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Emerge NewsSep 9
As we near the fourth quarter of 2021, time marches on at a rapid clip. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were rooting for the end of 2020? Alas, we have trudged through the better part of this year and hopefully this newsletter finds you relatively unscathed. At this point, there’s no question about it, the insurance industry remains resilient despite these uncertain times.
2021 looks like it will trump the previous high deal count for mergers and acquisitions in the insurance channel. Continued low rates, the rise of new acquirers and an administration looking to make some changes to the tax code have led to the most deals we have ever seen this far in a single year. According to MarshBerry, deal counts are 10% higher than they were this time last year—paving the way for the highest yearly total on record. As the year draws to a close, we expect to see these deals quicken their pace, shattering 2020’s record-breaking year.
As I highlighted in my last issue of Emerge, our new administration in Washington D.C. is gearing up for a new tax plan. No doubt about it, this is forcing the hand of many insurance agencies as they attempt to find a tax-effective way to unwind ownership. While many of these changes are still quite fluid, the end result will be material. A list of proposed changes can be found here.
While First MainStreet Insurance was built primarily on acquisitive growth, we’ve brought in an impressive array of resources to fuel its organic growth. Among many more, I’d like to highlight two recent hires who will no doubt positively influence the team of leaders here at FMSI.
Matt Hughes comes to us with well over a decade of experience building sales teams and promoting a team environment. As FMSI’s sales strategist, Hughes will be charged with developing our younger producers and providing them a track to run on. With organic growth at the forefront of his mind, he will help our producers create and realize their goals.
“I joined First Mainstreet for the opportunity to be a part of something special. To me, this opportunity is about bringing resources and value to agencies that will take them to the next level and ultimately maximize results. It’s more than ‘just business’ to me- it’s about helping every person in our organization strive to be the best version of themselves, both professionally and personally. Our team is like family, and it is a blast to grow and learn together as we strive to provide our customers championship-caliber experiences every day.” – Matt Hughes
FMSI also recently added Joe Vens as a Risk Advisor. Joe is a talented producer, and we were thrilled that he has decided to call FMSI home. If the name sounds familiar, it should: we partnered with Joe’s uncle, Mike, when FMSI acquired Gamrath Doyle Vens Insurance in Mt. Pleasant, IA. We also worked closely with Joe’s father, Chris, and other uncle, Randy, when we acquired their agency in Clinton, IA. As you can see, this insurance business is in Joe’s blood. At FMSI, Joe will be focusing on fostering key client relationships as a practice leader in the Public Entity space.
“I was able to witness firsthand the value that First MainStreet can bring to insurance agencies who are looking to perpetuate their business and continue serving their local community when our family agency, Core-Vens Insurance, partnered with First MainStreet last July. First MainStreet is helping keep the independent insurance model viable, which is something I am extremely proud to be a part of.” – Joe Vens
I have no doubt these two individuals will further support FMSI’s ambitions to promote a culture of organic growth and help us scale our success, ensuring we continue to outpace our peer group.
FMSI just completed a strategic combination with Century Insurance. Owned and led by Gary Bontrager, Century has three office locations across Southern Iowa: Kalona, Sigourney and Fairfield. An entrepreneur at heart, Bontrager will be working with like-minded business partners, allowing him the ability to grow rapidly. Along with Gary, FMSI also welcomes a talented staff of insurance professionals, a good book of business, and puts FMSI on the map in three dynamic communities. With tons of room for growth, Gary and the team are set up for success. Our congratulations to Century Insurance!