The First Step in a Successful Insurance Agency Sale
Let us give you an accurate insurance agency valuation.
How much is my Agency worth?
Our process will evaluate your Insurance Agency based on the “9 Indicators of Value”. These are the nine indicators we know buyers are currently using to price an agency for acquisition. This will give you a baseline value to confidently put your agency on the market.
The Value of Your Insurance Agency
As Financial Advisors who represent insurance agencies and brokers in business transactions, one commonly asked question we get is
“How much is my agency worth?”
It is one topic that each and every agency owner wants to discuss. It would be nice if we had one simple answer. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.
It is impossible to estimate the value of an insurance agency without performing a financial analysis. Earnings of an agency are the main influencing factor, however, there are 9 factors that we take into consideration.
As a firm, we believe in answering the question above is our responsibility and the foundation of a great working relationship – even if that is in the future.
You can contact us directly to discuss this process or continue reading below if you are still unsure.
For Independent Insurance Agency Owners
How to Determine the Value of Your Insurance Agency Today
And Maximize the Amount of Money You Take Home at Closing
After over 40 years in the insurance business and 20 years of representing agencies, we know we aren’t for everyone and vice-versa. We are very selective in who we work with as hiring us means you get me and Tom Sukay, not entry-level staff. For us to spend time partnering with an agency, we have to ensure there is a right fit. That’s where the free valuation comes in. It is our way of giving our clients a test drive. They get to know us and we get to know them and the only cost is some time to provide us with preliminary information.
Whether you are in talks with a buyer already, considering hiring representation, or are years away from a decision, understanding what drives value is important.
Even in today’s “Wild West” market, the 9 Indicators outlined in this guide are tried & true. No matter where you are in your agency’s process, understanding these indicators will help you make better decisions today!.
So, are you looking for a way to break through all of the noise in the market? Are stories ‘through the grapevine’ and from your friends & colleagues starting to drive you crazy?
If you are considering the sale of your agency,
THE OBVIOUS FIRST STEP IS A VALUATION.
Let’s address a few elephants in this virtual room.
- Multiples – This is Always the First question asked. My response is “It depends on who you talk to.” I always tell my clients that they can’t spend multiples. When I am getting proposals from buyers for our clients, the Multiple’s are always different but the total price paid at closing is usually very very close. You might ask why? The reason is every buyer calculates this multiple very differently. It is also used by my competition when they are trying to get business. It is also used as bragging rights by sellers to tell their peers that they received a “Very High Multiple” for their business. The truth is you can spend or invest multiples and they can be misleading. You have to be sure when comparing these multiples that you are comparing apples to apples.
2. Predicting the future – This is really a difficult topic to discuss especially after going through a pandemic. I know that no one could have predicted the effects of something of this nature. While many of our clients did well during this time their clients did not fair well. When we speak of perpetuation we always communicate that fact “That you just never know what can happen.” I don’t think anyone could have predicted the pandemic and its effects.
The other thing we are always asked about is the pricing and timing of a sale. The question is always “When is the best time to sell?” The truth is it depends on the buyer’s appetite and how that will affect pricing while the pricing is up now the things that affect what a buyer is willing to pay like, interest rates, available credit, and what pressure they are under to grow, really dictates.
For our clients, the time to sell is when you believe you are ready. The process of selling your business is hard and you want to make sure you are committed to making the move because the process will consume a large amount of your energy.
3. Going direct or alone – It is important to know that for many of our clients this is the largest asset they have and they only get to sell it once. There are so many reasons that you should never take on a project as important as this without the help of an expert. Yes, it is true that our clients will realize about 30% more when they hire an expert and are taken through a process. That is not where the value of hiring a great advisor stops it should be where it starts. There are many steps in this process from finding the right buyer that fits and will provide the best solution for our clients, to assisting them in the due diligence process and guiding them through the definitive agreements, and working to offer solutions to the issues that come up in the process. The more experienced the advisor and the more understanding they have of the insurance business is really the key to the amount of value that they can provide.
“Between the partners, we had 90 years of insurance experience. So, it is easy to be skeptical about needing help in going through the process. What you know about the insurance business and what you know about the M&A process are two different things” – Mel Warren
I have been in the insurance industry for over 35 years and have held senior-level positions including “C” level positions with International and Regional Insurance Brokers. For the last 20, I have been representing agencies as well as buyers in transactions so I intimately understand this from both sides.
What will you get with a Valuation?
- Honest assessment
- A understanding of how the buyers look at the business.
- You will get to know how we work and experience parts of the process.
- You will see our experience first hand and how we approach issues.
- You will get to know us as individuals and can decide if we are a good fit for you.
1. We will never do anything that is not in our clients’ best interest. It is our founding principle for a reason.
2. We have been doing transactions in this space for almost 20 years
3. John has been an insurance agency professional for 35 years. He has held senior-level positions including “C” level positions with International and Regional Insurance Brokers.
4. We understand the transaction from both sides of the deal.
5. We understand the buyers and the value proposition they provide to our clients.
6. 95% of our transactions are referrals from our clients.
7. There is no second level of employees that do the work. If you hire us you get us. (vs an MBA student that does not understand the business)
8. When we compete against others for clients our closing rate is 80%.
9. We have long-term relationships with our clients.
10. We only try to do a limited amount of transactions per year because we want to make sure we deliver a level of service that is not matched by our competition.
“A few years ago, I met with Sukay & Associates and they asked me about the agency and if we had considered selling. We said no because we still had a lot of energy and enthusiasm at that time and it just didn’t feel right. Then, earlier this year, the four of us got together and discussed selling. We called Sukay & Associates and met again with Tom Sukay. Tom was the clincher. When we spoke to him we could tell he had vast experience. From the first conversation, Tom put us at ease. We knew we’d made the right decision.
Tom and John Biasiello interviewed each of us and discussed what we wanted to get out of the business and why we had decided to sell. This helped us understand our own reasons better and let us explain it in our own way. When you decide to do this, you have your own reasons. It was really helpful to have the chance to discuss those reasons at the beginning.
Tom and John produced a marketing book that defined the value within the agency. That book was one of the things that impressed us the most. You can see Tom and John’s experience in that book and experience speaks volumes. They knew what we needed, they were able to identify everything, because you could tell they’d seen it before.”
President, Sukay & Associates
I have more than 20 years of professional experience in the insurance industry.
I held several senior positions with the leading insurance broker Alexander and Alexander, Inc. In my role as Vice President of Finance and Administration, I was responsible for the entire regional accounting function of this international firm.
In 1997, I joined Commerce Insurance Services, Inc., a division of Commerce Bancorp Inc., as its Vice President of Finance. During the next eight years, Commerce acquired 18 insurance agencies across the nation, which resulted in Commerce Insurance being ranked the 24th largest and the most successful bank-owned insurance brokerage operation.
I led the integration of the acquired agencies and the internal operations of each agency. I also became the Chief Administrative Officer and was responsible for all financial and operational aspects of any potential acquisition candidate. During my tenure, I oversaw the financial analysis of over 200 transactions that included insurance agencies, insurance software vendors, insurance companies, and other related transactions.
In addition, to my internal responsibilities at Commerce Insurance, I coordinated activities with the parent company peers in various functional areas including marketing and advertising; facilities management; purchasing; computer-integration; compliance issues related to the Patriot Act; and all privacy and security issues banks and insurance agencies face. I was also the primary insurance agency contact with the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware Departments of Insurance.
I earned my Masters of Science Degree in Human Resources Management from Holy Family University, where I am currently an adjunct professor in the business department.
Specialties: Financial Analysis, Mergers and Acquisitions, Human Resources Consulting and Compensation Analysis
Request Your Valuation
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