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Broker Acquires Jason Lea's BGA: Distribution Deals

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What You Need to Know

  • The CEO of BSMG is the immediate past chair of NAILBA.
  • LTC Global has acquired Westland Financial.
  • Senior Market Sales, NFP, U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners and Hilb have acquired firms in the employer market.

Specialty Program Group has acquired the assets of Brokers’ Service Marketing Group II, or BSMG.

SPG is a Summit, New Jersey-based company that buys and runs specialty insurance brokerage firms and underwriting services.

BSMG is a Providence, Rhode Island-based life and annuity brokerage general agency that was founded in 1972. The BGA helps agents, brokers and financial institutions sell life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance, and related products and services.

Jason Lea, BSMG’s CEO, is the immediate past chair of the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies.

SPG CEO Christopher Treanor said in a comment about the deal, included in the acquisition announcement, that SPG is interested in expanding into the life insurance and annuity market.

Many other insurance distribution companies have also been making deals.

Life, Annuity and Long-Term Care

LTC Global and Westland Financial

LTC Global — a Fort Myers, Florida-based insurance distributor and agency financing provider — has acquired Westland Financial Services, a San Diego-based life and health insurance agency.

Gene Pastula, founder and president of the firm, and other top company executives will stay with the business, LTC Global says.

Medicare

Independence Holding Co, and Independence Pet IHC and Horace Mann IHC and Reliance Standard

Independence Holding Co. has taken two more steps toward changing itself from an issuer of medical stop-loss insurance and specialty health insurance products into a health insurance plan seller.

IHC says it has completed the previously announced sale of part of its pet insurance business to a subsidiary of Independence Pet Holdings, which was formerly known as Iguana Capital. The transaction was connected with a pet insurance business transaction completed with the Independence Pet subsidiary over the summer. The two transactions have a total value of about $394 million: $276 million in cash and about $118 million in Independence Pet stock.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based company has also completed the previously announced sale of Madison National Life Insurance Co. subsidiaries to Horace Mann Educators Corp. of Springfield, Illinois. The subsidiary writes specialty health insurance, group disability insurance and life insurance. Horace Mann paid IHC a total of $172.5 million in cash up front and could pay an additional $12.5 million if Madison National meets performance goals.

In addition, IHC has completed the previously announced sale of Standard Security Life Insurance Co. of New York, a company that writes short-term disability insurance and paid leave plans in New York state, to Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., a Philadelphia-based arm of Tokio Marine Group, for $180 million in cash.

IHC says it now “distributes Medicare, life, under age 65 health (including Affordable Care Act plans), and other insurance products direct to consumers, via agents and through affinity partnerships.”

Employer Health Benefits

Senior Market Sales and Transitions Benefit Group

Senior Market Sales — an Omaha, Nebraska-based subsidiary of Alliant Insurance Services — has acquired Transitions Benefit Group, an Atlanta-based company that helps employers work with group health plan enrollees who are turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare, from the founder, Cambria Smith.

Smith founded the company in 2008, after she learned her grandparents were losing their health insurance.

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Transitions has been using SMS support services for 10 years.

Transitions will stay in Atlanta, and Smith and other Transitions employees will stay with the business, SMS says.

SMS now has relationships with 65,000 independent insurance agents and 1,000 career agents.

TriNet and Zenefits

TriNet — a Dublin, California-based professional employer organization — has acquired Zenefits, a Chicago-based human resources, benefits and payroll system company, from Francisco Partners, an investment firm.

Francisco Partners will get a stake in TriNet, and it has agreed to recommend TriNet services to the other companies in its investment portfolio.

Hilb and Charles Newman Co.

The Hilb Group — a Richmond, Virginia-based insurance distributor — has acquired Charles Newman Co., an insurance and employee benefits broker based in Peekskill, New York.

Hilb will hire the firm’s owners and managers, including Charles Newman, Ilana Arbeit and David Arbeit, as well as the firm’s other employees.

Retirement Plans

Hub International and Fiducia Hub and Benefit Partners Group Hub and GRP Financial California

Hub International Ltd. — a Chicago-based insurance broker and financial services firm — has acquired the assets of three firms in the retirement plan market: Fiducia Group of Pittsburgh; Benefit Partners Group of Libertyville, Illinois; and GRP Financial California of San Clemente, California.

Fiducia provides 401(k) and retirement plan consulting services to employers in the corporate, Taft-Hartley, public and nonprofit sectors. It manages about $2.3 billion in assets. Hub will hire Charley Kennedy, Fiducia’s managing principal; James Bartoszewicz, the chief compliance officer’ and other Fiducia employees.

Benefit Partners Group provides group life, health and disability benefits as well as retirement plan services for about 500 clients. Hub will hire Russell Warye, the firm’s founding partner, and the firm’s employees.

GRP Financial California offers retirement plan consulting services to plan sponsors and investors. It manages about $3.4 billion in assets. Hub will hire the firm’s employees and its principals — Jason Jeskey, Austin Gwilliam and Kyle Posvistak.

NFP and IFTI

NFP — a New York-based insurance and financial services seller — has acquired Improved Funding Techniques, a Lynnbrook, New York-based retirement plan designer and administrator.

NFP will make Daniel Bystrom, IFTI’s president, a senior vice president.

USRBP and MidAmerica

U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners — an Iselin, New Jersey-based retirement plan provider — has acquired MidAmerica Administrative & Retirement Solutions, a Lakeland, Florida-based third-party administrator in the retirement plan market.

MidAmerica was founded in 1995. It focuses on serving schools, government entities and other employers in the public employer sector.

USRBP says it will hire MidAmerica’s employees.

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