Keystone Agency Partners' acquisitions lead discusses KAP's new agency partnership model that is providing select agency owners a different path for growing their agency.
There are more than two dozen acquirers of independent insurance agencies throughout the U.S. that maximize profits by centralizing, standardizing and terminating. So, when the opportunity to build a strategic partnership model unlike any other was presented to me, the answer was a resounding “yes." I jumped from a role that I loved, as director of acquisitions for BroadStreet Partners, to join Bain Capital and Keystone Insurers Group to launch Keystone Agency Partners and lead something truly different centered on growth.
Why Insurance Agency Acquisitions?
The fundamentals of an insurance agency make it a uniquely attractive investment: Predictable and recurring cash flows, a compulsory product and service, and very little capital expenditures. Additionally, the industry is fragmented due to a high rate of aging owners, which makes the industry ideal for acquirers.
Prior to the founding of Keystone Agency Partners, what was missing from our industry was a solution that can both satisfy an agency's requisite succession and perpetuation needs, while also preserving what makes them unique for future generations. That's why I made the leap—to grow, not destroy!
Independent Agencies Are More Valuable to Their Communities Than the Policies They Sell
Local insurance agencies not only provide great job opportunities and fuel their local economy, but they build and foster community to ensure their future. By serving as empathetic advisors to their neighbors and fellow business owners, independent agents provide their communities with the protection and confidence they need to build and protect for the future.
They are pillars in their community—sponsoring local charities and nonprofits and serving as leaders on economic development councils and community organizations. It is in everyone's best interest to ensure the perpetuation of the independent insurance agency system.
Enter Keystone Agency Partners
The cornerstone of our offering is to provide a connected and autonomous operating model combined with best-in-class resources and support. Through our partnership with Bain Capital and Keystone Insurers Group, we paired a global investment leader with one of the largest agency networks in the nation to create a truly unique offering.
We approach our prospects as partners—not targets or sellers. We give agency owners the opportunity to maintain meaningful equity in their company and support how they want to grow their legacy, rather than auctioning it off to the highest bidder. Our ideal partner isn't traditionally for sale and takes on one of these two primary flavors:
1) The entrepreneur who is not looking to exit. We seek agency owners that will value a strategic partner that helps accelerate their existing successes through access to resources and expertise that drive growth.
2) The entrepreneur who has identified the next wave of leadership and wants to empower them. However, for a myriad of reasons, the entrepreneur seeks a partner who can monetize their ownership position while leaving equity in the agency for the next generation.
Our model isn't for everyone. For those looking to sell and exit stage left, there are plenty of other buyers. For agency owners looking for a strategic partner to help chart a different course, look no further.
As chief acquisitions officer for Keystone Agency Partners, I look forward to expanding on our acquisition approach more in the months ahead. I love that through our partnership approach I am able to work with dynamic agency owners to craft a partnership and structure tailored to their goals, rather than a cookie-cutter approach to acquisitions. If our approach speaks to you and you're looking for a long-term strategic partner to bring your agency to new heights—don't be a stranger—send me a message on LinkedIn.
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Dan Girardi is chief acquisitions officer of Keystone Agency Partners.