Acquisition activity in the North American broking sector went into overdrive during the first quarter, easily reaching the highest level of the past five years, according to the regular deal tracker prepared by US advisory firm Optis Partners. Indicators for further activity are generally positive, despite the low interest rate environment, the firm said, and new private equity capital continues to enter the market for broking businesses, underlining the bullish view of prospects.
The handful of quoted brokers had a surprisingly good first quarter, with four of the five groups shown in our tables recording increased profit compared with the same three months of last year. The odd one out was Aon but only because the firm took a hefty charge in connection with the disposal of its outsourcing business. General economic growth remains sluggish and insurance rates for many classes are still weak, even if the extreme reductions of the recent past appear to be easing.
Brokerage and revenue for the leading US quoted brokers grew faster than expenses over the first quarter, helping the sector post a double-digit increase in net profit compared with the same period of 2016. Acquisitions provided a boost, at Arthur J Gallagher and Brown & Brown especially, but stronger than expected organic growth was the main driver of the performance.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".