Already a top 10 global insurance brokerage and the largest acquirer of agencies in North America, Acrisure LLC raised $725 million in capital during 2022 to fuel growth and additional deals.
The Grand Rapids-based Acrisure in May said it closed on the series B-2 preferred equity raise led by a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The preferred equity offering included participation from New York City-based Guggenheim Investments, acting on behalf of certain clients, and Oak Hill Advisors LP, an alternative investment firm with $57 billion of capital under management that was acquired by T. Rowe Price Group Inc. in 2021.
“This capital allowed our record-setting M&A pace to continue and enabled strategic investments in our AI (artificial intelligence) platform, digital marketing and brand awareness,” co-founder, President and CEO Greg Williams wrote in an email to MiBiz. “For 2023, we expect organic growth to accelerate and our M&A pace to be robust.”
The offering earned Acrisure the 2023 MiBiz Deal of the Year Award in the finance/banking category. The company is the first three-time winner of a corporate M&A award in the 10-year history of the MiBiz program.
Through the 2022 offering, Acrisure received a $23 billion valuation, which represents a 31-percent increase from the valuation set in the prior preferred equity offering in March 2021, which raised $3 billion and was led by investment bank BDT Capital Partners.
Founded by Williams in 2005, Acrisure for years has pursued M&A at a torrid pace that has grown revenues to nearly $4 billion in 2022, up from $38 million eight years earlier. In 2022, the company completed 116 transactions to once again rank as the largest acquirer of insurance agencies by far, according to Optis Partners LLC, a Chicago-based firm that tracks M&A in the industry.
The global insurance brokerage and fintech expects “a similar level of activity in 2023 as we have transacted in recent years,” Elliot Bundy, Acrisure’s chief communications and marketing officer, told MiBiz last month.
Since 2018, Acrisure has closed 536 acquisitions, according to Optis Partners.
“Acrisure has grown at a rapid pace to become one of the world’s leading insurance brokers, and our investment aims to support the company as it continues to execute on its strategy,” Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, executive director for the Private Equities Department at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, said in a May 2022 announcement about the preferred equities offering. “This transaction adds to our extensive portfolio of investments across the insurance industry value chain, a large and attractive market backed by long term growth trends.”
As Acrisure continued to expand in the U.S. and globally through acquisitions, the company in 2022 began working to create a greater brand awareness by acquiring the naming rights to sports and entertainment venues.
That effort includes purchasing the naming rights for the home stadium of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, which is now known as Acrisure Stadium, in a deal that was reportedly valued at $150 million over 15 years.
Other venue sponsorships include a 10-year deal for a new sports and entertainment venue in Palm Springs, Calif. that opened in December and carries the name Acrisure Arena, and the renamed “Acrisure Great Hall” main entrance and gathering area at Elmont, N.Y.-based UBS Arena, home to the NHL’s New York Islanders.
In its hometown, Acrisure a year ago signed a three-year deal to become a “pillar partner” for Van Andel Arena and the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins, a deal that gave the company signage and branding throughout the venue and at the team’s three community ice rinks.
Bundy told MiBiz in November that Acrisure “throughout most of our history has been a brand that’s been quiet by design.” That began changing in 2022 as Acrisure sought to create national brand awareness among consumers.
Bundy at the time cited Acrisure’s launch of a direct-to-consumer insurance services online “that will continue to grow and scale and become one of our main business lines in 2023 and into the future,” Bundy said.
“Part of creating a direct-to-consumer opportunity is ensuring that consumers know who you are,” he said. “We set out for the first time this year to really spend time, money and resources in building an Acrisure brand that works in tandem with the partner brands that essentially operate our business around the country.”