Consolidation within the agency/brokerage community was active last year, with over 250 deals taking place–beating out 2005 by a long shot. If the recent move by USI Holdings is any indication, M&A activity in 2007 could be equally frenetic, thanks in part to growing interest from private equity firms flush with cash.

There are three primary buyers of agencies and brokerage firms today cited by M&A experts: larger insurance brokerages, banks and private equity investors. Of the three, brokers remain the most active, accounting for the majority of deals, while bank appetite for acquisition has waned somewhat.

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