GRAND RAPIDS — The largest privately held insurance brokerage in the world, Lockton Companies Inc., is expanding its Michigan operation by opening an office in downtown Grand Rapids.
The Kansas City, Mo.-based insurance firm is moving into a 6,000-square-foot office at 38 Commerce Ave. SW. It will be located on the upper floors of the building where Cole’s Quality Foods Inc. formerly had administrative offices. The deal was brokered by Colliers International's West Michigan office, and Lockton expects to spend roughly $400,000 on the remodel.
Between 10-15 Lockton associates will work out of the new office in 2021 in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions. The company plans to make at least 10 local hires, said Elaine Coffman, president of Lockton Companies’ Michigan operations.
The professional services firm began expanding into Michigan in November 2019 and has 50 associates working at offices in Detroit and Birmingham.
Regional insurance brokers have increasingly been bought out by national brokers, which has made Lockton Companies the only privately held firm in the top 10 global insurance brokerages, Coffman said.
“We started getting phone calls from people in Grand Rapids asking if we were going to open here once we started branching out into Michigan,” Coffman said. “A lot of the small regional players in Grand Rapids have sold and people are looking for a privately held alternative. Both on the client side and for talent, there is a need for Lockton here as a global organization that is a family-owned company.”
The company reported $1.72 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2019 and has more than 7,500 associates across the globe.
Coffman said the company wants to be active in the Grand Rapids community, including involvement in charitable organizations. Lockton’s strategic partner, Detroit-based Birwood Services Group LLC, will also help with diversity initiatives and reaching social responsibility goals, Coffman said. The certified minority business enterprise focuses on improving the effect of risk management and employee benefits plans and expands opportunities for diverse suppliers to participate as value-added vendors.
“We’re really bringing global scaled resources but with that privately held feel, and I think Lockton will be such a good fit in Grand Rapids,” Coffman said.
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