Ross & Yerger

TRANSITIONING TO A NEW OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE

Ross & Yerger Insurance (R&Y) joined Intersure in 2000. A year later, the owner decided to sell the fourth generation, family-owned agency in Jackson, Mississippi. To prevent acquisition by a national broker, a group of executives purchased R&Y via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Their first order of business was to create a perpetuation plan that would keep the business thriving in the next generation. In 2001, R&Y had roughly 45 employees, $7.5M in revenues and $5M of corporate debt.

With the help of several Intersure partners and national consultants, R&Y began developing an internal perpetuation program, which is now referred to as its Future Partners Group (FPG). Several ideas that spawned from the Intersure relationships included:

    • limiting ownership for any one producer to 15% to relieve cash flow pressure if retiring one or several large books of business at a given time
    • implementing a formula whereby a given producer’s ownership is “reallocated” periodically according to his/her “contribution” to the agency’s book of business
    • setting appropriate levels of compensation for new and renewal business

“ We’re all about staying independent, which not many in our peer group can say these days. Thanks to Intersure, we’ve built an agency perpetuation plan that will keep us that way.”

Dudley Wooley, CEO/COO | Ross & Yerger

By the end of 2012, R&Y had grown to 95 employees and $18.5M in revenues. This was achieved with 100% organic growth post acquisition. The agency has a success rate of 65% among all producers hired into the FPG program and is recognized as a Best Place to Work by MS Business Journal and Business Insurance, as well as a “Top 3 Commercial Insurance Agency” by National Underwriter. R&Y attributes a great deal of its success to the many personal and professional relationships developed with Intersure partners.

Challenge

Creating a successful agency perpetuation plan under new ownership

Solution

Various Intersure partners guided R&Y on structuring their agency perpetuation plan to include ownership limitations and reallocations, as well as set compensation levels

Results

100% organic growth

65% program success rate

$11M in revenues

50 new employees