The U.S. insurance market seems to have ended a 5-year slump in mergers and acquisitions, according to Conning Research & Consulting.

Conning, Hartford, says the number of transactions in all sectors increased 35%, and the total value of the deals increased 224%.

Acquirers were more like to buy specialized units to add expertise than to make deals simply to increase their size, Conning says.

The factors responsible for the increase in M&A activity include a healthier economy, higher stock prices and stronger insurer capital positions, Conning says.

- Allison Bell

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