Best's Review



Top Global Insurance Brokers

Acrisure jumps five spots to No. 13 and London-based Ardonagh Group debuts in the top 20.
  • July 2018
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Best’s Review presents its annual ranking of global insurance brokers, based on 2017 total revenue.

The top 20 brokers are presented according to ranking.

Marsh, Aon, Willis Towers Watson, Arthur J. Gallagher, BB&T and Brown & Brown kept their places in the top six spots. However, 13 of the top 20 brokers changed places.

The biggest leap in the broker ranking was made by Acrisure LLC. The Caledonia, Michigan-based broker moved from No. 18 in the previous Best’s Review ranking to the No. 13 spot. The broker reported 69.8% of its business was focused on commercial lines. Acrisure completed 92 mergers and acquisitions in 2017. It generated $1 billion in total revenue in 2017; 2016’s total revenue was $649 million.

Mergers & Acquisitions

In addition to Acrisure’s large number of M&A transactions, several other brokers also made a number of acquisitions in 2017, with four reporting deals in the double digits. Hub International, ranked No. 8, reports it acquired more than 55 brokerages, No. 12 NFP Corp. completed 42, No. 4 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced 39 and No. 1 Marsh & McLennan reported 10.

Two other brokers folded a former competitor’s business into their own in 2017. AssuredPartners Inc., No. 15, moved into the California marketplace with the purchase of Keenan & Associates and No. 9 USI Insurance Services bought Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA.

Making a Debut

The Ardonagh Group, which was created through a megamerger, appears for the first time on Best’s Review’s annual broker ranking in the No. 17 position. The London-based broker was created in June 2017, bringing together Autonet, Chase Templeton, Direct Group, Price Forbes and Towergate, with the additional acquisitions of Healthy Pets in August 2017, and Carole Nash and Mastercover announced in December 2017.

"The name Ardonagh comes from the Celtic words for ‘warrior’ and ‘on high,’" said David Ross, Ardonagh’s CEO. "The name was chosen to unite the family of businesses under a banner of resilience, insight and strength. Finding a unique company name is no mean feat, but the spirit captured by this word felt fitting for the way we wanted to move forward as a business," he said.

Previously, Ross was the CEO of U.K. broker Towergate and had a 25-year career with Arthur J. Gallagher.

New Leaders

Two brokers in the ranking brought on new CEOs.

No. 8 Hub International Ltd. named Marc Cohen president and CEO. Previously, he was the broker’s president. He reports to Martin P. Hughes, who continues to serve as the broker’s executive chairman.

AmWINS, No. 14 in the ranking, named Scott M. Purviance to succeed M. Steven DeCarlo in the CEO position. Purviance previously was the broker’s chief operating officer and has been with the company since 2001. DeCarlo, who was CEO of AmWINS since joining in December 2000, now serves in the newly created role of executive chairman and remains chairman of the AmWINS board of directors.

Name Change

No. 18 AmeriTrust Group Inc., was formerly named Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. The Southfield, Michigan-based broker is operating as the U.S.-based insurance holding company for the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd.

Information used in this ranking was provided by the companies. Revenues have been rounded and are expressed in U.S. dollars. Currency conversion is as of Dec. 31, 2017.

Top 20 Global Brokers

Ranked by 2017 Total Revenue

2017 Ranking 2016 Ranking Broker 2017 Total
1 1 Marsh & McLennan Cos. $14.02 billion
2 2 Aon Plc. $10.00 billion
3 3 Willis Towers Watson $8.20 billion
4 4 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. $6.16 billion
5 5 BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc. $1.92 billion
6 6 Brown & Brown Inc. $1.88 billion
7 8 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc* $1.88 billion
8 7 Hub International Ltd. $1.87 billion
9 10 USI Insurance Services $1.70 billion
10 9 Lockton Inc. $1.57 billion
11 12 Alliant insurance Services Inc. $1.25 billion
12 11 NFP Corp. $1.07 billion
13 18 Acrisure LLC $1.00 billion
14 13 AmWINS Group Inc. $965.10 million
15 14 AssuredPartners Inc. $959.56 million
16 15 CBIZ Inc. $855.30 million
17 The Ardonagh Group $723.70 million
18 16 AmeriTrustGroup Inc.** $715.50 million
19 19 Hyperion Insurance Group $687.00 million
20 17 Fanhua Inc. $655.00 million

* Total revenues for Brown & Brown Inc. were more than those for Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc, but appear to be tied due to rounding.
** Formerly known as Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc.

Top 20 Global Brokers


1. Marsh & McLennan Cos.
Headquarters: New York
Revenue 2017: $14.02 billion
Top Executive: Daniel S. Glaser, president and CEO
Top Lines: Insurance and reinsurance broking; human resource consulting; management consulting
Developments in 2017: Risk and insurance services (Marsh and Guy Carpenter) revenue was $7.6 billion. Marsh & McLennan completed 10 acquisitions. Continued to build out Marsh & McLennan Agency, including the acquisition of J. Smith Lanier & Co. Expanded across the insurance value chain, building out underwriting and claims capabilities at its MGA platform, including the acquisition of iCAT, providing property catastrophe capacity in the small- and middle-market space. Made significant innovations in data and analytics at Guy Carpenter and investments in Thomsons Online Benefits and Mercer Marketplace 365 at Mercer. Repositioned Oliver Wyman’s digital technology and analytics team to support clients across industry sectors and expansion of Oliver Wyman Labs.
2. Aon plc
Headquarters: London
Revenue 2017: $10 billion
Top Executive: Greg Case, CEO
Top Lines: Risk, retirement and health solutions
Developments in 2017: Beginning in the first quarter and following the sale of benefits administration and HR BPO platform, Aon led a set of initiatives that has transitioned it into a global professional services firm, which provides advice and solutions focused on risk, retirement and health through five principal products and service revenue lines: commercial risk, reinsurance, retirement and health solutions, and data and analytic services.
3. Willis Towers Watson
Headquarters: London; Arlington, Va.
Revenue 2017: $8.2 billion
Top Executive: John Haley, CEO
Top Lines: Human capital and benefits; risk advice and insurance broking; investments, insurance consulting and reinsurance; benefits delivery and administration
Developments in 2017: Sustained a strong and diverse portfolio, underscored by a client base with more than 85% recurring revenues annually. Built a strong management team with a culture of attracting and retaining top talent. Continued to invest in technology and client solutions. Total revenues increased 4% for the year. Total shareholder return of 36% from Towers Watson merger to March 9, 2018.
4. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Headquarters: Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Revenue 2017: $6.16 billion
Top Executive: J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and CEO
Top Lines: Property, workers’ comp, general liability/umbrella, auto, D&O
Developments in 2017: Moved to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Ill. The company achieved total organic revenue growth of 4.5% for its combined brokerage and risk management operations, with growth in every one of its global businesses. Completed 39 acquisitions representing $172 million in estimated acquired annualized revenues.
5. BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc.
Headquarters: Parsippany, N.J.
Revenue 2017: $1.92 billion
Top Executive: John M. Howard, chairman and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty; life; employee benefits
Developments in 2017: Made significant progress on the integration of Swett & Crawford with CRC Group; continued to drive positive organic growth and maintained retention levels during soft market conditions; focused on margin improvement through expense control initiatives and optimizing productivity and quality.
6. Brown & Brown Inc.
Headquarters: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Revenue 2017: $1.88 billion
Top Executive: J. Powell Brown, president and CEO
Top Lines: Middle and upper middle-market property/casualty; employee benefits; personal and professional lines—retail, national programs, wholesale and specialty third-party administrative services
Developments in 2017: Revenue growth of 6.5% and organic growth of 4.4%; EBITDAC margin of 32.2%; investments in staff, technology and new national programs to support and drive future growth and profit.
7. Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc
Headquarters: London
Revenue 2017: $1.88 billion
Top Executive: Dominic Burke, Group CEO
Top Lines: Specialist insurance and reinsurance broking advice and services; pension administration; trustee and corporate and benefits consulting; wealth and investment management; pension software
Developments in 2017: Experienced revenue growth in all businesses and 10% (GBP) overall. Earned 35% reported profit before tax growth (GBP). U.S. specialty business now represents approximately 5% of Fortune 500.
8. Hub International Ltd.
Headquarters: Chicago
Revenue 2017: $1.87 billion
Top Executive: Marc Cohen, president and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial; employee benefits; personal
Developments in 2017: Restructured the company into six super regions; acquired more than 55 brokerages; appointed Marc Cohen as CEO effective Jan. 1, 2018.
9. USI Insurance Services
Headquarters: Valhalla, N.Y.
Revenue 2017: $1.70 billion
Top Executive: Michael J. Sicard, chairman and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial lines; employee benefits; personal risk and retirement consulting
Developments in 2017: Completed a $4.3 billion recapitalization transaction with private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Canadian institutional investment firm Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), as well as USI employees. Continued to expand into strategic geographies and markets with several acquisitions, including the purchase of Wells Fargo Insurance Services.
10. Lockton Inc.
Headquarters: Kansas City, Mo. Revenue 2017: $1.57 billion Top Executive: David M. Lockton, chairman Top Lines: Risk management (property/casualty insurance); employee benefits; retirement services; affinity programs Developments in 2017: Named Ron Lockton president and CEO. Expanded capabilities in strategic risk consulting, transportation, marine, pharmacy consulting and retirement services. Added offices in Aberdeen, Scotland; Seattle; Naples, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; and New Orleans.
11. Alliant Insurance Services Inc.
Headquarters: Newport Beach, Calif.
Revenue 2017: $1.25 billion
Top Executive: Thomas W. Corbett, chairman and CEO
Top Lines: Property/casualty (specialty vertical niches and middle market); personal lines; employee benefits; retirement services; underwriting
Developments in 2017: Continued its national expansion through organic growth, acquisitions, and the procurement of top brokerage talent. Grew to encompass nearly 3,000 employees in more than 90 offices throughout the United States. Completed a total of five acquisitions within its underwriting, retail, middle market, and employee benefits divisions (American Indian Health Services, Boynton & Boynton Insurance Professionals, Burkhardt Consulting, SES Insurance Brokerage Services, Summit Insurance Resource Group). Combined its industry-focused specialty practices to form Alliant Specialty Group.
12. NFP Corp.
Headquarters: New York
Revenue 2017: $1.07 billion
Top Executive: Doug Hammond, chairman and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial insurance; corporate benefits private client resources
Developments in 2017: Experienced significant growth, completing 42 acquisitions and expanding its workforce to more than 4,000 employees worldwide. The company promoted Mike Goldman to president and COO, Eric Boester to CMO and Evan Michael to general counsel; expanded Ed O’Malley’s role to include field operations in property/casualty, and added Suzanne Spradley to the executive management committee. NFP hired Henry Lombardi as EVP of P/C and Kevin Brown as managing director in central Texas. Admiral James Stavridis and Terry Scali joined the board of directors.
13. Acrisure LLC
Headquarters: Caledonia, Mich.
Revenue 2017: $1 billion
Top Executive: Greg Williams, president and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial (69.8%); employee benefits (24.2%); personal (6.0%)
Developments in 2017: Completed 92 M&A transactions, with 72% of those partnerships being referred by agency partners and employees.
14. AmWINS Group Inc.
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Revenue 2017: $965.1 million
Top Executive: Scott M. Purviance, CEO
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty; employee benefits; niche programs
Developments in 2017: Completed four acquisitions and announced leadership transition plan.
15. AssuredPartners Inc.
Headquarters: Lake Mary, Fla.
Revenue 2017: $959.56 million
Top Executive: Jim Henderson, chairman and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty with industry specialties in public entity, professional liability, transportation, senior living, social services and aviation; employee benefits; personal lines
Developments in 2017: Entered the California marketplace with three significant acquisitions. Dealey, Renton & Associates joined the organization and increased capabilities with respect to professional liability expertise for architects and engineering firms. Keenan & Associates become part of AP and their consultative approach to providing insurance solutions to public entities and health care systems will become a key driver of growth. Owen-Dunn Insurance Services, a leader in captive insurance solutions, joined AssuredPartners. These firms represent the foundation for a major expansion into California with high quality, niche-driven organizations.
16. CBIZ Inc.
Headquarters: Cleveland
Revenue 2017: $855.3 million
Top Executive: Jerome P. Grisko Jr., president and CEO
Top Lines: Group health benefits; property/casualty insurance; retirement plan consulting; payroll; human resources consulting services
Developments in 2017: A key strategic goal continues to be to invest in high-growth industries and service lines that allows leverage of a broad range of services and a national footprint to address the needs of underserved markets. Growth in the benefits and insurance services segment was significantly aided by acquisitions. Retirement planning, property/casualty and payroll services all performed well. Group health benefits business continued its positive trend with an increased focus on growing and developing additional producers.
17. The Ardonagh Group
Headquarters: London
Revenue 2017: $723.7 million
Top Executive: David Ross, CEO
Top Lines: Corporate, advisory, retail and wholesale insurance broking, health care, digital distribution, third-party administration services, underwriting
Developments in 2017: Formed the Ardonagh Group with a five-way merger of Towergate, Autonet, Chase Templeton, Direct Group and Price Forbes. Refinanced group debt and oversubscribed bond raise, comprising £400m and $520m senior secured notes from investors in the U.K. and U.S. Acquired of Healthy Pets, Carole Nash, and Mastercover. Key strategic hires include Iain Laws as CEO Healthcare and Rob Worrell as Insurance Broking CEO.
18. AmeriTrust Group Inc.
Headquarters: Southfield, Mich.
Revenue 2017: $715.5 million
Top Executive: Kenn R. Allen, president and CEO
Top Lines: Workers’ compensation, general liability, umbrella (including excess workers’ comp), commercial auto, property
Developments in 2017: Change of company name to AmeriTrust Group Inc. from Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. Expansion of management team—hired John Baird as president of admitted carriers; Cheung Kwan as president of nonadmitted carriers; new management team completes first year with improved operating ratio (94.7% in 2017 vs. 95.5% in 2016) and improved expense ratio (35.8% in 2017 vs. 37.9% in 2016); new product development; three-year business owners’ policy (BOP) launched; balance sheet strength at all-time high levels with surplus at $564 million.
19. Hyperion Insurance Group
Headquarters: London
Revenue 2017: $687 million
Top Executive: David Howden, CEO
Top Lines: International independent retail broker Howden; independent specialty broker RKH Specialty and international managing general agency DUAL
Developments in 2017: In December, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the long-term institutional investor, agreed to acquire a significant minority stake with US$400 million investment. This transaction and debt raise will provide over US$300 million of additional capital for Hyperion’s global growth strategy. M&A highlights: In December, Howden agreed to acquire Mexican broker, Grupo Ordás, entering the Mexican insurance market. In November, Howden entered Oman with the acquisition of majority stake in New Generation Insurance Services. In July, Howden acquired Sterling Knight, a specialist broker headquartered in Singapore. In July, Howden Iberia, the Spanish and Portuguese operations of Howden, acquired the insurance broker Bergé. Howden One, an international retail broking network, also was launched in July.
20. Fanhua Inc.
Headquarters: Guangzhou, Guangdong People’s Republic of China
Revenue 2017: $655 million
Top Executive: Chunlin Wang, CEO
Top Lines: Life insurance; property/casualty; and claims adjusting
Developments in 2017: Continued expansion of life insurance business through organic growth and procurement of top agents. Sales network consisted of 506,231 individual sales agents and 1,226 claims adjusters with 646 sales and service outlets in 29 provinces across the country. Completed transition of its P/C insurance business to a platform business model in Q4 2017 and disposed of its insurance brokerage business in November.

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