At the end of 2005, consultants and industry commentators consistently projected that merger and acquisition activity within the insurance brokerage world in 2006 would remain consistent with the active pace that had been experienced in 2005. As we approach the middle of 2006, however, we see far less activity than had been projected.

Most felt that the level of activity would be stimulated by the need of public companies to offset low organic growth, as well as the desire by financial institutions to build insurance platforms and get them to a sufficient critical mass to make their efforts worthwhile. Based on what we were seeing at the end of 2005, this was not an unrealistic projection.

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