Arthur J Gallagher and Co   (AJG)
Other Ticker:  
    Sector  Financial    Industry Insurance Brokerage
   Industry Insurance Brokerage
   Sector  Financial

Arthur J Gallagher and Co

Business Description

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and its subsidiaries, collectively referred to herein as we, our, us or Gallagher, are engaged in providing insurance brokerage and consulting services and third-party claims settlement and administration services to both domestic and international entities. We believe that our major strength is our ability to deliver comprehensively structured insurance, risk management and consulting services to our clients. Our brokers, agents and administrators act as intermediaries between insurers and their customers.

Since our founding in 1927, we have grown from a one-person agency to the world’s fourth largest insurance broker based on revenues, according to Business Insurance magazine’s July 20, 2015 edition, and the world’s largest property/casualty third-party claims administrator, according to Business Insurance magazine’s March 30, 2015 edition. We generate approximately 68% of our revenues from the combined brokerage and risk management segments domestically, with the remaining 32% derived internationally, primarily in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Substantially all of the revenues of the corporate segment are generated in the United States (U.S.).

Our business, particularly our brokerage business, is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Commission and fee revenues, and the related brokerage and marketing expenses, can vary from quarter to quarter as a result of the timing of policy inception dates and the timing of receipt of information from insurance carriers. On the other hand, salaries and employee benefits, rent, depreciation and amortization expenses generally tend to be more uniform throughout the year. The timing of acquisitions, recognition of books of business gains and losses and the variability in the recognition of IRC Section 45 tax credits also impact the trends in our quarterly operating results.

Our brokerage segment is primarily comprised of retail and wholesale insurance brokerage operations. Our retail brokerage operations negotiate and place property/casualty, employer-provided health and welfare insurance, and healthcare exchange and retirement solutions principally for middle-market commercial, industrial, public entity, religious and not-for-profit entities. Many of our retail brokerage customers choose to place their insurance with insurance underwriters, while others choose to use alternative vehicles such as self-insurance pools, risk retention groups or captive insurance companies. Our wholesale brokerage operations assist our brokers and other unaffiliated brokers and agents in the placement of specialized, unique and hard-to-place insurance programs.

Our risk management segment provides contract claim settlement and administration services for enterprises that choose to self-insure some or all of their property/casualty coverages and for insurance companies that choose to outsource some or all of their property/casualty claims departments. Approximately 69% of our risk management segment’s revenues are from workers’ compensation related claims, 27% are from general and commercial auto liability related claims and 4% are from property related claims. In addition, we generate revenues from integrated disability management (employee absence management) programs, information services, risk control consulting (loss control) services and appraisal services, either individually or in combination with arising claims. Revenues for risk management services are comprised of fees generally negotiated in advance on a per-claim or per-service basis, depending upon the type and estimated volume of the services to be performed.

We have ownership interests in several insurance and reinsurance companies based in the U.S., Bermuda, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Malta that primarily operate segregated account “rent-a-captive” facilities. These “rent-a-captive” facilities enable our clients to receive the benefits of owning a captive insurance company without incurring certain disadvantages of ownership. Captive insurance companies, or “rent-a-captive” facilities, are created for clients to insure their risks and capture any underwriting profit and investment income, which would then be available for use by the insureds, generally to reduce future costs of their insurance programs. In general, these companies are set up as protected cell companies that are comprised of separate cell business units (which we refer to as Captive Cells) and the core regulated company (which we refer to as the Core Company). The Core Company is owned and operated by us and no insurance policies are assumed by the Core Company; all insurance is assumed or written within individual Captive Cells. Most Captive Cells reinsure individual lines of insurance coverage from external insurance companies. In addition, some Captive Cells offer individual lines of insurance coverage from one of our insurance company subsidiaries. The different types of insurance coverage include special property, general liability, products liability, medical professional liability, other liability and medical stop loss. The policies are generally claims-made. Insurance policies are written by an insurance company and the risk is assumed by each of the Captive Cells. In general, we structure these operations to have no underwriting risk on a net written basis. In situations where we have assumed underwriting risk on a net written basis, we have managed that exposure by obtaining full collateral for the underwriting risk we have assumed from our clients. We typically require pledged assets including cash and/or investment accounts or letters of credit to limit our risk.

We have a wholly owned insurance company subsidiary based in the U.S. that cedes all of its insurance to reinsurers or captives under facultative and quota share treaty reinsurance agreements. These reinsurance arrangements diversify our business and minimize our exposure to losses or hazards of an unusual nature. The ceding of insurance does not discharge the original insurer of its primary liability to its policyholder. In the event that all or any of the reinsuring companies are unable to meet their obligations, we would be liable for such defaulted amounts. Therefore, we are subject to credit risk with respect to the obligations of our reinsurers or captives. In order to minimize our exposure to losses from reinsurer credit risk and insolvencies, we have managed that exposure by obtaining full collateral for which we typically require pledged assets, including cash and/or investment accounts or letters of credit, to fully offset the risk.

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