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Merger and acquisition activity for insurance agencies and brokerages has slowed dramatically since October 2008, when our economic meltdown began. With consumers losing trillions of dollars of value in the stock and housing markets, they responded by freezing spending, and as a result, the economy shrank at the fastest rate in 30 years.

If year-to-date trends continue, Reagan Consulting projects that approximately 170 deals will be completed in 2009–making it the lightest deal year in this decade, as the accompanying bar graph indicates.

While M&A activity in nearly all sectors of the economy has dropped due to the credit crisis and the recession, there are also some unique factors that have hindered activity in our industry, including:

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