Jim Gilpin
By Jim Gilpin on September 01, 2022

An Insider's View of the HUB/Miniter Group Acquisition

This blog explains why and how Miniter Group merged with HUB International's Financial Services Division.

I must disclose first that Julianne and I have been married for 25 years and have two wonderful children. Julianne (our CEO) and I have gotten solicitations from many companies and private equity firms over the last 20 years. We engaged one of them back in 2012 but quickly found that we would prefer to grow the company ourselves.

Our Strategy has always been to create a Miniter Board of Directors and pass the company's operation to our senior managers. We were already in the process of executing this succession plan up until November of 2021.

I got a cold call from an insurance broker in mid-November. He explained that he had just sold his agency to a Long Island-based private equity firm. It was an engaging conversation, and he told me the financials of his deal which had multiples I had never seen previously. Then, two days later, I got a call from an industry insurance friend who mentioned that HUB International might be looking for acquisitions in our space.

Julianne and I spent the weekend talking about these two conversations. The following week after our senior management meeting, we decided to look seriously at being acquired for the first time in 25 years.

We contacted the company we spoke with back in 2012. We had the Long Island private equity firm, a second private equity firm, and HUB.

We began due diligence with all four companies, and one dropped out within two weeks as they did not know how to evaluate our insurance tracking software.

All three companies would have made great partners, but early on, Julianne demanded that we look for a company with as close a cultural match as possible.

Julianne and I evaluated them based on their culture, while these companies performed due diligence on us based on EBITDA.

Scott Eckerty is a veteran in the lender-placed insurance industry and heads up HUB Financial Services Division as their president. Julianne and Scott have known each other for more than 25 years. Scott immediately set himself and HUB Financial Services apart from the other companies as he showcased the culture of his division. This culture of putting the client first aligned with the culture Julianne had nurtured with Miniter's "Borrower-Centric" insurance tracking.

The Hub Financial Services division was the clear winner of the three companies. So now we had to decide if we were going to sell. HUB acquires over 70 insurance agencies each year, so they have a fine-tuned M&A team that makes the process as efficient as possible. They presented their offer. And now we had to make what was to become the most challenging decision of our careers.

We sat on that offer for over a week as we discussed the pros and cons every night. We would call Scott and ask him obscure questions that I'm sure didn't make sense to him, but he was extremely patient with us as we analyzed our options.

On a Monday morning in April, we concluded that it would be best in the long term for our clients, managers, and staff if we joined the HUB team. We never looked back and have never doubted our decision.

From that day in late April until September 1st, we have tirelessly worked to create a transition that will ensure the same level of service for our lending clients and broker partners.

Julianne and I are part of the HUB team for the next three years to assist in making this merger work for our clients, employees, and HUB.

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Published by Jim Gilpin September 1, 2022
Jim Gilpin