After three years of non-stop deal making, Bob Hilb is still hungry for more M&A action.
His Richmond-based insurance brokerage firm, the Hilb Group, last month closed its 10th acquisition in the last three years.
Armed with money from a New York private equity firm, the Hilb Group has scoured the country, mostly east of the Mississippi River, to buy out all sorts of insurance agencies and bring them under the Hilb umbrella.
“That’s what I do. That’s my job,” Hilb said. “I’m not doing my job if I’m not seeing 30 to 40 insurance agencies a year.”
Its latest deal was announced May 20 when it acquired Newman Crane & Associates, a property and casualty insurance agency in Orlando, Fla. that focuses mostly on policies for businesses. That was Hilb’s second deal of 2014, and the first was also in the Sunshine State.
Hilb said his company has about 25 potential deals in various stages, one of which may close next month.
Following a down year for deals in the insurance realm last year, Hilb said 2014 is red hot.
“Anyone you talk to in our business will tell you it’s the most robust M&A market in a really long time,” he said.
Hilb’s growth is fueled by a backing from BHMS Investments. In 2010, the private equity firm bought a majority stake of Hilb in exchange for a previous round of capital. Hilb burned through that pot of about $22 million and has since reloaded with BHMS for another 8-figures worth of fresh money.
Hilb declined to say exactly how much the company has as its disposal this time around, only to say it was more than the first pool.
“We’ve invested over $22 million in the last 2 ½ years, and we have more than that available to us now,” he said.
Bringing a bevy of insurers under one roof has pushed the Hilb Group’s annual revenue into the 8-figure realm as well. Hilb said the company is about a quarter of the way toward its initial business plan that set a goal of $100 million in revenue. It was named one of Richmond’s fastest growing companies last year.
The company is headquartered at 8720 Stony Point Parkway. It now has 120 employees, including 15 in Richmond.