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Brown & Brown, Inc. Announces Biggest Acquisition

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Brown & Brown, Inc. Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Hays Companies

DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- J. Scott Penny, Chief Acquisitions Officer of Brown & Brown, Inc. and Jim Hays, on behalf of Hays Companies, announced that Brown & Brown, Inc. (Brown & Brown) has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of the Hays Companies insurance operations.  The transaction is expected to close in November 2018, subject to certain closing conditions.

Jim Hays formed the Hays Companies in 1994.  Since formation, Jim, along with Mike Egan, Bill Mershon, Steve Lerum and many others, have successfully grown Hays Companies to number 22 on Business Insurance Magazine’s list of 100 largest U.S. brokers, with annualized revenue of approximately $200 million.  Headquartered in Minneapolis, Hays Companies is comprised of over 700 risk management and employee benefits professionals in 32 locations across 21 states.  The Hays Companies focuses on risk management, commercial insurance, employee benefits, consulting services, specialty programs and private client services.

Hays Companies will operate as a region inside Brown & Brown Retail.  The operations will continue to be led by Jim Hays, as Chief Executive Officer of the Hays Companies, and Mike Egan will continue to serve as President/COO.  Following completion of the transaction, Jim will join Brown & Brown, Inc. as Vice Chairman and will serve on the board of directors, and Mike will become a Regional President of the Brown & Brown Retail Segment.  Mike will continue reporting to Jim and Jim will report up to Powell Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Brown & Brown. 

Powell Brown stated, “For the past several years, Jim and I have gotten to know one another both professionally and personally.  It became clear to me over that time that our organizations share a common sales, service, entrepreneurial and teammate focused culture which delivers results and that joining the Hays Companies team with Brown & Brown will be mutually beneficial to our collective clients, teammates and carrier partners.  We are excited to have the experience and client focused team of Hays Companies join with us under the leadership of Jim and Mike.” 

Jim Hays stated, “After 24 years as an independent insurance broker, we feel the time is now to partner with an industry leader who shares our cultural values.  Brown & Brown has the same client focused attitude that our clients have come to expect from the Hays Companies team. This partnership enhances our ability to provide expanded solutions for our clients and new opportunities for our employees.  Because the Hays Companies name, our executive group, and our account teams will not change, we expect a smooth transition.  As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.  This is a new era for Hays Companies.  I am very excited about the future as a part of the Brown & Brown family.”

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