Trust is a key ingredient to a win-win M&A

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“KAB uses a completely unique model where we are still the owners of the agency. We still have to make local decisions. We can manage our clients and our employees as we always have, but we can be part of something bigger,” Cartier said. “The role is with us going forward. We wanted to make sure there was, we could have autonomy in making decisions.”

Duluth, Minnesota-based Cartier Agency has been proud to provide friendly, personal service to its communities for more than 40 years. Although a small operation with about 15 employees, Cartier said the company is looking to expand beyond Minnesota.

“Looking at the landscape of our industry, I felt that a move like this would give us a competitive edge. We could take some of the work off the shoulders of our staff in the day-to-day running of any agency, allowing us to focus on our clients and sales,” Cartier told Insurance Business.

How to choose the right partner

Choosing the right partner The agency owner admitted that the beginning was a challenge, and trust played an important role. The Cartier agency has attracted other buyers over the past five years, but it came down to whether they could maintain autonomy.

“As independent agents, we were called by everybody,” he recalls. “You get a call from someone trying to buy you on a weekly basis.

It’s not something we came to quickly or lightly. Ultimately, we felt this was the best opportunity for us to move forward. [Partnering with KAP]We have a partner that helps us manage the business, we retain ownership and our employees while opening capital.

Cartier said he looks forward to the planning and vision stage during the partnership’s transition process.

“We’ve got some unique, niche industries that we insure, so we’re trying to find ways to bring in additional expertise to help our existing client base. We’re excited to expand our reach into the northern Minnesota area,” he explained. Employees are excited. We are excited to bring them additional tools and growth opportunities.

‘Linked Autonomy’ partnership with KAP

Cartier Agency is the 16th independent agency to join KAP’s network and the 48th transaction since KAP’s establishment in 2020. The new partnership adds Minnesota to KAP’s expanding network of independent agencies, which it calls “platform partners,” and increases its depth in trucking. and employee benefits insurance taxes.

KAP’s secret formula for its rapid growth “Connected and autonomous” acquisition model For independent companies. The site seeks to attract independent, entrepreneurial agency owners who have taken significant risks to build their businesses. In its M&A model, Prime maintains significant equity in the agency, while KAP provides resources, capital and expertise to drive the agency’s growth.

“We don’t buy 100% of our ‘platform partners.’ In addition to the opportunity to acquire shares in KAP, we allow leaders to retain ownership in their independent company. We think that combines uniquely to drive the aggressive growth of connected autonomy,” Jeff Turner, CEO of KAP, told Insurance Business in a previous interview. said.

“We were a member of Keystone [Insurers Group], is a great system that helps create this team spirit among independent agents. KAP makes it more and more and adds some tools to the mix,” Cartier said. “It’s nice to have a team behind you and not feel like you’re on an island on your own in this industry. So, I’m excited about this deal and excited to move forward.

What elements put an agency merger or acquisition on the path to success? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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