Buyer and seller found each other on AgencyEquity.com, the seller was represented by General Insurance Brokerage. Acquisition helps launch an insurance agency to create Insurance Careers for Disabled Veterans.
Burlingame, CA – Disabled Veterans Insurance Agency, (DVIA) acquired a significant book of business from Policy Pro for an undisclosed sum last week, thanks in large part to the efforts of Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers, AgencyEquity and General Insurance Brokerage. The two parties to the transaction were brought together thanks to the efforts of AgencyEquity, which helped the buyer and seller find each other, and General Insurance Brokerage, which who represented the seller. The plan going forward is to have trained and licensed insurance professionals recruited from the ranks of disabled American veterans service and build the book of business on behalf of DVIA. Policy Pro will continue to operate as a going concern and will use the cash received from DVIA for its book of business to expand into new territories, and will continue to sell personal lines insurance policies.
DVIA is a for-profit partner to Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers (DVIC), which itself was created as a way to help disabled veterans get their start in meaningful careers within the insurance industry. DVIC recruits from the population of disabled veterans, and helps them train and become licensed insurance agents. From there, the DVIC management team helps place them with independent insurance agencies to help them cross-sell and up-sell their own products.
In practice, DVIA found that these disabled warriors wanted to acquire a book of business of their own were having a hard time. “Bankers just weren’t lending to these disabled veterans who were collecting disability compensation,” said Brady Polansky, a member of the DVIC Board of Directors. Polansky, an expert in insurance agency operations, also heads up agency relationships at the well-known insurance industry technology company EZlynx.
A New Company
As a result, a new company was formed as a for-profit companion to DVIC called the Disabled Veterans Insurance Agency. This company’s role was to actually acquire a book of business of its own for these disabled veteran agents to work. From there, the company is committed to doing as much hiring as possible from the ranks of Disabled veterans, and from graduates of DVIC’s program in particular, Brady explains.
But where could a suitable book of business be found?
Finding A Deal
The leadership of DVIA spent over a year looking for ways to address this problem. They tried several options to acquire an existing book of business – including direct mail, telephone solicitations and word of mouth – to no avail. Finally, DVIA’s Board of Directors turned to Joseph Totah, President of Strategic Agencies LLC and publisher of AgencyEquity, for help. Totah and Strategic Agencies have long been a supporter of veterans’ causes, and made special arrangements to facilitate DVIC’s access to the marketplace.
Within just a few days of full access to AgencyEquity, DVIA found what they were looking for: an opportunity to acquire a book of business at a reasonable price from Policy Pro, an independent agency selling life, home and auto insurance policies in San Antonio, Texas.
With an interested buyer and seller in hand, the parties contacted Marc Greene, principal of General Insurance Brokerage, to help bring the two sides together. The deal closed on January 15th, 2015, with the purchase of a substantial book of business and a non-compete agreement for an undisclosed amount. “Marc Greene was a pleasure to work with and certainly added more than the value of his fee in the overall deal,” says Brady.
Under the deal, DVIA will take over all the policy servicing responsibilities from Policy Pro. DVIA plans to aggressively work this book of business by cross-selling and upselling as they execute their digital strategies.
DVIA continues to work with AgencyEquity in is search for additional acquisition opportunities. “In the two months since we’ve been using AgencyEquity we have signed three more NDAs and made two additional offers,” Brady says.
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