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Aug. 10, 2022

Truist Insurance will purchase Dallas-based benefits agency BenefitMall

Originally published in The Dallas Business Journal...

Charlotte-based Truist Insurance Holdings announced on Tuesday a definitive agreement to purchase Dallas-based benefits agency BenefitMall, according to a news release.

Truist Insurance is a subsidiary of Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) and the sixth-largest insurance brokerage in the country. It will purchase BenefitMall, which is the nation’s largest benefits wholesale general agency, from Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG).

According to the release, while the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the transaction will add approximately $150 million of annual revenue to Truist Insurance Holdings' wholesale division. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

"As Truist Insurance Holdings celebrates its centennial year, investing in our insurance capabilities and offerings continues to be a top priority," Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers said in the release. "This acquisition of BenefitMall enables us to further diversify the solutions we offer to our clients and create an enhanced client experience, which is at the core of our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities."

"We're excited to welcome BenefitMall clients to Truist and have their team join our CRC Group organization," Truist Chief Insurance Officer John Howard said in the release. "With this acquisition, CRC Group will provide the broadest selection of products and services available from a wholesale broker today. Whether it is property and casualty; life, annuity and long-term care; or now employee benefits, CRC Group's nationwide network of specialists are all focused on one goal – delivering success for our retail agency partners."

BenefitMall will be combined into CRC Group, a leading national wholesale distributor of specialty insurance products.

"As the largest health benefits general agent in the U.S., we are deeply committed to the role we play as a mission-critical partner to our broker and carrier partners," said BenefitMall CEO Scott Kirksey. "We are proud of the growth we have achieved through our partnership with Carlyle and look forward to the exciting opportunity ahead to continue to deliver the fastest, easiest and most trusted benefits selling experience as part of the Truist team."

"Since we began investing in the business in 2017, BenefitMall has accomplished significant growth through a focus on broker technology enablement and investment in human capital in addition to successfully completing more than eight strategic acquisitions to transform into the market-leading wholesale benefits business," said James Burr, managing director on the financial services team at Carlyle. "We are proud of our partnership with Scott and the entire BenefitMall team and are thankful to have played a part in their success over the past several years."

RBC Capital Markets and Truist Securities served as financial advisors, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal counsel to Truist Insurance Holdings. Waller Helms Advisors and Barclays served as financial advisors, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to Carlyle. Jones Day served as legal advisor to BenefitMall.

In May, Kirksey told the Dallas Business Journal that BenefitMall was gaining new traction and saw sales of new products in the first quarter of 2022 rise by more than 20%.

“We're feeling pretty optimistic, especially considering how the how the year has started – and, frankly, the industry's (appreciation) for what we bring,” Kirksey said at the time, when discussing the future.