NU Online News Service, Nov. 4, 2003, 5:38 p.m. EST – Brown & Brown Inc., Daytona Beach, Fla., a publicly traded insurance broker, is still buying insurance agencies.

Brown & Brown recently announced the acquisition of three related agencies, Benefit Resource Inc., Benefit Resource of Indiana Inc. and Business Benefits Group Inc., with offices in Owensboro, Ky., and Newburgh, Ind.

The three agencies, which specialize in selling employee benefits, have combined annual revenues of about $2.5 million, Brown & Brown says.

The acquisition gives Brown & Brown its first operation in Kentucky, says J. Scott Penny, a regional executive vice president at Brown & Brown.

Eric Anderson, who had been chairman of the three agencies, will continue to head them, but he now will run them as Brown & Brown offices.

Brown & Brown and its subsidiaries sell property-casualty insurance along with employee benefits administration, managed health care and a range of other products and services for midsize employers.

In the past year, Brown & Brown has acquired a number of employee benefits agencies, including John Manner Agency, Joliet, Ill.; Abrams Agency, Hartford; and the Hoffman Agency, Orange, Calif. Including p-c agencies, the company averages more than 20 acquisitions a year, says Cory Walker, Brown & Brown’s chief financial officer.

“They come to us,” Walker says of acquisition candidates. “We have a highly decentralized organization. Agencies are attracted to us because they can continue to run their operations just like when they were on their own.”

Brown & Brown now has agencies in 30 states and about 135 offices, with about 3,550 employees. Its corporate accounts pay commissions averaging between $11,000 and $12,000 a year, Walker says.