AJ Gallagher acquires specialty brokerage competitor

Patrick Gallagher, John Neumaier to head up newly acquired operation

AJ Gallagher acquires specialty brokerage competitor

Construction & Engineering


Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Illinois-headquartered Williams-Manny Insurance Group.

Retail insurance brokerage Williams-Manny Insurance Group provides coverage throughout northern Illinois. The brokerage, which was founded in 1896 and is headquartered in Rockford, IL, focuses its business on construction, manufacturing, higher education and nonprofit.

The Williams-Manny management team of Dan Ross, Tim Knauf, Randy Cooper, and Dave Townsend will continue to operate the Illinois offices in Rockford, Wheaton, and Freeport, but the business will now be overseen by Patrick M. Gallagher, Gallagher’s Midwest chief of retail property/casualty operations, and John Neumaier, who heads Gallagher’s Great Lakes employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations.

“Williams-Manny has been a strong and respected competitor, and represents an outstanding geographic, strategic and cultural fit for Gallagher,” said J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and CEO. “I am thrilled to welcome Dan, Tim, Randy, Dave, and all of their partners and associates to our growing Gallagher team of professionals.”

Gallagher is well-known for its acquisitions strategy. Speaking to Insurance Business earlier this month, Bill Bohstedt, corporate vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Gallagher, said the company targeted competitors who were a good fit for the company.

“We’re more focussed on doing really good, strategic acquisitions that are the right fit for us. Gallagher has consistently been the leading public acquirer in this space,” Bohstedt said.

“The firms that we’re targeting, they are all competitors of ours. They do what we do, they’re just smaller,” he said. “We’re looking for really well-run companies with great people and cultures. That’s really the key.”

Williams-Manny was founded by Henry “Hank” Williams who started the company aged 25, reportedly using his mother’s sewing machine table as his work desk. 

International brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. It has operations in 33 countries and offers services in more than 150 countries.

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