Bryan Clinkscales purchased his first agency upon his father’s retirement, as a natural succession plan, in 2002 and grew the agency to four locations and $15 million in premium through subsequent acquisitions in 2007 and 2014. Spiking M&A activity in 2021 and steep competition for carrier appointments led Bryan to consider next steps for his agency – to acquire or be acquired – and if he stayed in the business, how best to expand and become more profitable. He decided to be an acquirer, and following the acquisition of a Smart Choice® agency, Bryan became acquainted with a Smart Choice® representative, who proposed a review of his volumes to see how best to maximize his profitability.
“It’s tough to get carrier appointments, especially if you’re in a town where there’s a lot of competition and those carriers have already appointed other agencies. It makes it even tougher to increase revenue.”
—Second Generation Independent Agent Bryan Clinkscales, owner of Boone-Ritter Insurance
What Can Smart Choice Do for Independent Agencies?
Smart Choice® performed an analysis of Bryan’s book of business and identified contracts that would be more profitable if converted from direct contracts to Smart Choice® contracts, where the commission structure would be higher. To date, Bryan has converted $3 million in direct contract premiums over to Smart Choice® contracts. “We’ve got $2 million with just one carrier that we moved over. But we also had these small books with carriers that we were struggling to grow, to get to profit-sharing level. Now we are at that level just by moving those books over to Smart Choice®, and those combined are another $1 million in premiums. I can’t wait to see the year end numbers!”
In addition to gaining access to more carriers through the Smart Choice® relationship, Bryan now actively works with his Smart Choice® Territory Manager to identify additional acquisition opportunities. Smart Choice® facilitates the transaction of either the entire agency or books, depending upon the desires of buyers and sellers. They are there to:
- Assist with the evaluation
- Analyze the profitability
- Support with financing solutions if necessary
Bryan’s Advice to Other Independent Insurance Agents
“If I know an agent is going out on his own, I’ll say it’s going to be tougher to get markets, call Smart Choice®, and see what they can offer. The way they do business, it’s going to be easier for you. You’re going to maximize your efforts.”
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