When it comes time to selling your agency, confidentiality is vitally important. You may be dealing with one or more buyers, each of whom will have a multitude of questions … Continue reading
Different lenders underwrite acquisition financing a little differently; however, they all typically want to stay under 6 x EBITDA on leverage. The reasoning is fairly simple…cash flow. As we’ll see below, agencies don’t cash flow well when they leverage themselves over about 6 x EBITDA. One of lenders’ key underwriting metrics is something called the debt coverage ratio, which is a measure of the cash flow cushion over debt payments.
When agency revenues start to fall year-over-year, there is usually a reason. Sometimes the trend can be reversed, such as if it is tied to an economic cycle, but quite often the downward trend is unstoppable. In our experience, a steady decline in the business is typically an indicator that one or more of the agency principals are spending less time running the business. The enthusiasm and competitiveness that perhaps once drove growth in the business has waned.
As noted by many in the agent/broker M&A world, 2017 was the most acquisitive year on record. Reported transactions were up 20% for the first three quarters of the year … Continue reading
We do a lot of free and underpaid work for people in the insurance industry. I like to help people, share information and build relationships, so I am often willing to go out of my way to be of service. I’ll be honest though, I get frustrated when people don’t see the value that we add as a transaction advisor.
In the last few months we have been completely inundated with valuation work for principals, banks and buyers – part of the reason why I haven’t actively been blogging. Right now, we are averaging about 5 reports a week and have had to hire a few more staff to keep up with the pace. By now, everyone should have heard that we are in the most active M&A market in a long, long time. You should also have heard that valuation multiples are at an historic high with nearly no ceiling left – any higher and deals will cash flow negative after debt service.
The first step in selling your insurance agency should be to have a valuation performed by a firm involved in agency/broker M&A transactions. One might ask “Why?”. Well, thanks for asking. There are a few excellent reasons:
The freedoms we have in the US are amazing compared to other parts of the world. This time of year is when most people often reflect on things they are thankful for. But that’s not really the topic of my post. I’m talking about financial freedom and the freedom of letting go of your business.
At the “suggestion” of my wife, we recently started looking for a new house. Like most other home shoppers, I wound up on Zillow.com. If you have never used it, Zillow is a great website loaded with information and resources to aid in the process of buying a new home. While shopping for a home is exciting and fun, my experience drove home a few points that relate to selling an insurance agency.
Our clients don’t like to talk about taxes and neither do we but, as Ben Franklin said, nothing is more certain in life than death and taxes. So we put together a little summary about the differences between stock and asset sales when selling an insurance agency and how the IRS treats various assets in the sale of a business.