According to rankings and analyses completed by Insuramore, the value of the worldwide market for insurance broking in terms of fees and commissions earned was USD 117.7 billion in 2020.
This broke down between around USD 55.1 billion due to commercial P&C (non-life) insurance retail broking, USD 11.2 billion to private P&C (non-life) insurance retail broking, USD 37.6 billion to employee benefits plus life and health insurance retail broking, USD 5.3 billion to reinsurance broking and USD 8.4 billion to wholesale insurance broking. (Noting that these data points omit tied agency and MGA activity among other elements, please see the PDF copy of the press release for precise definitions of these activities.)
If not exactly emerging as lockdown winners, the global pandemic had much less of an impact on insurance broking groups than it did on enterprises in some other industries. Discounting inflation, growth in global broking revenues during the year is thought likely by Insuramore to have been between around 3% and 5% with reinsurance and wholesale insurance broking plus both commercial and private P&C insurance retail broking tending to fare better than broking and administration of employee benefits.
A further feature of 2020 was the acceleration in M&A activity among broking groups; the pandemic had the effect of encouraging such activity rather than diminishing it with many hundreds of transactions concluded globally.
Furthermore, among the top 250 broking groups at the end of 2020, a significant number were in the process of merging with or being acquired by rivals via deals expected to conclude in 2021. In addition to the well-documented combination of Aon with Willis Towers Watson, other major acquisitions (listed alphabetically) already completed or poised to conclude during 2021 as at the date of this press release include the following: A-Plan Group by Howden Group Holdings; ASCOMA by Chedid Capital; Be Wiser by Ardonagh Group; the insurance broking interests of BGC Partners by Ardonagh Group; Bollington Wilson Group by Arthur J. Gallagher; Brightside by Markerstudy; Confie by Alliant; PayneWest Insurance by Marsh & McLennan; Voogd & Voogd by Heilbron Groep; Wirtschafts-Assekuranz Gruppe by MRH Trowe; and Worldwide Facilities by Amwins.
While this M&A activity will bring about further consolidation in the worldwide insurance broking market, Insuramore’s global rankings of broking groups (www.insuramore.com/rankings/brokers) indicate that the sector remains quite fragmented. These rankings indicate that the world’s top 20 broking groups as measured by total insurance broking revenues in 2020 accounted for a combined 52.3% of fees and commissions earned (and the top 250 groups for 78%). Meanwhile, and noting that these data points do not count international broker networks as consolidated groups, the equivalent percentages for the top 20 groups in each of commercial P&C insurance retail broking, private P&C insurance retail broking and employee benefits plus life and health insurance retail broking were a respective 58%, 37.2% and 54.9%.
Ordered alphabetically, Arthur J. Gallagher, Aon, Marsh & McLennan and Willis Towers Watson are the four largest groups in commercial P&C insurance retail broking and employee benefits plus life and health insurance retail broking, and are also four of the five largest in reinsurance broking. However, Amwins, Ryan Specialty Group and Truist Insurance Holdings are among the foremost competitors in wholesale insurance broking with Confie (in the process of merging with Alliant, as noted above) followed by HUB and AA Insurance Services likely to be the top three in private P&C insurance retail broking.