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.
The due diligence process is a critical stage for either selling or acquiring an insurance agency or brokerage. M&A transaction “due diligence” is the process by which a buyer of a business validates the condition of a business they are [...]
I’ve come across a few articles posted by agency valuation consultants challenging the use of EBITDA multiples in valuations. It can be argued that EBITDA is not a measure of true cash flow. It can be argued that such a [...]
One of our clients this last year came to us after a failed transaction with a buyer that had approached them. This particular client had negotiated a 7-figure sale price with the buyer and started down the process of trying to get the deal done. To keep the story short, we’ll just say that six months later the deal was still dragging out and the buyer had attempted to renegotiate the terms for no fault of the seller. Reaching their wits end, the client went online to find someone to help, found our website and called us. ...
Over the past 10 years I've worked on hundreds of M&A transactions within the insurance industry and a major reason most deals fail to get across the finish line continues to be timing. BusinessInsurance.com confirmed my opinion in an article [...]