Business Moves

October 3, 2022

RB, Corvus

Specialty risk broker RB Jones announced its marine and energy division has acquired the Smart Cargo Insurance business from Boston-based managing general agent Corvus Insurance.

The Corvus ocean cargo product offers an insurtech product for temperature-sensitive cargo such as food and pharmaceuticals.

As part of the transaction, RB Jones will have exclusive access to underwrite cargo insurance policies through Skyward Specialty Insurance Group, a specialty property/casualty insurance company that provides capacity to the marine cargo industry.

The Corvus technology utilizes risk models built on multiple data points from cargo sensors to inform underwriting, coverage and rates. Additionally, the technology can be used to minimize or prevent cargo damage during transportation.

RB Jones said the analysis and application of temperature stability data will help its marine cargo clients optimize their shipping methods and routes.

John Gambino, marine underwriting manager at RB Jones, will lead the integration of the Corvus offering into the RB Jones portfolio. In addition, the company said it will welcome talent from Corvus as RB Jones associates. Zandra Brown joins as head of specialty cargo and Kevin Kempf joins as product leader of specialty cargo. Both Brown and Kempf report to Gambino.

Detroit-based H.W. Kaufman Group is the parent company to RB Jones.

Corvus specializes in technology and data-driven insurance products and digital tools. Its products include Smart Cyber Insurance and Smart Tech E+O.

Pie Insurance

Pie Insurance, an insurtech specializing in workers compensation insurance for small businesses, said it raised a $315 million Series D round of funding – the largest round of financing for any U.S. based P&C insurtech company in 2022.

The fundraise more than doubled Pie’s total capital raised to over $615 million. The round was led by Centerbridge Partners and Allianz X, the digital investments arm of Allianz Group.

White Mountains Insurance Group also joined as a new investor, and previous investors Gallatin Point Capital, Greycroft, Acrew Capital and others also participated in the round.

Pie recently announced it more than doubled its gross written premium, and doubled its number of policyholders and partners.

In addition, Pie expanded its coverage area into two new states, increasing its total workers’ comp coverage footprint to 89% of small businesses in the U.S., the company said.

Pie said it will use the funds to support its growth initiatives that directly impact its small business customers, including expanding into new lines of business, fully transitioning to a full-stack carrier, further innovating upon its advanced proprietary pricing algorithms, for small businesses and the partner agents who serve them.

Relation, Mobeck-Guandalini

National insurance agency Relation Insurance Services has acquired Mobeck-Guandalini Insurance, a multi-line brokerage headquartered in Branford, Connecticut.

Christopher Guandalini will continue to lead Mobeck-Guandalini Insurance under Relation going forward.

Mobeck-Guandalini Insurance transaction adds to Relation’s presence in Connecticut. In April, Relation acquired Guilford-based Yerkes-Stephens Insurance, which was previously part of Nationwide Mutual’s exclusive distribution network. In 2021, Relation acquired The SIG Insurance Agencies in Middletown. It also owns Gary Blaustein Associates in Stamford and Southeast Agency in Jewett City.

California-headquartered Relation is ranked by Insurance Journal within the top 25 largest agencies in the country by revenue and has approximately 1,200 employees across more than 125 locations nationwide. Relation is a privately held corporation backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York and London.

Brown & Brown, Smithwick & Mariners Insurance

Brown & Brown of Massachusetts has acquired Maine-based Smithwick & Mariners Insurance, which includes MidCoast Insurance and Chapman & Chapman Insurance.

Originally founded in 1987 to service the marine industry, Smithwick & Mariners has grow to serve business owners and individuals throughout Maine and greater New England.

The firm, headquartered in Falmouth, Maine. also has offices in Kennebunk and in New Bedford, Massachusetts and South Hampton, New Hampshire. Its other agencies are also in Maine– Chapman & Chapman is in Damariscotta, while MidCoast Insurance is in Bath.

The Smathwick & Mariners companies are led by Scott Smithwick and Chris Smithwick. Following the acquisition, the Smithwick & Mariners team will continue doing business from its existing offices in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and will operate within Brown & Brown’s retail segment. The Smithwicks will continue to lead the team and will report to Don McGowan, a regional president in Brown & Brown’s retail segment.

Brown & Brown has more than 14,500 employees in 450-plus locations.

Conner Strong & Buckelew, Armstrong, Doyle & Carroll

Camden, New Jersey-based insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew has acquired Wayne, Pennsylvania-based brokerage firm, Armstrong, Doyle & Carroll.

In business since the 1950s, Armstrong, Doyle & Carroll is a privately held firm specializing in managing national and local benefit plans, including a statewide benefits insurance program for private schools and colleges in Pennsylvania.

Michael Tiagwad, president and CEO of Conner Strong & Buckelew, said Armstrong, Doyle & Carroll will ultimately operate under Conner Strong & Buckelew’s brand after a brief transition period. It will be led by 30-plus year employee benefits industry veteran John Doyle.

Founded in 1959 Conner Strong & Buckelew has 450 professionals in offices around the country.

Acrisure, B2Z Insurance

Acrisure announced it has acquired B2Z Insurance, a digitally native company that helps business owners obtain customizable insurance coverage in minutes.

The acquisition of B2Z strengthens Acrisure’s digital offering and complements its recent partnership with QuickInsured, a technology insurance platform that offers customers personal lines insurance policies. With B2Z’s focus on providing small businesses easy access to personalized coverage online, Acrisure now has the ability to provide a more holistic suite of solutions to solve the various insurance needs of its customers.

B2Z was established during the COVID-19 pandemic to help small businesses more simply protect themselves. Specifically, B2Z uses third party data and analytics to help business owners answer time consuming application questions normally asked to bind policies. Clients can obtain quotes, purchase personalized coverage and review their coverage with a licensed Customer Experience advocate by phone, text or chat.

Through this partnership, B2Z augments and enhances Acrisure’s digital fulfillment capabilities and customer experience on a much bigger scale.

Risk Strategies, Beattie & Associates

Risk Strategies, a national specialty insurance brokerage and risk management firm, announced it has acquired Beattie & Associates, a retail agency in Missouri specializing in employee benefits for both individuals and employers.

Headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri, Beattie & Associates is led by its principal, Tom Beattie.

Beattie offers business clients a full range of employee benefit coverages, including group health, disability, life, dental, and vision, as well as associated support services. Beattie’s client base is highly loyal and largely concentrated in the Midwest Region.

In addition to its base in the St. Louis region, Beattie has presence across Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana, as well as Chicago. The Montana presence represents an expansion for Risk Strategies. Beattie’s Chicago presence will complement existing, long-standing Risk Strategies operations.

Alera, jweinland Group Benefits

Alera Group announced the acquisition of jweinland Group Benefits, a full-service employee benefits firm specializing in the highest quality group benefits and self-funded insurance plans.

Founded in 2009 and located in Shreveport, Louisiana, jweinland Group Benefits provides Shreveport and Bossier City clients with group health insurance and employee benefits program consulting. The team has grown the agency into one of the largest independent agencies in the state.

The jweinland Group Benefits team will continue serving clients in their existing roles.

PCF, Peak Performance Brokerage

PCF Insurance Services, a burgeoning brokerage based in Utah, has acquired Peak Performance Team, a brokerage that offers financing and insurance packages to automobile dealers in the United States.

Peak Performance Team, headquartered in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, provides custom tools for dealers, including auto warranties, service contracts on vehicles, guaranteed asset protection plans and other plans, the companies said in a news release. Michael Burgholzer is president of Peak Performance Team.

It’s the latest of 112 planned or executed acquisitions this year for PCF, which said it leads the industry in the pace of mergers and acquisitions.

Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, PCF said it has a diversified revenue stream but focuses on consulting and insurance brokering for commercial, life and health, benefits and workers’ compensation programs. Peter Foy is chairman and founder.

PCF ranked number 13 on Insurance Journal’s 2022 Top 100 Agencies ranking.

RSS, DLP, Conexus

Westminster insurance agencies RSS Insurance Services and Day Larsen Pedersen Insurance have merged into one, local independent insurance agency serving the Colorado community.

The firms are now Conexus Insurance Partners. RSS & DLP have served the Colorado area for a combined 120 years.

Through the recent merger, the newly formed agency has spent time and effort in streamlining processes, procedures and technology.

Conexus is an independent agency with two locations in Westminster that specializes in business insurance, employee benefits and personal insurance.