The Hilb Group grows to 48 offices in 18 states

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The Midwest is the next target territory for The Hilb Group.

The Hilb Group’s growth is rooted in its acquisition strategy.
During the past six years the Richmond-based middle-market insurance broker has acquired more than 20 agencies and expanded its presence in 18 states.

The company, now at $100 million in revenue, has 48 offices that stretch from Vermont to Florida. Its next target:  the Midwest. “We are very active right now in deals, and there is a westward push. We have a signed letter of intent in the Midwest and one deal in Texas,” says Robert Hilb, the company’s CEO and founder, adding that he also wants to develop the company’s business in Virginia.

He focuses on quality and loyalty in making acquisitions. “We want good folks that will stay with the firm after the acquisition for as long as possible; that’s a big piece of our strategy,” he says.

Hilb also looks for companies that want to partner with his firm and “take 15 to 20 percent of their deal in our stock,” he says.

Privately held, The Hilb Group is backed by ABRY Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm. “They help us balance the scales of equity in buying the right businesses the right way,” Hilb says. “A big year for us is doing 14 to 16 deals. This year we have done nine to 10 deals and will probably close another three or four.”

Through its acquisitions the company has zeroed in on a variety of specialty practices, such as marine and construction insurance. This year, for example, it bought a business in New Jersey that specializes in medical malpractice insurance.

“We use technology that allows us to expand on that specialty. If one of our agencies in Virginia has an opportunity to write a policy for a group of doctors, they can access our folks in New Jersey, and they will help them write the business,” Hilb says.

The company is very committed to the areas it serves, he says. “We believe in being good stewards of the communities where we are,” Hilb says.

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