2021 brokerage revenue: $2.61 billion
Percentage increase: 46.8%
Strong organic growth, driven by commercial lines pricing and employee recruitment, and the acquisition of a large personal lines agency enabled Alliant Insurance Services Inc. to penetrate into Business Insurance ranking of the 10 largest brokerages in the world for the first time this year.
The Irvine, Calif.-based brokerage, which began as a San Diego department store agency in 1925, reported 19.3% organic revenue growth in 2021.
Acquisition of Huntington Beach, Calif.-based personal lines agency Confie Holding II Co. last year gave Alliant a big boost in personal lines revenue and more than doubled its headcount.
The firm’s commercial insurance pricing environment is creating a tailwind for most brokers, said Greg Zimmer, president of Alliant. “That’s one of the reasons you see organic growth for all brokers higher than it has traditionally been.” The growth rate, however, is moderate, he said.
Alliant reported $2.61 billion in revenue in 2021, up 46.8%.
The police have made adjustments to market conditions.
“Business people are looking more at their expenses and how to control them. “To some extent, you’re seeing higher deductibles or maybe lower limits to control insurance costs,” said Mr. Zimmer.
Alliant’s construction and real estate verticals, areas of focus from industry specialists, grew the most in 2021, with the construction vertical now the company’s largest, he said.
The broker’s reach in the construction sector is national, having brokered coverage for improvements to New York’s LaGuardia Airport and projects in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards development, Mr. Zimmer.
Alliant retail revenue rose 39.8% to $1.44 billion, employee benefits revenue rose 22.5% to $569 million, wholesale rose 18.1% to $244.38 million and personal lines rose 487.74 % to $309.15 million.
Alliant ended 2021 with 9,194 employees, compared to 4,457 at the end of 2020.
Mr Zimmer said the big increase in personal lines revenue was linked to the acquisition of Confie, which specializes in non-standard auto cover. In addition, the acquisition of Senior Market Sales Inc. in 2020 it expanded the Alliant Medicare business, which continued to grow in 2021, he said.
In early 2021, Alliant acquired Greenwich, Connecticut-based BridgePoint Risk Management LLC, which specializes in placing coverage for business owners, high-profile executives, athletes, entertainers and collectors of fine art, jewelry , wine and automobiles.
Most of Alliant’s state-of-the-art spending has been on internal efficiencies, Mr. Zimmer. The company has also invested in several customer-facing technologies and research.
John Wepler, chairman and CEO of Woodmere, Ohio-based mergers and acquisitions consultancy Marsh, Berry & Co. Inc., noted that Alliant is backed by private equity, as opposed to ownership, meaning the majority of the company is held by employees. “You have a lot of people whose interests are in driving organic growth,” he said.
GTCR LLC was the first private equity investor in Alliant, in 2000. Alliant currently has about a dozen institutional investors, with Stone Point Capital the lead institutional investor, but the company is still more than 50% owned by management and employees. her.
The brokerage is “really an organic growth business,” Mr. Wepler said, with an emphasis on hiring and developing manufacturers.
Alliant is “focused on its manufacturer strategy” and manufacturers continue to be strong in building books of business, said Francesca Mannarino, a New York-based associate director at S&P Global Ratings. She added that after recent larger acquisitions, the focus in 2022 is more likely to be on smaller tuck-in deals.
Ms. Mannarino said Alliant’s “lateral hiring strategy,” in which it seeks to acquire highly experienced producers with substantial books of business, could account for up to 30% of the broker’s organic growth in certain segments.
Alliant, like several other brokers pursuing a similar strategy, has been subject to poaching lawsuits from rivals from whom it has hired staff.
Julie Herman, director in New York with S&P Global Ratings, said that when Alliant seeks to acquire such a business, it tries to reach a commercial settlement with the previous employers.
“We always work with their previous employer to make a smooth transition,” said Mr. Zimmer. “People should be able to work where they want to work and customers should be able to choose who they work with. Everything after that has to be processed commercially.”