AJG Buys Dickinson & Associates

Zacks Equity Research

In its effort to ramp up its growth profile via inorganic route, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) announced the buyout of Ottawa, Ontario based Dickinson & Associates, Inc. However, the terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Dickinson & Associates is an employee benefits insurance broker and consultant providing a suite of group employee benefits products and consulting services, and specializing in group health and welfare, business insurance, executive programs, pension programs, and retirement and estate planning services. Founded in 1998, Dickinson & Associates operates in Canada. William Ziebell, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co’s Canadian employee benefit brokerage and consulting leader, will lead Dickinson & Associates.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. expects the addition of Dickinson & Associates to its portfolio to help it to capitalize on its solid Canadian presence and solid industry relationships, thereby strengthening Gallagher’s employee benefits brokerage and consulting operations.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. seems to be on acquisition spree. In mid August, the insurance broker announced the acquisition of Short Hills, New Jersey based Bollinger, Inc.  Via this present acquisition of Dickinson, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. envisions widening of its Northeastern operating platform and market presence in three of its core businesses. Additionally, in the last reported quarter, the company closed five acquisitions with annualized revenues totaling $35.9 million. The company’s strong financial position continues to support the acquisitions.

Earlier, in July, insurance broker Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO) announced the closure of acquisition by merger of Beecher Carlson Holdings, Inc. Yet Marsh, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC) closed the acquisition of Rehder y Asociados Group, the leading insurance adviser in Peru in June.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). With optimism over the acquisitions, we expect analysts to raise their estimates, providing an upward directional pressure on its Zacks Rank. In the insurance space, Everest Re Group Ltd. (RE) with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is worth considering.

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