Global Broker Ranking
Top Global Insurance Brokers - 2021 Edition
Top 10 remains the same, and Confie returns to the list after four years, based on 2020 total revenue. Special Section sponsored by Finys.
- Best's Review Staff
- July 2021
The Leaders Special Section is sponsored by Finys. Click on the microphone icon to listen to the Finys podcast.
Marsh McLennan remains in the No. 1 position with $17.2 billion in total revenues, $6.13 billion ahead of second-place Aon plc. The Aon and Willis Towers Watson marquee deal has not been finalized, so it did not affect Best's Review's annual ranking of global insurance brokers, based on 2020 results.
“While Aon and WTW are working toward completing the proposed combination as soon as possible in the third quarter of 2021, the completion remains subject to the receipt of required regulatory approvals and clearances, including with respect to United States antitrust laws, as well as other customary closing conditions,” Aon said.
That expected combination, along with the newly announced merger of No. 11 Alliant and No. 19 Confie, will likely affect the broker rankings next year. The agreement brings more than 3,500 employees and in excess of 1 million customers under the Alliant banner. Confie returned to the ranking in 2020 for the first time in four years.
The Top 10 remained the same as last year.
M&A Still Going Strong
The pandemic didn't slow down the M&A activity in the agent/broker sector, according to Optis Partner's Agent & Broker 2020 Year-End Merger & Acquisition Report. There were 774 total deals in 2020, nearly 20% more than in 2019. Optis reports Acrisure was the most active acquirer, with 108 deals.
Other M&As of note include Brown & Brown's 25 deals, including its first acquisition in Canada. The No. 6 ranked broker also acquired Irish broker O'Leary Insurances and insurtech CoverHound. NFP, No. 13, closed 27 acquisitions including Rose & Kiernan in the U.K., one of the largest buys in the company's history. AssuredPartners, ranked 12, reports it completed 47 M&As that expanded its footprint in three states.
'A New Old Name'
In November, No. 15 Howden Group Holdings changed its name from Hyperion Insurance Group. Founded in 1994 as Howden Pangborn, the Hyperion name came in to existence in 1998. David Howden, CEO, Howden Group Holdings, said: “It is the right time for us to bring further simplicity and authenticity to the Group and to take on a new old name. I have always been clear that we are building a sustainable business with a difference, and as we grow, we must ensure that we both stay true to our roots and the culture that got us to where we are today, whilst facing forward with the right proposition for our employees and our clients.”
Information for the Top Global Insurance Brokers was submitted by the companies.
Top 20 Global Brokers - 2021 Edition
Ranked by 2020 Total Revenue
||Willis Towers Watson
||Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
||Brown & Brown Inc.
||Truist Insurance Holdings Inc.
||USI Insurance Services LLC
||Alliant Insurance Services Inc.
||Amwins Group Inc.
||Howden Group Holdings*
||The Ardonagh Group
||EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants
*Formerly Hyperion Insurance Group
1. Marsh McLennan
Revenues 2020: $17.2 billion
Top Executive: Daniel S. Glaser, president and CEO
Headquarters: New York
Top Lines: Insurance and reinsurance broking; human resource consulting; management consulting
Developments in 2020: Thirteenth consecutive year of adjusted earnings-per-share growth; 11th consecutive year of underlying revenue growth and dividend increases. Completed eight acquisitions. Continued investments in digital and technological capabilities including in insurtech and client solutions such as LINQ. Developed the CDC-referenced Pandemic Navigator and other products and services to address the coronavirus pandemic. Worked with governments around the world on a new type of public-private partnership to help address systemic risk from pandemics. Implemented enterprisewide Client Engagement Principles to support sustainable development goals in areas such as affordable health care, gender equality and climate change mitigation. Made enterprisewide commitment to focus on helping to close the world's protection gaps, advancing healthy societies everywhere, building climate resilience, and mitigating cyberrisk.
2. Aon plc
Revenues 2020: $11.07 billion
Top Executive: Greg Case, CEO
Top Lines: Risk, health and retirement
Developments in 2020: Announced combination with Willis Towers Watson. Expanded corporate apprenticeship program with a $30 million investment over the next five years. Formed several Work, Travel and Convene coalitions of leading companies and organizations to strengthen communities and move toward societal and economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established a managing general agency featuring the capacity for intellectual property liability risks. Acquired Cytelligence, an international cyber security firm with deep expertise in cyber incident response and digital forensic investigations.
3. Willis Towers Watson
Revenues 2020: $9.35 billion
Top Executive: John Haley, CEO
Headquarters: London and Arlington, Va.
Top Lines: Human capital and benefits, corporate risk and broking, investments risk and reinsurance, benefits delivery and administration
Developments in 2020: Announced the Willis Towers Watson and Aon combination. Increased revenue by 3%. Acquired Acclimatise, a climate change adaptation advisory and analytics service; transferred the Climate Policy Initiative's Energy Finance team to the Willis Towers Watson Climate and Resilience Hub.
4. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Revenues 2020: $6 billion
Top Executive: J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and CEO
Headquarters: Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Top Lines: Based on revenues: Retail P/C, 49%; retail benefits, 22%; wholesale,15%; third-party claims administration, 14%
Developments in 2020: Full-year brokerage segment organic growth of 3.2%. Completed 27 mergers with estimated annualized revenues of more than $250 million; this included increasing Gallagher's ownership in Capsicum Re to 100% from 33%, and its subsequent rebrand to Gallagher Re.
5. Hub International
Revenues 2020: $2.7 billion
Top Executive: Marc Cohen, president and CEO
Top Lines: Commercial and personal, employee benefits, retirement and private wealth, wholesale/MGA
Developments in 2020: Acquired 65 brokerages including The B&G Group, one of the largest insurance agencies in the New York metropolitan area to continue growth in New York, and Benefits Consulting Practice of Morneau Shepell Inc. to round out Canadian employee benefits solution with extensive actuarial services. Introduced new specialty products and partnerships: Insuraguest hospitality partnership, Simplifya cannabis partnership and PowerBand transactional partnership.
6. Brown & Brown Inc.
Revenues 2020: $2.61 billion
Top Executive: J. Powell Brown, president and CEO
Headquarters: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Top Lines: Middle- and upper middle-market property/casualty, employee benefits, personal and professional lines—retail, national programs, wholesale brokerage, and specialty third-party administrative services
Developments in 2020: Total revenues of $2.6 billion with total growth of 9.2% and organic growth of 3.8%, and maintained margins over 30%. Completed 25 acquisitions with annualized revenues of approximately $197 million. Completed first acquisition in Canada, announced the acquisition of largest independent Irish broker and acquired insurtech CoverHound.
7. Truist Insurance Holdings Inc.
Revenues 2020: $2.44 billion
Top Executive: John M. Howard, chairman and CEO
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty, employee benefits, life
Developments in 2020: Overcame significant challenges due to the pandemic to post record revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization (EBITDA). Delivered strong organic revenue growth of 4.3% and 203 bps of margin expansion. Continued transformation plan, consolidating retail brands under one banner, McGriff, and further investing in IT and automation to improve efficiency. Committed to organic revenue growth and expansion through M&A, completing seven acquisitions in 2020 with annualized revenue of $120 million.
8. Lockton Inc.
Revenues 2020: $2.1 billion
Top Executive: Ron Lockton, chairman
Headquarters: Kansas City, Mo.
Top Lines: Risk management (property/casualty insurance), employee benefits, retirement services, affinity programs
Developments in 2020: Peter Clune assumed global CEO role May 1, 2020. Ron Lockton assumed the role of chairman. Transformed transaction liability offering with key hires. Reinsurance business, Lockton Re, continues its strong growth trajectory.
9. Acrisure LLC
Revenues 2020: $2.04 billion
Top Executive: Greg Williams, co-founder, CEO and president
Headquarters: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Top Lines: Commercial (59%), benefits (20%), personal (11%)
Developments in 2020: Setting out to become the most Tech-Enabled Broker in the world, Acrisure acquired artificial intelligence company Tulco LLC's insurance practice with the aim of bringing data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to the insurance brokerage industry. The company continued to be active on the M&A front and laid the foundation for expansion into adjacent opportunities in 2021.
10. USI Insurance Services LLC
Revenues 2020: $1.98 billion
Top Executive: Michael J. Sicard, chairman and CEO
Headquarters: Valhalla, N.Y.
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty, employee benefits, personal risk, retirement solutions, programs and wholesale
Developments in 2020: Navigated pandemic environment and created STEER solution platform (Steer Through Epidemic & Economic Recovery) for clients. Growth and expansion of USI's platform and market share, including property/casualty, employee benefits, personal risk, retirement, programs and wholesale, driven by the next generation of USI's solutions platform, OMNI AI, featuring Analytical Insights—predictable business and risk management insights driven by enterprisewide analysis; Accelerated Intelligence—a proprietary platform designed to deliver targeted, actionable solutions that address critical business needs; and Assured Impact—proven financial and personnel impact, demonstrated through exclusive sample work product. Continued large-scale investments in strategic acquisitions, new talent hiring, training and development.
11. Alliant Insurance Services Inc.
Revenues 2020: $1.8 billion
Top Executive: Thomas W. Corbett, chairman and CEO
Headquarters: Newport Beach, Calif.
Top Lines: Property/casualty (specialty vertical niches and middle market), personal lines, employee benefits, retirement services, underwriting
Developments in 2020: Continued national expansion through organic growth, acquisitions and the procurement of top brokerage talent. Grew to encompass more than 4,300 employees in over 130 offices throughout the United States. Completed numerous acquisitions, including: L A Surety, STANCE Renewable Risk Partners, Pinnacle Allied, Pend Oreille, The LifeBalance Program, and Senior Market Sales Inc.
12. AssuredPartners Inc.
Revenues 2020: $1.71 billion
Top Executive: Jim Henderson, chairman and CEO
Headquarters: Lake Mary, Fla.
Top Lines: Property/casualty and employee benefit coverages and risk management services for a variety of industries, such as real estate, construction, public entities, health care and senior living, manufacturing, forestry, life sciences, hospitality, asset management, entertainment, technology, nonprofit, retail, trade and others
Developments in 2020: Continued to focus on organic growth initiatives to provide a broad depth of resources to existing and future clients. AP continued to execute on the acquisition strategy, closing 47 transactions with over $235 million in annualized revenues. The acquisitions expanded the footprint into three new states as well as provided additional assets to the growing specialty operations.
13. NFP Corp.
Revenues 2020: $1.6 billion
Top Executive: Doug Hammond, CEO
Headquarters: New York
Top Lines: Property/casualty, corporate benefits, individual solutions
Developments in 2020: Closed 27 acquisitions across North America and the U.K., acquiring Rose & Kiernan, one of the largest acquisitions in company history. Rebranded offices in Canada and the U.K. Established a presence in the Ireland market. Announced other acquisitions that further expanded P/C, corporate benefits and individual solutions capabilities globally (HMP Insurance & Pensions Advisors Limited, Johnson Fleming Group, Ogilvy Insurance and Reilly Benefits Inc.). Also announced the formation of the Sports and Entertainment Group as part of the expansion of its specialty capabilities.
14. Amwins Group Inc.
Revenues 2020: $1.5 billion
Top Executive: Scott M. Purviance, CEO
Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
Top Lines: Commercial property/casualty, employee benefits, niche programs
Developments in 2020: Completed one acquisition, International Specialty Brokers Ltd., a Bermuda-based P/C wholesale insurance/reinsurance broker, rebranded the firm and protected 100% of its employees' jobs in the face of a pandemic.
15. Howden Group Holdings (formerly Hyperion Insurance Group)
Revenues 2020: $991 million
Top Executive: David Howden, CEO
Top Lines: Howden Broking, provides solutions across product lines including financial, specialty, commercial, reinsurance and employee benefits; DUAL, Howden Group's underwriting business; HX, Howden Group's data, analytics and digital delivery business, which also houses Howden Capital Markets
Developments in 2020: Howden Group Holdings posted organic growth of 6%. Welcomed Hg, its third long-term investor and minority shareholder; employees remain the largest shareholder. Howden Broking expanded in new and existing markets through investments in Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Australia and the U.K. These included Howden's biggest acquisition, A-Plan Group in the U.K., creating one of the U.K.'s largest brokers managing over £4bn (US$5.7 billion) of GWP. DUAL wrote $1.2 billion GWP across 16 countries providing its 60+ carriers with access to specialty markets through more than 6,500 broker partners. Expanded through recruitment of new product experts, and the acquisition of IUA in New Zealand. In excess of $100 million of premium was transacted through HX's digital platforms and launched a new investment advisory business, Howden Capital Markets.
16. The Ardonagh Group
Revenues 2020: $973.4 million
Top Executive: David Ross, CEO
Top Lines: Corporate, advisory, retail and wholesale insurance broking, health care, digital personal insurance, specialist underwriting
Developments in 2020: New capital structure put in place in July, led by Ares Management. This financed Ardonagh's two largest acquisitions in Bravo and Arachas and created a £300 million (US$424.7 million) acquisition and reorganization facility. Arachas was Ardonagh's first international acquisition. Further M&A included agricultural underwriter Rural, construction specialist Thames Underwriting and insurance management adviser Robus.
17. CBIZ Inc.
Revenues 2020: $963.9 million
Top Executive: Jerome P. Grisko Jr., CEO and president
Top Lines: Group health benefits, property/casualty insurance, retirement plan consulting, payroll, human resources consulting services
Developments in 2020: Began 2020 with a solid balance sheet, low debt and ready access to capital. These strengths, combined with the foundational characteristics of the business and proactive response to the pandemic, drove performance. Acquisitions also remained integral to growth strategy, and seven companies were welcomed to CBIZ.
18. EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants
Revenues 2020: $725.5 million
Top Executive: Steve Denton, CEO
Headquarters: San Francisco
Top Lines: Property/casualty, employee benefits, specialty programs
Developments in 2020: Recapitalization and leadership structure updates for continued growth and success of the company.
Revenues 2020: $507.3 million
Top Executive: Cesar Soriano, CEO
Headquarters: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Top Lines: Personal lines
Developments in 2020: Continued organic and acquisitive growth, exceeded 1 million active customers milestone, and launched patent-pending enterprise data warehouse to support deeper customer insight.
20. Fanhua Inc.
Revenues 2020: $500.9 million
Top Executive: Chunlin Wang, CEO and chairman
Headquarters: Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China
Top Lines: Life insurance, P/C insurance and claims adjusting services which represented 82.7%, 4% and 13.3%, respectively, of the company's total net revenues in 2020
Developments in 2020: Despite the impact of COVID-19, Fanhua achieved a major milestone in the company's history of development, facilitating over RMB10 billion (US$1.54 billion) regular life insurance by gross written premiums. It rolled out new strategic initiatives to develop professional insurance adviser teams in economically developed cities in China while embracing digital technologies to improve operational efficiency and better serve its customers and agents.