Chicago-area insurance brokerage and financial services firm Alera Group has acquired West Michigan Insurance Inc., a Grand Rapids property and casualty agency.
The 98-year-old West Michigan Insurance, which also has offices in Shelby and Hart, will become a division of Grand Rapids-based Lighthouse Group insurance agency that Alera acquired in late 2020. West Michigan Insurance will take on the Lighthouse name later this year.
“West Michigan Insurance has been in the business for nearly 100 years. We have built our company on the value of trustworthy consultative service,” said Craig Terpstra, president of West Michigan Insurance. “Joining Alera Group and their expansive network of national resources and carrier relationships will set us up to continue providing this service for years to come.”
Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Alera Group has more than 150 offices across the U.S., including 10 in Michigan, with more than 3,500 employees.
Alera acquired Lighthouse in December 2020 and this past January bought Gales Agency from Shelby State Bank. The deal extended Lighthouse’s presence to markets northwest of Grand Rapids to offices in Shelby, Hart, Pentwater and Whitehall.
As the industry continues to consolidate, Alera Group was one of the top North American acquirers of agencies over a 12-month period between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, closing on 40 acquisitions. That ranks Alera as the seventh most-active acquirer, according to Chicago-based Optis Partners LLC that tracks M&A in the industry.
Grand Rapids-based Acrisure LLC continued as the top acquirer with 127 closed transactions in the same 12-month period, including 14 in the first quarter of 2022.
Traverse City-based High Street Partners closed 76 acquisitions in the 12-month period and nine in the first quarter.
Across North America, Optis Partners counted 149 closed transactions in the first quarter, down by 14 percent from the 173 in the same period a year earlier that started a record year for M&A in the industry.
Optis Partners said a decline in transactions in the first quarter from the prior year is common “as inventory shrinks and deal teams take a pause.”
“History would tell us that activity in the remainder of 2022 will likely rise, and conversations with a number of buyers shows that will be true as many are reporting double digit number of LOIs in hand going into the Q2,” according to the firm’s first quarter report.