TRAVERSE CITY — Detroit-based private equity firm Huron Capital Partners LLC has formed High Street Partners with insurance industry executives Scott Wick and Randy Koch to focus on deals in the insurance industry.
High Street Partners, which plans to pursue a “buy and build” strategy, made its first deal with the acquisition of Peterson McGregor and Associates LLC, a Traverse City-based agency that provides commercial and personal insurance and employee benefits. High Street intends to make further acquisitions.
Prior to forming High Street Partners with Huron Capital, Wick and Koch both worked in executive and advisory roles. Wick previously was president of The Fedeli Group and executive vice president and chief sales officer in the Midwest region for Hub International Ltd., and Koch was president and CEO in the Midwest East region for Hub International.
“We believe they are exceptional business operators,” said Matt Hare, a partner at Huron Capital. “We believe Huron Capital’s executive-led buy-and-build investment model is well suited for this industry.”
Founded in 1999, Huron Capital has raised more than $1.8 billion in capital through six private equity funds and invested in more than 150 companies.
High Street Partners comes together as M&A activity remains strong for insurance agencies in North America.
Chicago-based Optis Partners LLC counted 280 transactions through the first half of 2018. That’s down from the 333 in the first six months of 2017, but still the second-highest deal volume for the first half of a year.
“Buyer aggressive behaviors remain at all-time high,” according to a report from Optis Partners.
Some of the decline in deals from the first half of 2017 likely stemmed from buyers completing larger than normal or international acquisitions, “and digesting all the transactions completed in 2017,” according to the Optis Partners report for the first half of 2018.
Private equity-backed buyers accounted for two-third of all transactions in the first half.
Caledonia-based Acrisure LLC was the top acquirer with 41 deals, followed by Hub International with 33 deals.