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Marsh & McLennan's Unit Buys Eustis to Expand in Louisiana

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Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. MMC recently announced that Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (“MMA”), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, has completed the acquisition of Eustis Insurance & Benefits. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 The acquired company provides property and casualty, personal lines and employee health and benefits solutions to midsized companies in Louisiana. Eustis, now as part of MMA, continues its presence in current office locations, namely Metairie, Mandeville and Baton Rouge and operates as Eustis Insurance & Benefits, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. The deal helped MMA to penetrate Louisiana for the first time.

Eustis is the ideal partner for the company because of its dynamic culture, growth opportunities and commitment to enrich client service. With this deal, the acquirer expects to serve members in Louisiana in a much better fashion.

This acquisition is just another one from Marsh & McLennan’s core growth strategies. It has made numerous buyouts within its different operating units that have enabled it to enter new geographical regions, expand within the existing ones, foray into new businesses, develop new segments and specialize within existing businesses. In recent months, it also bought Klein Agency and Insurance Associates to expand in the greater Washington DC region and Houston-based Wortham Insurance to add to its revenue base and boost its portfolio. The parent company’s unit Mercer has signed agreements to acquire Summit Strategies Group, Pavilion and Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.
A number of acquisitions made over the past many years has helped the business grow and expand in new geographical areas.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have inched up 2.5% year to date, underperforming the industry’s growth of 7%.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the insurance sector might take a look at a few better-ranked stocks like The Navigators Group, Inc. NAVG, Alleghany Corporation Y and First American Financial Corporation FAF.

Navigators Group underwrites marine, property and casualty plus professional liability insurance products and services in the United States as well as globally. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and managed to deliver positive results in three of the trailing four quarters with an average four-quarter positive surprise of 19.54%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Operating in the Reinsurance and Insurance segments, Alleghany Corporation offers related services in the United States as well as internationally. The company has a Zacks Rank of 1 and came up with an average three-quarter positive earnings surprise of 26.02%.

First American Financial and its subsidiaries provide financial services to customers. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and pulled off an average four-quarter beat of 8.22%.

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