USI continues to grow with South Carolina brokerage buy

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USI Insurance Services has acquired Scheetz, Hogan, Freeman & Phillips, a Greenville, South Carolina-based insurance agency, marking the firm’s fifth reported acquisition this year.

The news comes after USI acquired Employee Benefit Concepts, a consulting and human capital management firm based in Buffalo, New York, in June and employee benefits services firm JRG Advisors in July.

“I am confident this new partnership will further strengthen our long-standing reputation for delivering superior solutions, expertise and service to our local clients,” says Ronald Scheetz, president and CEO of Scheetz, Hogan, Freeman & Phillips. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

See also: USI plans organic growth with third reported acquisition

Insurance agency M&A activity has continued to skyrocket. There have been 490 insurance agency mergers and acquisitions this year alone — the highest nine month total ever, according to a report from Optis Partners, an investment banking and financial consulting firm. Acrisure led all buyers with 71 transactions in the first nine months of the year, Optis reports.

“Agency valuations continue pushing new upper limits, and there are no signs of any slowdown in M&A activity,” said Daniel Menzer, partner at Optis Partners in a statement.

See also: Alera Group expands New England presence with benefits brokerage buy

Ed Bowler, USI’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief financial officer, previously told Employee Benefit Adviser that the brokerage’s strategy is to grow organically, and acquisitions are an integral part of that growth.

Scheetz, Hogan, Freeman & Phillips is an independent agency, specializing in commercial insurance, employee benefits and personal risk solutions. The agency has 24 employees who will be joining USI. Scheetz will join USI’s midsouth regional management team and serve as president of USI’s Greenville office.

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