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Thomas H Lee to back $200mn US broker consolidator launch

Former senior Beecher Carlson executives Bret Quigley and Adam Meyerowitz have secured up to $200mn private equity backing to launch Prime Risk Partners, a consolidation platform to roll up US insurance brokers.

The venture is being backed by Thomas H Lee Partners (THL), a Boston-based private equity firm that has raised $20bn in equity capital in the last 40 years.

Headquartered in Atlanta, the new firm is looking to create a major insurance agency platform in the US. It is understood that it would initially look to acquire brokers with revenues of between $10mn to $125mn.

Quigley will act as chairman and CEO of the new firm with Meyerowitz serving as executive vice president and co-founder.

Quigley was previously vice chairman at Beecher Carlson, heading up acquisitions and agency operations. Before that he was CFO of Hobbs Group.

Meyerowitz was former senior vice president and general counsel at Beecher Carlson.

Beecher Carlson was itself acquired last year by Brown & Brown for $337mn.

The Prime Risk Partners chief executive said he plans to create an "intelligent national model".

He continued: "We aim to be the home of choice for those insurance professionals seeking to grow as part of something larger than themselves while helping to create the next great national insurance agency platform."

He added that THL's track record of building growth companies made it the ideal partner.

THL managing director Soren Oberg said his firm had examined the insurance brokerage sector for over a decade.

"This is an attractive space in which to invest capital," he said.

THL has invested in over 100 companies since it was established with an aggregate purchase price of over $150mn.

In recent years, there have been a number of private equity backed launches of broker consolidators.

Last October, former Willis executive David Margrett set up a UK broker consolidation vehicle with Towergate founder Peter Cullum and private equity house Penta Capital.

Global Risk Partners (GRP) had an initial investment fund of £55mn with capacity to invest in excess of £100mn, targeting brokers and MGAs in the London market, with a focus on specialty insurance and facultative reinsurance lines.

In 2011, two senior Brown & Brown executives Jim Henderson and Tom Riley secured up to a reported $250mn private equity backing from GTCR to launch Assured Agencies a consolidation platform to build a middle market insurance broker.

While Roger Egan - the former Marsh executive and co-founder of Integro - has the support of Kohlberg & Company with his venture Risk Strategies Company

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