Guy Carpenter Securities Corporate Finance and M&A Team
Working the Breadth and Depth Angle
It hasn't been the friendliest economic environment for wheeling and dealing over the past year or two. Yet the insurance trade headlines have lit up occasionally with news of mergers and acquisitions, in no small part thanks to the work of the GC Securities Corporate Finance and M&A Team Norman Brown and Bart Zanelli Jr., the insurance M&A veterans, and Geoffrey Sweitzer, the long-time Guy Carpenter pro who provides the legal perspective.
In the past year, the team has assisted clients on both the buy-side and sell-side. The goal is to execute the M&A deal, but to do so while maximizing the value for the client and minimize its cost of capital. For instance, the GC Securities team served as the exclusive financial advisor for an industry association captive that was on the hunt for a managing general agent and a very specific book of business: for community banks and thrifts.
Another client, a publicly traded health insurance company, sought to sell a book of business for medical expense coverage for students and youth-group participants. Yet another client, an MGA, is seeking to sell itself in entirety or in part. Then there was the massive U.S. pension fund that sought the team's expertise on investment alternatives in the municipal bond financial guaranty sector. The team helped that fund select a path and reach a decision regarding its alternatives. So as you can see, the team of Brown, Sweitzer and Zanelli appear able to handle whatever transaction comes their way.
As one chief executive at an insurance agency recounted, the team assisted in the sale of his previous employer in the past year through the identification of a buyer, marketing the company and, of course, negotiating the final deal. It was a "long process during a difficult economic time," the client said.
"They did a great job," he simply put it.
A senior officer at a specialty property/casualty carrier provided insight into what makes this team special for those on the buy side. Since this client got to know Zanelli over a handful of years ago, the M&A specialist will now just call up the client with what's out there, or the client will inquire with Zanelli.
"He has a good idea of what our appetite is," the client said, adding that Zanelli and team have pointed them in the direction of at least three to four deals in the last year.
Even when the deal doesn't work out--such as a recent MGA whose owner was retiring and looking to cash out--this client will always go back for more of the intelligence and assistance he receives from the GC Securities Corporate Finance and M&A Team.