After rumors swirled of a $4 billion deal last week, the American insurance brokerage USI has now been officially acquired by its employees and Canadian firms Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and KKR.
CDPQ, which manages public pensions and insurance programs, has been in partnership with KKR, an energy, real estate and hedge fund investor, for two years said Jean-Benoit Houde, CDPQ’s senior media relations advisor.
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Houde said USI’s strategy was of particular interest to CDPQ and KKR and they planned to maintain USI’s management positions.
“Long-term direction and low risk profile is our industry and USI is very in line with that kind of investment that we like to do,” Houde said.
USI specializes in property and casualty, employee benefits, personal risk and retirement solutions and has 4,400 professionals operating out of 140 local offices according to a joint press release.
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“USI is a fantastic company and is uniquely positioned to help address the risk management, insurance and employee benefits-related needs of small and medium-sized business owners. We look forward to working with CDPQ in helping management achieve its long-term vision to grow the business through accelerated investments in USI’s people, technology and solutions,” Tagar Olson, head of KKR’s Financial Services investing practice said.
“Our successful experience in the insurance and benefits brokerage industry, coupled with the impressive track record of Mike Sicard and the USI management team, gives us confidence in our ability to generate compelling returns while growing the business over the long term.”
CDPQ and KKR are “very pleased” with the investment and management of USI according to Houde, who said he sees it as a partnership.
“We are passionately committed to continuing and accelerating USI’s growth and investment as a leader in our industry, leveraging and innovating our unique USI ONE Advantage,” Michael J. Sicard, Chairman and CEO of USI said.
“We are excited to work with our new partners at CDPQ and KKR, and want to thank our partners at Onex for the tremendous support they provided to USI.”
The acquisition is expected to close at the end of 2017’s second quarter.
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