financing tools in this very specific and hard to finance insurance agent and brokerage space. We would enjoy the opportunity to help you if that is your profile. Please give us a call at (972) 395-8811 today.