Insurance agency mergers and acquisitions hit a record high of 451 reported transactions for the U.S. and Canada in 2015, surpassing the previous record of 357 in 2014, according to a recent report from OPTIS Partners.

“This is strong evidence of a steady, entrenched shift in buyer dynamics,” says Timothy J. Cunningham, managing director of OPTIS, a Chicago-based investment banking and financial consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, and National Underwriter P&C advisory board member. “Private-equity backed buyers were responsible for virtually all of the year-over-year growth, while P&C agencies dominated the seller category.”

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