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Insurance broker M&A activity ticks up YOY in FY'20; underwriter deals slow

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Insurance broker M&A activity ticks up YOY in FY'20; underwriter deals slow

Deal activity in the insurance brokerage space rose modestly year over year in 2020, while underwriters saw a moderate decline, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis.

There were a total of 754 insurance broker deals announced in 2020, compared to 744 in 2019, the analysis found.

In the underwriting industry, there were 151 M&A transactions announced in 2020, down from 165 in 2019. Underwriter deal activity slowed in the last three months of the year; total of 40 underwriter deals were announced in the final quarter of 2020, compared to 46 in the third quarter and 47 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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The largest insurance deal overall of 2020 was KKR & Co. Inc.'s pending acquisition of retirement and life insurance company Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd. The transaction, valued at $4.04 billion, is expected to close in early 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and certain other customary closing conditions.

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M&A activity in the property and casualty sector was up year over year in the fourth quarter of 2020, rising to 22 deals from 19 in the prior-year period.

The life and health space recorded nine deals in the final three-month period of 2020, compared with 14 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Managed care transaction activity also edged down, with three deals in the quarter versus four a year earlier.

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