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Mesirow selling insurance business

July 13,2016 15:07

The Chicago-based company's insurance business, which accounts for 22 percent of revenues and a third of its workforce, is being bought by Alliant Insurance Services of Newport Beach, Calif. It's also the division at which Mesirow Financial Chief ...and more »



Employee-owned Mesirow Financial is selling off a big chunk of itself.The Chicago-based company's insurance business, which accounts for 22 percent of revenues and a third of its workforce, is being bought by Alliant Insurance Services of Newport Beach, Calif. It's also the division at which Mesirow Financial Chief Executive Richard Price worked his way up the corporate ladder.
In an industry that has been consolidating, Alliant will be able to fill a void it has had in the Midwest, particularly with midsized businesses, through the Mesirow acquisition. In turn, Mesirow clients with nationwide operations will now have offices on the East and West coasts that they can go to with concerns about, say, claims.Alliant has 80 offices and 2,300 workers. Mesirow's insurance business has three offices.

Founded in 1972, Mesirow's insurance services business has 350 workers and serves publicly traded companies, middle-market businesses, nonprofits, public entities and rich people. It consists of an insurance brokerage and consulting services specializing in property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, life and disability, private client insurance and structured settlements.The parent, Mesirow Financial, was founded in 1937 and will now focus on its investment management, capital markets and investment banking divisions, which combined have about 700 workers.Terms of the agreement with Alliant were not disclosed, though Mesirow Financial will get an equity stake in Alliant.More than 40 percent of Alliant is owned by its employees. An additional 43 percent of Alliant is owned by private equity firms KKR and Stone Point Capital.
Mesirow Insurance Services will continue to operate under its existing leadership and will remain in Mesirow Financial's headquarters in Chicago's River North neighborhood, but its employees will now work for Alliant. It will retain the Mesirow name for now but might at some point be co-branded with the Alliant name.Alliant Insurance Services dates to 1925. It provides property and casualty insurance, workers' compensation, employee benefits, and other financial products and services nationwide, including to public entities, tribal nations, law firms and health care, energy, real estate and construction businesses.The deal is expected to close at the end of the month.byerak@tribpub.comTwitter @beckyyerak

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