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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549 

 

FORM 10-K 

 

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

or

 

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission file number 001-13619

 

BROWN & BROWN, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida

 

 

59-0864469

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

 

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

220 South Ridgewood Avenue,

Daytona Beach, FL

 

 

 

32114

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (386252-9601

Registrant’s Website: www.bbinsurance.com

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

COMMON STOCK, $0.10 PAR VALUE

BRO

New york stock exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Note - Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes      No  

The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the price at which the stock was last sold on June 30, 2019 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $7,853,765,460.

The number of shares of the Registrant’s common stock, $0.10 par value, outstanding as of February 20, 2020 was 281,552,678.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of Brown & Brown, Inc.’s Proxy Statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.

 


Table of Contents

 

BROWN & BROWN, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2019

INDEX 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE

NO.

 

 

Part I

5

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

11

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

20

Item 2.

Properties

20

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

20

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

21

 

 

 

Part II

22

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

22

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

24

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

25

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

42

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

44

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

84

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

84

Item 9B.

Other Information

84

 

 

 

Part III

85

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

85

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

86

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

86

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

87

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

87

 

 

Part IV

88

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

88

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

89

 

 

Signatures

90

 

2


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Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Brown & Brown, Inc., together with its subsidiaries (collectively, “we,” “Brown & Brown” or the “Company”), makes “forward-looking statements” within the “safe harbor” provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, throughout this report and in the documents we incorporate by reference into this report. You can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan” and “continue” or similar words. We have based these statements on our current expectations about potential future events. Although we believe the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K and the reports, statements, information and announcements incorporated by reference into this report are based upon reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge of our business, a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, whether oral or written, made by us or on our behalf. Many of these factors have previously been identified in filings or statements made by us or on our behalf. Important factors which could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this report include but are not limited to the following items, in addition to those matters described in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” and Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”:

 

The inability to retain or hire qualified employees, as well as the loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees;

 

Acquisition-related risks that could negatively affect the success of our growth strategy, including the possibility that we may not be able successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates, complete acquisitions, integrate acquired businesses into our operations, and expand into new markets continuing;

 

A cybersecurity attack or any other interruption in information technology and/or data security and/or outsourcing relationships;

 

The requirement for additional resources and time to adequately respond to dynamics resulting from rapid technological change;

 

Changes in data privacy and protection laws and regulations or any failure to comply with such laws and regulations;

 

The loss of any of our insurance company relationships, which could result in additional expense and loss of market share;

 

Adverse economic conditions, natural disasters, or regulatory changes in states where we have a high concentration of our business;

 

The inability to maintain our culture or a change in management, management philosophy or our business strategy;

 

Risks facing us in our Services Segment, including our third-party claims administration operations, that are distinct from those we face in our insurance intermediary operations;

 

Our failure to comply with any covenants contained in our debt agreements;

 

The possibility that covenants in our debt agreements could prevent use from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities;

 

Changes in estimates, judgments or assumptions used in the preparation of our financial statements;

 

Improper disclosure of confidential information;

 

The limitations of our system of disclosure and internal controls and procedures in preventing errors or fraud, or in informing management of all material information in a timely manner;

 

The potential adverse effect of certain actual or potential claims, regulatory actions or proceedings on our businesses, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity;

 

Changes in the U.S.-based credit markets that might adversely affect our results of operation and financial condition;

 

The significant control certain existing shareholders have over the Company;

 

Risk related to our international operations, which may require more time and expense than our domestic options to achieve or maintain profitability;

 

Risks associated with the current interest rate environment and to the extent we use debt to finance our investments, changes in interest rates will affect our cost of capital and net investment income;

3


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Disintermediation within the insurance industry, including increased competition from insurance companies, technology companies and the financial services industry, as well as the shift away from traditional insurance markets;

 

Changes in current U.S. economic conditions;

 

Conditions that result in reduced insurer capacity;

 

Quarterly and annual variations in our commissions that result from the timing of policy renewals and the net effect of new and lost business production;

 

The possibility that one of the financial institutions we use fails or is taken over by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

 

Uncertainty in our business practices and compensation arrangements due to potential changes in regulations;

 

Regulatory changes that could reduce our profitability or growth by increasing compliance costs, technology compliance, restricting the products or services we may sell, the markets we may enter, the methods by which we may sell our products and services, or the prices we may charge for our services and the form of compensation we may accept from our customers, carriers and third parties.

 

Intangible asset risk, including the possibility that our goodwill may become impaired in the future;

 

A decrease in demand for liability insurance as a result of tort reform litigation;

 

Changes in our credit ratings;

 

Volatility in our stock price; and

 

Other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings.

Assumptions as to any of the foregoing and all statements are not based upon historical fact, but rather reflect our current expectations concerning future results and events. Forward-looking statements that we make or that are made by others on our behalf are based upon a knowledge of our business and the environment in which we operate, but because of the factors listed above, among others, actual results may differ from those in the forward-looking statements. Consequently, these cautionary statements qualify all of the forward-looking statements we make herein. We cannot assure you that the results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that those results or developments will result in the expected consequences for us or affect us, our business or our operations in the way we expect. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We assume no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements.

4


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PART I

ITEM 1. Business.

General

Brown & Brown is a diversified insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, insurance programs and service organization with origins dating from 1939 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Company markets and sells insurance products and services, primarily in the property, casualty and employee benefits areas. We provide our customers with quality, non-investment insurance contracts, as well as other targeted, customized risk management products and services. As an agent and broker, we do not assume underwriting risks with the exception of the activity in The Wright Insurance Group, LLC (“Wright”). Within Wright, we operate a write-your-own flood insurance carrier, Wright National Flood Insurance Company (“WNFIC”). WNFIC’s underwriting business consists entirely of policies written pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), the program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), and excess flood policies which are fully reinsured, thereby substantially eliminating WNFIC’s exposure to underwriting risk, as these policies are backed by either FEMA or a reinsurance carrier with an AM Best Company rating of “A” or better.

The Company is compensated for its services primarily by commissions paid by insurance companies and to a lesser extent, by fees paid directly by customers for certain services. Commission revenues are usually a percentage of the premium paid by the insured and generally depend upon the type of insurance, the particular insurance company and the nature of the services provided by us. In some limited cases, we share commissions with other agents or brokers who have acted jointly with us in a transaction. We may also receive from an insurance company a “profit-sharing contingent commission,” which is a profit-sharing commission based primarily on underwriting results, but may also contain considerations for volume, growth and/or retention. Fee revenues are generated primarily by: (1) our Services Segment, which provides insurance-related services, including third-party claims administration and comprehensive medical utilization management services in both the workers’ compensation and all-lines liability arenas, as well as Medicare Set-aside services, Social Security disability and Medicare benefits advocacy services, and other claims adjusting services, (2) our National Programs and Wholesale Brokerage Segments, which earn fees primarily for the issuing of insurance policies on behalf of insurance carriers, and (3) our Retail Segment for fees received in lieu of commissions. The amount of our revenues from commissions and fees is a function of several factors, including continued new business production, retention of existing customers, acquisitions and fluctuations in insurance premium rates and “insurable exposure units,” which are units that insurance companies use to measure or express insurance exposed to risk (such as property values, sales and payroll levels) to determine what premium to charge the insured. Insurance companies establish these premium rates based upon many factors, including loss experience, risk profile and reinsurance rates paid by such insurance companies, none of which we control.

As of December 31, 2019, our activities were conducted in 311 locations in 44 states as follows, as well as in England, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands:

 

Florida

52

 

 

Virginia

6

 

Rhode Island

2

California

29

 

 

Arkansas

5

 

Tennessee

2

Texas

20

 

 

Colorado

5

 

Alabama

1

New York

19

 

 

Connecticut

4

 

Delaware

1

Massachusetts

16

 

 

Hawaii

4

 

Iowa

1

Washington

15

 

 

Indiana

4

 

Maine

1

New Jersey

14

 

 

Michigan

4

 

Mississippi

1

Pennsylvania

12

 

 

Wisconsin

4

 

Montana

1

Georgia

10

 

 

Kentucky

3

 

North Carolina

1

Louisiana

10

 

 

Maryland

3

 

New Hampshire

1

Minnesota

9

 

 

New Mexico

3

 

Nevada

1

Oregon

9

 

 

Ohio

3

 

South Dakota

1

Illinois

8

 

 

Oklahoma

3

 

Utah

1

Arizona

7

 

 

South Carolina

3

 

Vermont

 1

Missouri

6

 

 

Kansas

2

 

 

 

 

Industry Overview

Premium pricing within the property and casualty insurance underwriting (risk-bearing) industry has historically been cyclical in nature and has varied widely based upon market conditions with a “hard” market in which premium rates are increasing or a “soft” market, characterized by stable or declining premium rates in many lines and geographic areas. Premium pricing is influenced by many factors including loss experience, interest rates and the availability of capital being deployed into the insurance market in search of returns.

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Segment Information

Our business is divided into four reportable segments: (1) the Retail Segment, (2) the National Programs Segment, (3) the Wholesale Brokerage Segment and (4) the Services Segment. The Retail Segment provides a broad range of insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public entities, and to professional and individual customers, and non-insurance risk-mitigating products through our automobile dealer services (“F&I”) businesses. The National Programs Segment, which acts as a managing general agent (“MGA”), provides professional liability and related package products for certain professionals, a range of insurance products for individuals, flood coverage, and targeted products and services designated for specific industries, trade groups, governmental entities and market niches, all of which are delivered through a nationwide network of independent agents, including Brown & Brown retail agents. The Wholesale Brokerage Segment markets and sells excess and surplus commercial and personal lines insurance, primarily through independent agents and brokers, as well as Brown & Brown retail agents. The Services Segment provides insurance-related services, including third-party claims administration and comprehensive medical utilization management services in both the workers’ compensation and all-lines liability arenas, as well as Medicare Set-aside services, Social Security disability and Medicare benefits advocacy services and claims adjusting services.

The following table summarizes (1) the commissions and fees generated by each of our reportable operating segments for 2019, 2018 and 2017, and (2) the percentage of our total commissions and fees represented by each segment for each such period:

 

(in thousands, except percentages)

 

2019

 

 

%

 

 

2018

 

 

%

 

 

2017

 

 

%

 

Retail Segment

 

$

1,366,016

 

 

 

57.3

%

 

$

1,041,691

 

 

 

51.8

%

 

$

942,247

 

 

 

50.7

%

National Programs Segment

 

 

516,915

 

 

 

21.7

%

 

 

493,878

 

 

 

24.6

%

 

 

479,017

 

 

 

25.8

%

Wholesale Brokerage Segment

 

 

309,426

 

 

 

13.0

%

 

 

286,364

 

 

 

14.2

%

 

 

271,141

 

 

 

14.6

%

Services Segment

 

 

193,641

 

 

 

8.1

%

 

 

189,041

 

 

 

9.4

%

 

 

165,073

 

 

 

8.9

%

Other

 

 

(1,261

)

 

 

(0.1

)%

 

 

(1,117

)

 

 

(0.0

)%

 

 

(208

)

 

 

(0.0

)%

Total

 

$

2,384,737

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

2,009,857

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

1,857,270

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

We conduct all of our operations within the United States of America, except for one Wholesale Brokerage operation based in England, one National Programs operation in Canada and Retail operations based in Bermuda and The Cayman Islands. These operations generated $17.7 million, $15.2 million and $15.9 million of revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. We do not have any material foreign long-lived assets.

See Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional segment financial data relating to our business.

Retail Segment

As of December 31, 2019, our Retail Segment employed 5,406  employees. Our retail insurance agency business provides a broad range of insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public entities, professional and individual customers, and non-insurance risk-mitigating products through our automobile dealer services (“F&I”) businesses. The categories of insurance we principally sell include: commercial packages, group medical, workers’ compensation, property risk and general liability. We also sell and service group and individual life, accident, disability, health, hospitalization, medical, dental and other ancillary insurance products.

No material part of our retail business is attributable to a single customer or a few customers. During 2019, commissions and fees from our largest single Retail Segment customer represented three tenths of one percent (0.3)% of the Retail Segment’s total commissions and fees.

In connection with the selling and marketing of insurance coverages, we provide a broad range of related services to our customers, such as risk management strategies, loss control surveys and analysis, consultation in connection with placing insurance coverages and claims processing.

National Programs Segment

As of December 31, 2019, our National Programs Segment employed 2,004 employees. Our National Programs Segment works with over 100 well-capitalized carrier partners, offering over 40 programs, which can be grouped into five broad categories: (1) Professional Programs, (2) Personal Lines Programs, (3) Commercial Programs, (4) Public Entity-Related Programs, and (5) the National Flood Program:

Professional Programs. Professional Programs provide professional liability and related package insurance products tailored to the needs of specific professional groups. Professional Programs negotiate policy forms and coverage options with their specific insurance carriers. Securing endorsements of these products from a professional association or sponsoring company is also an integral part of their function. Professional Programs affiliate with professional groups, including but not limited to, dentists, oral surgeons, hygienists, lawyers, optometrists, opticians, ophthalmologists, insurance agents, financial advisors, registered representatives, securities broker-dealers, benefit administrators, real estate title agents and escrow agents. In addition, Professional Programs encompasses supplementary insurance-related products to include weddings, events, medical facilities and cyber-liability.

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Below are brief descriptions of the Professional Programs:

 

Dentists: First initiated in 1969, the Professional Protector Plan® (“PPP®”) for Dentists provides dental professionals insurance products including professional and general liability, property, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, claims and risk management. The PPP recognized the importance of policyholder and customer service and developed a customized, proprietary, web-based rating and policy issuance system, which provides a seamless policy delivery resource and access to policy information on a real time basis. Obtaining endorsements from state and local dental societies and associations plays an integral role in the PPP partnership. Also available through the Dentists program is cyber/data breach insurance offering a solution to privacy breaches and information security exposures tailored to the needs of healthcare organizations.

Financial Professionals: CalSurance® and CITA Insurance Services® have specialized since 1980 to offer professional liability programs designed for insurance agents, financial advisors, registered representatives, securities broker-dealers, benefit administrators, real estate brokers and real estate title agents. A component of CalSurance is Lancer Claims Services, which provides specialty claims administration for insurance companies underwriting CalSurance product lines.

Lawyers: The Lawyer’s Protector Plan® (“LPP®”) has been providing professional liability insurance for over 30 years with a niche focus on law firms with fewer than 20 attorneys. The LPP program handles all aspects of insurance operations including underwriting, distribution management, policy issuance and claims.

Optometrists, Opticians, and Ophthalmologists: Since 1973 the Optometric Protector Plan® (“OPP®”), provides professional liability, general liability, property, workers’ compensation insurance and risk management programs for eye care professionals nationwide. Our carrier partners offer specialty insurance products tailored to the eye care profession, and our agents and brokers are chosen for their expertise. Through our strategic carrier partnerships, we also offer professional liability coverage to chiropractors, podiatrists and physicians nationwide.

Physicians: The Physicians Protector Plan program provides professional liability insurance solutions for physicians on an admitted basis in several key states. The program offers comprehensive insurance solutions and provides risk management benefits and claims services.

Professional Risk Specialty Group: Professional Risk Specialty Group (“PRSG”) has been providing errors & omissions (“E&O”), professional liability and malpractice insurance for over 22 years both in a direct retail sales and brokering capacity. PRSG has been an exclusive state administrator for a Lawyers Professional Liability Program since 1994. The admitted Lawyers Professional Liability Program focuses on law firms with fewer than 20 attorneys, and the non-admitted Lawyers Professional Liability Program is for firms with 20 or more attorneys and is available for primary or excess coverage. PRSG is also involved in direct sales and brokering for other professionals, such as accountants, architects & engineers, medical malpractice, directors & officers, employment practices liability, title agency E&O and miscellaneous E&O.    

Real Estate Title Professionals: TitlePac® provides professional liability products and services designed for real estate title agents and escrow agents.

Wedding Protector Plan® and Protector Plan® for Events: These programs provide an online wedding and private event cancellation and postponement insurance policy that offers financial protection if certain unfortunate or unforeseen events should occur during the period leading up to and including the wedding or event date. Liability and liquor liability are available as options.

The Professional Protector Plan® for Dentists and the Lawyer’s Protector Plan® are marketed and sold primarily through a national network of independent agencies and also through our Brown & Brown retail offices. Certain professional liability programs, CalSurance® and TitlePac®, are principally marketed and sold directly to our insured customers. Under our agency agreements with the insurance companies that underwrite these programs, we often have authority to bind coverages (subject to established guidelines), to bill and collect premiums and, in some cases, to adjust claims. For the programs that we market through independent agencies, we receive a wholesale commission or “override,” which is then shared with these independent agencies.

Personal Lines Programs. Arrowhead is an MGA, General Agent (“GA”), and Program Administrator (“PA”) to the property and casualty insurance industry. Arrowhead acts as a virtual insurer and can provide outsourced product development, marketing, underwriting, actuarial, compliance and claims and other administrative services to insurance carrier partners. As an MGA, Arrowhead has the authority to underwrite, bind insurance carriers, issue policies, collect premiums and provide administrative and claims services.

Below are brief descriptions of the Personal Lines Programs:

 

Personal Property: mono-line property coverage for homeowners and renters in numerous states.

Residential Earthquake: specializes in mono-line residential earthquake coverage for home and condominium owners in several states, including California.

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Wheels: provides private passenger automobile and motorcycle coverage for a range of drivers. Arrowhead’s auto program offers two personal auto coverage types: one traditional non-standard auto product offering minimum state required liability limits and another targeting full coverage, multi-vehicle risks. The auto product is written in several states including Georgia, Michigan, and Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.     

Commercial Programs. Commercial Programs market products and services to specific industries, trade groups, and market niches. Most of these products and services are marketed and sold primarily through independent agents, including certain of our Retail Segment offices. However, a number of these products and services are also marketed and sold directly to insured customers. Under agency agreements with the insurance companies that underwrite these programs, we often have authority to bind coverages (subject to established guidelines), to bill and collect premiums and, in some cases, to adjust claims.

Below are brief descriptions of the Commercial Programs:

Affinity programs provide package coverage to booksellers and security alarm installers.

All Risk is a program writing all risks meaning that any risk that the contract does not specifically omit is automatically covered. The coverages usually include commercial earthquake, wind, fire and flood. The All Risk program writes insurance on both primary and excess, shared and layered programs.

American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc. provides insurance and risk management services for customers in professional sports, motor sports, amateur sports and the entertainment industry.

Automotive Aftermarket was launched in 2012 and writes commercial package insurance for non-dealership automotive services such as mechanical repair shops, brake shops, transmissions shops, oil and lube shops, parts retailers and wholesalers, tire retailers and wholesalers, and auto recyclers. This program distributes product through a direct sales force, independent agencies and our Retail Segment.

Bellingham Underwriters focuses on the commercial transportation industry and companies that are in the business of supporting the commercial transportation industry. The trucking program is specifically designed to handle all coverages for a truck owner. Other programs include specialty auto, repair services, forest products and commercial ambulance.

Core Commercial targets accounts paying under $100,000 in annual premium, this program offers business owner’s policies (BOPs) and commercial package coverages for a broad range of industries nationwide.

Daily Rental provides loaner car coverage for auto dealerships.

Earthquake and DIC is a Differences-in-Conditions (“DIC”) Program, writing notably earthquake and flood insurance coverages to commercial property owners. The Earthquake and DIC program writes insurance on both a primary and excess layer basis.

Fabricare: Irving Weber Associates, Inc. (“IWA”) has specialized in this niche since 1946, providing package insurance including workers’ compensation to dry cleaners, linen supply and uniform rental operations. IWA also offers insurance programs for independent grocery stores and restaurants.

 

Florida Intracoastal Underwriters, Limited Company (“FIU”) specializes in providing insurance coverage for coastal and inland high-value condominiums and apartments. FIU has developed a specialty insurance facility to support the underwriting activities associated with these risks.

Forestry is a logging equipment specialist for mobile equipment typically to the logging industry in Southeast U.S.

Health Special Risk, Inc. provides accident & health, special events insurance products, and administrative services to licensed agents, brokers, and insurance companies across the U.S.

Manufactured Housing provides package policies in all states for manufactured home communities, including mobile home parks, manufactured home dealers and RV parks.

 

Parcel Insurance Plan® is a specialty insurance agency providing insurance coverage to commercial and private shippers for small packages and parcels with insured values of less than $25,000 each.

Proctor Financial, Inc. (“Proctor”) provides insurance programs and compliance solutions for financial institutions that service mortgage loans. Proctor’s products include lender-placed hazard and flood insurance, full insurance outsourcing, mortgage impairment, and blanket equity insurance. Proctor acts as a wholesaler and writes surplus lines property business for its financial institution customers. Proctor receives payments for insurance compliance tracking as well as commissions on lender-placed insurance.

 

Sigma Underwriting Managers is a nationwide wind catastrophic property insurance specialist for commercial and habitational properties and has over 100 years of underwriting experience. The commercial nationwide program is designed to write all types of low-to-medium-hazard properties including adult living facilities, hotels/motels, medical offices, shopping centers, restaurants, warehouses and churches. The Florida habitational property program is a high-valued property program for commercial residential accounts.

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Railroad Protector Plan® (“RRPP®”) provides insurance products for contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers supporting the railroad industry (not the railroads themselves). The insurance coverages include general liability, property, inland marine, commercial auto and umbrella.

Tribal provides tailored solutions across multiple lines of business to sovereign Indian nations.

Workers’ Compensation provides workers’ compensation insurance coverage primarily for California-based insureds. Arrowhead’s workers’ compensation program targets industry segments such as agriculture, contractors, food services, horticulture and manufacturing.

 

Wright Specialty Insurance Agency, LLC provides insurance products for specialty industries such as food, grocery, K-12 education and franchise programs that are offered throughout the U.S.

Public Entity-Related Programs. Public Entity-Related Programs administer various insurance trusts specifically created for cities, counties, municipalities, school boards, special taxing districts and quasi-governmental agencies. These insurance coverages can range from providing fully-insured programs to establishing risk retention insurance pools to excess and facultative specific coverages.

Below are brief descriptions of the Public Entity-Related Programs:

 

Public Risk Underwriters of Indiana, LLC: doing business as Downey Insurance is a program administrator of insurance trusts offering tailored property and casualty insurance products, risk management consulting, third-party administration and related services designed for cities, counties, municipalities, schools, special taxing districts and other public entities in the State of Indiana.

Public Risk Underwriters of The Northwest, Inc.: doing business as Clear Risk Solutions, a program administrator of insurance trusts offering tailored property and casualty insurance products, risk management consulting, third-party administration and related services designed for cities, counties, municipalities, school boards and non-profit organizations in the State of Washington.

Public Risk Underwriters of Illinois, LLC: doing business as Ideal Insurance Agency is a program administrator offering tailored property and casualty insurance products, risk management consulting, third-party administration and related services designed for municipalities, schools, fire districts and other public entities in the State of Illinois.

 

Public Risk Underwriters of New Jersey, Inc.: provides administrative services and insurance procurement for the Statewide Insurance Fund (“Statewide”). Statewide is a municipal joint insurance fund comprising coverages for counties, municipalities, utility authorities, community colleges and emergency services entities in New Jersey.

 

Public Risk Underwriters of Florida, Inc.: is the program administrator for the Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust offering tailored property and casualty insurance products, risk management consulting, third-party administration and related services designed for cities, counties, municipalities, schools, special taxing districts and other public entities in the State of Florida.

 

Wright Risk Management Company, LLC: is a program administrator for the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal and the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal offering tailored property and casualty insurance products, risk management consulting, third-party administration and related services designed for cities, counties, municipalities, schools, special taxing districts and other public entities in the State of New York.

National Flood Program. Operating as Wright Flood, WNFIC is an insurance carrier. This business provides policies written pursuant to the NFIP, the program administered by FEMA, as well as excess flood insurance policies, all of which are fully reinsured, thereby substantially eliminating WNFIC’s exposure to underwriting risk, given that these policies are backed by either FEMA or a reinsurance carrier with an AM Best Company rating of “A” or better. Through Wright National Flood Insurance Services, the Company acts as an MGA, selling private primary flood insurance policies for a carrier partner.

Wholesale Brokerage Segment

At December 31, 2019, our Wholesale Brokerage Segment employed 1,316 employees. Our Wholesale Brokerage Segment markets and sells excess and surplus commercial insurance products and services to retail insurance agencies (including Brown & Brown retail offices). The Wholesale Brokerage Segment offices represent various U.S. and U.K. surplus lines insurance companies. Additionally, certain offices are also Lloyd’s of London correspondents. The Wholesale Brokerage Segment also represents admitted insurance companies for purposes of affording access to such companies for smaller agencies that otherwise do not have access to large insurance company representation. Excess and surplus insurance products encompass many insurance coverages, including personal lines, homeowners, yachts, jewelry, commercial property and casualty, commercial automobile, garage, restaurant, builder’s risk and inland marine lines. Difficult-to-insure general liability and products liability coverages are a specialty, as is excess workers’ compensation coverage. Wholesale brokers solicit business through mailings and direct contact with retail agency representatives. During 2019, commissions and fees from our largest Wholesale Brokerage Segment customer represented approximately 1.0% of the Wholesale Brokerage Segment’s total commissions and fees.

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Services Segment

At December 31, 2019, our Services Segment employed 1,052 employees and provided a wide range of insurance-related services.

Below are brief descriptions of the businesses within the Services Segment.

The Advocator Group, LLC (“The Advocator Group”) and Social Security Advocates for the Disabled LLC (“SSAD”) assist individuals throughout the United States who are seeking to establish eligibility for coverage under the federal Social Security Disability program and provides health plan selection and enrollment assistance for Medicare beneficiaries. These two businesses work closely with employer sponsored group life, disability and health plan participants to assist disabled individuals in receiving the education, advocacy and benefit coordination assistance necessary to achieve the fastest possible benefit approvals. In addition, The Advocator Group also provides second injury fund recovery services to the workers’ compensation insurance market.

American Claims Management (“ACM”) provides third-party administration (“TPA”) services to both the commercial and personal property and casualty insurance markets on a nationwide basis, and provides claims adjusting, administration, subrogation, litigation and data management services to insurance companies, self-insureds, public municipalities, insurance brokers and corporate entities. ACM’s services also include managed care, claim investigations, field adjusting and audit services. Approximately 64% of ACM’s 2019 revenues were derived from various Arrowhead programs in our National Programs Segment, with the remainder generated from third parties.

ICA provides comprehensive claims management solutions for both personal and commercial lines of insurance. ICA is a national service provider for daily claims, catastrophic claims, vendor management, TPA operations and staff augmentation. Additional claims services offered by ICA include first notice of loss, fast track, field appraisals and quality control.

MEDVAL, LLC, provides an end to end solution for Medicare Secondary Payer compliance, including Medicare Set-Aside allocations, conditional payment negotiation and resolution, structured settlements/annuity funding, professional administration, and a post-settlement durable medical equipment and pharmacy program.  MEDVAL’s offerings are all done in-house, and under one umbrella to provide the most consistent and reliable results. 

NuQuest provides a full spectrum of Medicare Secondary Payer statutory compliance services, from Medicare Set-aside Allocation through Professional Administration to over 250 insurance carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers, attorneys, brokers and related claims professionals nationwide. Specialty services include medical projections, life care plans, Medicare Set-aside analysis, allocation and administration.

Professional Disability Associates, LLC (“PDA”) is a disability services firm that provides specialty risk resources, including medical, vocational and claim management services to the disability insurance market. PDA has a nationwide physician referral network to address the needs of the industry for claim expertise across multiple specialties. PDA services top disability insurance carriers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as several other insurers, reinsurers, self-insured employers and consulting firms.

Preferred Governmental Claims Solutions (“PGCS”) provides TPA services for government entities and self-funded or fully-insured workers’ compensation and liability plans and trusts. PGCS’ services include claims administration and a dedicated subrogation recovery department.

Protect Professionals Claims Management (“PPCM”) provides TPA services to professional liability insurance markets on a nationwide basis. PPCM’s services include claims adjusting, administration, litigation and data management for professional programs for dentists and lawyers administered by our National Programs Segment.

USIS provides TPA services for insurance entities and self-funded or fully-insured workers’ compensation and liability plans. USIS’s services include claims administration, cost containment consulting, services for secondary disability and subrogation recoveries, and risk management services such as loss control. USIS’s services also include certified and non-certified medical management programs, access to medical networks, case management, and utilization review services certified by URAC, formerly the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission.

In 2019, our four largest contracts represented approximately 20.0% of fees revenues in our Services Segment.

Employees

At December 31, 2019, the Company had 10,083 employees. We have agreements with our sales employees and certain other employees that include provisions: (1) protecting our confidential information and trade secrets, (2) restricting their ability post-employment to solicit the business of our customers, and (3) preventing the hiring of our employees for a period of time after separation from employment with us. The enforceability of such agreements varies from state to state depending upon applicable law and factual circumstances. The majority of our employment relationships are at-will and terminable by either party at any time; however, the covenants regarding confidential information and non-solicitation of our customers and employees generally extend for a period of at least two years after cessation of employment.

None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.

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Competition

The insurance intermediary business is highly competitive, and numerous firms actively compete with us for customers and insurance markets. Competition in the insurance business is largely based upon innovation, knowledge, terms and conditions of coverage, quality of service and price. A number of firms and banks with substantially greater resources and market presence compete with us.

A number of insurance companies directly sell insurance, primarily to individuals, and do not pay commissions to third-party agents and brokers. In addition, the Internet continues to be a source for direct placement of personal lines insurance business. While it is difficult to quantify the impact on our business from individuals purchasing insurance over the Internet, we believe this risk would generally be isolated to personal lines customers with single-line coverage, or small businesses that do not have a complex insurance program, which represent a small portion of our overall Retail Segment.

Regulation, Licensing and Agency Contracts

We and/or our designated employees must be licensed to act as agents, brokers, intermediaries or third-party administrators by state regulatory authorities in the locations in which we conduct business. Regulations and licensing laws vary by individual state and international location and are often complex.

The applicable licensing laws and regulations in all states and international jurisdictions are subject to amendment or reinterpretation by regulatory authorities, and such authorities are vested in most cases with relatively broad discretion as to the granting, revocation, suspension and renewal of licenses. We endeavor to monitor the licensing of our employees, but the possibility exists that we and/or our employees could be excluded or temporarily suspended from carrying on some or all of our activities in a particular jurisdiction in addition to being subjected to fines.

Available Information

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and its rules and regulations. The Exchange Act requires us to file reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. We make available free of charge on our website, at www.bbinsurance.com, our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing or furnishing such material to the SEC. These documents are posted on our website at www.bbinsurance.com and may be accessed by selecting the “Investor Relations” link and then the “SEC Filings” link.

The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. These materials may be obtained electronically by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

The charters of the Audit, Compensation and Nominating/Governance Committees of our Board of Directors as well as our Corporate Governance Principles, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Code of Ethics-CEO and Senior Financial Officers (including any amendments to, or waivers of any provision of any of these charters, principles or codes) are also available on our website or upon request. Requests for copies of any of these documents should be directed in writing to: Corporate Secretary, Brown & Brown, Inc., 220 South Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114, or by telephone to (386)-252-9601.

ITEM 1A. Risk Factors.

Our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are subject to, and could be materially adversely affected by, various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, those set forth below, any one of which could cause our actual results to vary materially from recent results or our anticipated future results. We present these risk factors grouped by category, and the risks factors contained in each respective category are presented in order of their relative priority to us.

Risks Related to Our Business

OUR INABILITY TO RETAIN OR HIRE QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS THE LOSS OF ANY OF OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OR OTHER KEY EMPLOYEES, COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO RETAIN EXISTING BUSINESS AND GENERATE NEW BUSINESS.

Our success depends on our ability to attract and retain skilled and experienced personnel. There is significant competition from within the insurance industry and from businesses outside the industry for exceptional employees, especially in key positions. If we are not able to successfully attract, retain and motivate our employees, our business, financial results and reputation could be materially and adversely affected.

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Losing employees who manage or support substantial customer relationships or possess substantial experience or expertise could adversely affect our ability to secure and complete customer engagements, which would adversely affect our results of operations. Also, if any of our key personnel were to join an existing competitor or form a competing company, some of our customers could choose to use the services of that competitor instead of our services. While our key personnel are generally prohibited by contract from soliciting our employees and customers for a two-year period following separation from employment with us, they are not prohibited from competing with us.

In addition, we could be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for the succession of our senior leaders and key executives. While we have succession plans in place and we have employment arrangements with certain key executives, these do not guarantee that the services of these executives will continue to be available to us. Although we operate with a decentralized sales and service operating model, the loss of our senior leaders or other key personnel, or our inability to continue to identify, recruit and retain such personnel, could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

OUR GROWTH STRATEGY DEPENDS, IN PART, ON THE ACQUISITION OF OTHER INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES, WHICH MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE ON ACCEPTABLE TERMS IN THE FUTURE OR WHICH, IF CONSUMMATED, MAY NOT BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO US.

Our growth strategy partially includes the acquisition of other insurance intermediaries. Our ability to successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates, complete acquisitions, integrate acquired businesses into our operations, and expand into new markets requires us to implement and continuously improve our operations and our financial and management information systems. Integrated, acquired businesses may not achieve levels of revenues or profitability comparable to our existing operations, or otherwise perform as expected. In addition, we compete for acquisition and expansion opportunities with firms and banks that may have substantially greater resources than we do. Acquisitions also involve a number of special risks, such as diversion of management’s attention; difficulties in the integration of acquired operations and retention of personnel; increase in expenses and working capital requirements, which could reduce our return on invested capital; entry into unfamiliar markets or lines of business; unanticipated problems or legal liabilities; estimation of the acquisition earn-out payables; and tax and accounting issues, some or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Post-acquisition deterioration of operating performance could also result in lower or negative earnings contribution and/or goodwill impairment charges.

A CYBERSECURITY ATTACK, OR ANY OTHER INTERRUPTION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND/OR DATA SECURITY AND/OR OUTSOURCING RELATIONSHIPS, COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION AND REPUTATION.

We rely on information technology and third-party vendors to provide effective and efficient service to our customers, process claims, and timely and accurately report information to carriers and which often involves secure processing of confidential sensitive, proprietary and other types of information. Cybersecurity breaches of any of the systems we rely on may result from circumvention of security systems, denial-of-service attacks or other cyber-attacks, hacking, “phishing” attacks, computer viruses, ransomware, malware, employee or insider error, malfeasance, social engineering, physical breaches or other actions, any of which could expose us to data loss, monetary and reputational damages and significant increases in compliance costs. An interruption of our access to, or an inability to access, our information technology, telecommunications or other systems could significantly impair our ability to perform such functions on a timely basis. If sustained or repeated, such a business interruption, system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to write and process new and renewal business, provide customer service, pay claims in a timely manner or perform other necessary business functions. We have from time to time experienced cybersecurity breaches, such as computer viruses, unauthorized parties gaining access to our information technology systems and similar incidents, which to date have not had a material impact on our business.

Additionally, we are an acquisitive organization and the process of integrating the information systems of the businesses we acquire is complex and exposes us to additional risk as we might not adequately identify weaknesses in the targets’ information systems, which could expose us to unexpected liabilities or make our own systems more vulnerable to attack. In the future, any material breaches of cybersecurity, or media reports of the same, even if untrue, could cause us to experience reputational harm, loss of customers and revenue, loss of proprietary data, regulatory actions and scrutiny, sanctions or other statutory penalties, litigation, liability for failure to safeguard customers’ information or financial losses. Such losses may not be insured against or not fully covered through insurance we maintain.

While we have invested and continue to invest in technology security initiatives, policies and resources and employee training, entirely eliminating all risk of improper access to private information is not possible. The cost and operational consequences of implementing, maintaining and enhancing further system protections measures could increase significantly as cybersecurity threats increase. As these threats evolve, cybersecurity incidents will be more difficult to detect, defend against and remediate. Any of the foregoing may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and reputation.

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RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND TIME TO ADEQUATELY RESPOND TO DYNAMICS, WHICH MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS AND OPERATING RESULTS.

Frequent technological changes, new products and services and evolving industry standards are influencing the insurance business. The Internet, for example, is increasingly used to securely transmit benefits and related information to customers and to facilitate business-to-business information exchange and transactions.

We are continuously taking steps to upgrade and expand our information systems capabilities. Maintaining, protecting and enhancing these capabilities to keep pace with evolving industry and regulatory standards, and changing customer preferences, requires an ongoing commitment of significant resources. If the information we rely upon to run our businesses was found to be inaccurate or unreliable or if we fail to effectively maintain our information systems and data integrity, we could experience operational disruptions, regulatory or other legal problems, increases in operating expenses, loss of existing customers, difficulty in attracting new customers, or suffer other adverse consequences.

We are currently underway with a multi-year plan to upgrade many of our technology platforms and anticipate investing a total of $30 million to $40 million, which will have an impact on our operating margins and cash flow during this period. We have not determined, however, if additional resources and time for development and implementation may be required, which if required, may result in short-term, unexpected interruptions or impacts to our business, or may result in a competitive disadvantage in price and/or efficiency, as we develop or implement new technologies.

Our technological development projects may not deliver the benefits we expect once they are completed, or may be replaced or become obsolete more quickly than expected, which could result in the accelerated recognition of expenses. If we do not effectively and efficiently manage and upgrade our technology portfolio regularly, or if the costs of doing so are higher than we expect, our ability to provide competitive services to new and existing customers in a cost-effective manner and our ability to implement our strategic initiatives could be adversely impacted.

CHANGES IN DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTION LAWS AND REGULATIONS, OR ANY FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SUCH LAWS AND REGULATIONS, COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESULTS.

We are subject to a variety of continuously evolving and developing laws and regulations globally regarding privacy, data protection, and data security, including those related to the collection, storage, handling, use, disclosure, transfer, and security of personal data. Significant uncertainty exists as privacy and data protection laws may be interpreted and applied differently from country to country and may create inconsistent or conflicting requirements. These laws apply to transfers of information among our affiliates, as well as to transactions we enter into with third-party vendors. For example, the European Union adopted a comprehensive General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”) in May 2016 that replaced the former EU Data Protection Directive and related country-specific legislation. The GDPR became fully effective in May 2018 and requires companies to satisfy new requirements regarding the handling of personal and sensitive data, including its use, protection and the ability of persons whose data is stored to correct or delete such data about themselves. Failure to comply with GDPR requirements could result in penalties of up to 4% of worldwide revenue. Complying with the enhanced obligations imposed by the GDPR may result in significant costs to our business and require us to revise certain of our business practices. In addition, legislators and regulators in the U.S. have enacted and are proposing new and more robust privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations in light of the recent broad-based cyber-attacks at a number of companies, including but not limited to the New York State Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

These and similar initiatives around the world could increase the cost of developing, implementing or securing our servers and require us to allocate more resources to improved technologies, adding to our IT and compliance costs. In addition, enforcement actions and investigations by regulatory authorities related to data security incidents and privacy violations continue to increase. The enactment of more restrictive laws, rules, regulations or future enforcement actions or investigations could impact us through increased costs or restrictions on our business, and noncompliance could result in regulatory penalties and significant legal liability.

WE DERIVE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR COMMISSION REVENUES FROM A LIMITED NUMBER OF INSURANCE COMPANIES, THE LOSS OF WHICH COULD RESULT IN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE AND LOSS OF MARKET SHARE.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, no insurance company accounted for more than 4.0% of our total core commissions. For each of the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, approximately 5.0% of our total core commissions was derived from insurance policies underwritten by one insurance company. Should this insurance company seek to terminate its arrangements with us or to otherwise decrease the number of insurance policies underwritten for us, we believe that other insurance companies are available to underwrite the business, although some additional expense and loss of market share could result.

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BECAUSE OUR BUSINESS IS HIGHLY CONCENTRATED IN ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, KENTUCKY, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, TEXAS, VIRGINIA, WASHINGTON AND WISCONSIN, ADVERSE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, NATURAL DISASTERS, OR REGULATORY CHANGES IN THESE STATES COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION.

A significant portion of our business is concentrated in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, we derived $2,106.3 million or 88.1%, $1,976.5 million or 88.6%, and $1,692.6 million or 90.0%, of our annualized revenue, respectively, from our operations located in these states. We believe the current regulatory environment for insurance intermediaries in these states is no more restrictive than in other states. The insurance business is primarily a state-regulated industry, and therefore, state legislatures may enact laws that adversely affect the insurance industry. Because our business is concentrated in the states identified above, we face greater exposure to unfavorable changes in regulatory conditions in those states than insurance intermediaries whose operations are more diversified through a greater number of states. In addition, the occurrence of adverse economic conditions, natural or other disasters, or other circumstances specific to or otherwise significantly impacting these states could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We are susceptible to losses and interruptions caused by hurricanes (particularly in Florida, where we have 52 offices and our headquarters, as well as in Texas, where we have 20 offices), earthquakes (including in California, where we have 29 offices), power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, fire, extreme weather conditions, geopolitical events such as terrorist acts and other natural or man-made disasters. Our insurance coverage with respect to natural disasters is limited and is subject to deductibles and coverage limits. Such coverage may not be adequate, or may not continue to be available at commercially reasonable rates and terms.

OUR CORPORATE CULTURE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO OUR SUCCESS, AND IF WE CANNOT MAINTAIN THIS CULTURE, OR IF WE EXPERIENCE A CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT, MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY, OR BUSINESS STRATEGY, OUR BUSINESS MAY BE HARMED.

We believe that a significant contributor to our success has been our corporate culture as a lean, decentralized, highly competitive, profit-oriented sales and service organization.  As we grow, including from the integration of employees and businesses acquired in connection with previous or future acquisitions, we may find it difficult to maintain important aspects of our corporate culture, which could negatively affect our profitability and/or our ability to retain and recruit people of the highest integrity and quality who are essential to our future success.  We may face pressure to change our culture as we grow, particularly if we experience difficulties in attracting competent personnel who are willing to embrace our culture.  In addition, as our organization grows and we are required to implement more complex organizational structures, or if we experience a change in management, management philosophy, or business strategy, we may find it increasingly difficult to maintain the beneficial aspects of our corporate culture, such as our decentralized sales and service operating model, which could negatively impact our future success.

We face a variety of risks in our services segement, including our third-party claims administration operations, that are distinct from those we face in our insurance intermediary operations.

Our Services Segment, including our third-party claims administration operations, face a variety of risks distinct from those faced by our insurance intermediary operations, including the risks that:

 

The favorable trend among both insurance companies and self-insured entities toward outsourcing various types of claims administration and risk management services may reverse or slow, causing our revenues or revenue growth to decline;

 

Concentration of large amounts of revenue with certain customers may result in greater exposure to the potential negative effects of lost business due to changes in management at such customers or for other reasons;

 

Contracting terms will become less favorable or the margins on our services may decrease due to increased competition, regulatory constraints, or other developments;

 

Our revenue is impacted by claims volumes, which are dependent upon a number of factors and difficult to forecast accurately;

 

Economic weakness or a slow-down in economic activity could lead to a reduction in the number of claims we process;

 

We may be unable to develop further efficiencies in our claims-handling business and may be unable to obtain or retain certain customers if we fail to make adequate improvements in technology or operations; and

 

Insurance companies or certain large self-insured entities may create in-house servicing capabilities that compete with our services.

If any of these risks materialize, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

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IF WE FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE COVENANTS CONTAINED IN CERTAIN OF OUR AGREEMENTS, OUR LIQUIDITY, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED.

The credit agreements that govern our debt contain various covenants and other limitations with which we must comply. At December 31, 2019, we believe we were in compliance with the financial covenants and other limitations contained in each of these agreements. However, failure to comply with material provisions of our covenants in these agreements or other credit or similar agreements to which we may become a party could result in a default, rendering them unavailable to us and causing a material adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition. In the event of certain defaults, the lenders thereunder would not be required to lend any additional amounts to or purchase any additional notes from us and could elect to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable. If the indebtedness under these agreements or our other indebtedness, were to be accelerated, there can be no assurance that our assets would be sufficient to repay such indebtedness in full.

CERTAIN OF OUR AGREEMENTS CONTAIN VARIOUS COVENANTS THAT LIMIT THE DISCRETION OF OUR MANAGEMENT IN OPERATING OUR BUSINESS AND COULD PREVENT US FROM ENGAGING IN CERTAIN POTENTIALLY BENEFICIAL ACTIVITIES.

The restrictive covenants in our debt agreements may impact how we operate our business and prevent us from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities. In particular, among other covenants, our debt agreements require us to maintain a minimum ratio of Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), adjusted for certain transaction-related items (“Consolidated EBITDA”), to consolidated interest expense and a maximum ratio of consolidated net indebtedness to Consolidated EBITDA. Our compliance with these covenants could limit management’s discretion in operating our business and could prevent us from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities.

THERE ARE INHERENT UNCERTAINTIES INVOLVED IN ESTIMATES, JUDGMENTS AND ASSUMPTIONS USED IN THE PREPARATION OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH U.S. GAAP. ANY CHANGES IN ESTIMATES, JUDGMENTS AND ASSUMPTIONS COULD HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON OUR FINANCIAL POSITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND THEREFORE OUR BUSINESS.

The annual Consolidated Financial Statements and Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements included in the periodic reports we file with the SEC are prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP involves making estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets (including intangible assets), liabilities and related reserves, revenues, expenses and income. Estimates, judgments and assumptions are inherently subject to change in the future, and any such changes could result in corresponding changes to the amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and income, and could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

IMPROPER DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR BUSINESS.

We are responsible for maintaining the security and privacy of our customers’ confidential and proprietary information and the personal data of their employees. We have put in place policies, procedures and technological safeguards designed to protect the security and privacy of this information; however, we cannot guarantee that this information will not be improperly disclosed or accessed. Disclosure of this information could harm our reputation and subject us to liability under our contracts and laws that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenues.

DUE TO INHERENT LIMITATIONS, THERE CAN BE NO ASSURANCE THAT OUR SYSTEM OF DISCLOSURE AND INTERNAL CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN PREVENTING ALL ERRORS OR FRAUD, OR IN INFORMING MANAGEMENT OF ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION IN A TIMELY MANNER.

Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, does not expect that our disclosure controls and internal controls and procedures will prevent all error and fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived, operated and tested, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system reflects that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the Company have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur simply because of error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by management override of a control.

The design of any system of controls also is based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Over time, a control may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and may not be detected.

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OUR BUSINESS, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS, FINANCIAL CONDITION AND LIQUIDITY MAY BE MATERIALLY ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY CERTAIN ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL CLAIMS, REGULATORY ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS.

We are subject to various actual and potential claims, regulatory actions and other proceedings including those relating to alleged errors and omissions in connection with the placement or servicing of insurance and/or the provision of services in the ordinary course of business, of which we cannot, and likely will not be able to, predict the outcome with certainty. Because we often assist customers with matters involving substantial amounts of money, including the placement of insurance and the handling of related claims that customers may assert, errors and omissions claims against us may arise alleging potential liability for all or part of the amounts in question. Also, the failure of an insurer with whom we place business could result in errors and omissions claims against us by our customers, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Claimants may seek large damage awards, and these claims may involve potentially significant legal costs, including punitive damages. Such claims, lawsuits and other proceedings could, for example, include claims for damages based upon allegations that our employees or sub-agents failed to procure coverage, report claims on behalf of customers, provide insurance companies with complete and accurate information relating to the risks being insured or appropriately apply funds that we hold for our customers on a fiduciary basis. In addition, given the long-tail nature of professional liability claims, errors and omissions matters can relate to matters dating back many years. Where appropriate, we have established provisions against these potential matters that we believe to be adequate in the light of current information and legal advice, and we adjust such provisions from time to time according to developments.

While most of the errors and omissions claims made against us (subject to our self-insured deductibles) have been covered by our professional indemnity insurance, our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity may be adversely affected if, in the future, our insurance coverage proves to be inadequate or unavailable, or if there is an increase in liabilities for which we self-insure. Our ability to obtain professional indemnity insurance in the amounts and with the deductibles we desire in the future may be adversely impacted by general developments in the market for such insurance or our own claims experience. In addition, regardless of monetary costs, these matters could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and cause harm to our carrier, customer or employee relationships, or divert personnel and management resources.

OUR BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION, MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY FURTHER CHANGES IN THE U.S.-BASED CREDIT MARKETS.

Although we are not currently experiencing any limitation of access to our revolving credit facility (which matures in 2022) and are not aware of any issues impacting the ability or willingness of our lenders under such facility to honor their commitments to extend us credit, the failure of a lender could adversely affect our ability to borrow on that facility, which over time could negatively impact our ability to consummate significant acquisitions or make other significant capital expenditures. Tightening conditions in the credit markets in future years could adversely affect the availability and terms of future borrowings or renewals or refinancing.

We also have a significant amount of trade accounts receivable from some insurance companies with which we place insurance. If those insurance companies were to experience liquidity problems or other financial difficulties, we could encounter delays or defaults in payments owed to us, which could have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

CERTAIN OF OUR EXISTING SHAREHOLDERS HAVE SIGNIFICANT CONTROL OF THE COMPANY.

At December 31, 2019, our executive officers, directors and certain of their family members collectively beneficially owned approximately 16.7% of our outstanding common stock, of which J. Hyatt Brown, our Chairman, and his son, J. Powell Brown, our President and Chief Executive Officer, beneficially owned approximately 15.7%. As a result, our executive officers, directors and certain of their family members have significant influence over (1) the election of our Board of Directors, (2) the approval or disapproval of any other matters requiring shareholder approval and (3) our affairs and policies.

WE HAVE OPERATIONS INTERNATIONALLY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN A NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL RISKS AND REQUIRE MORE MANAGEMENT TIME AND EXPENSE THAN OUR DOMESTIC OPERATIONS TO ACHIEVE OR MAINTAIN PROFITABILITY.

We have operations in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Canada and the Cayman Islands. In the future, we intend to continue to consider additional international expansion opportunities. Our international operations may be subject to a number of risks, including:

 

Difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

Less flexible employee relationships, which may make it difficult and expensive to terminate employees and which limits our ability to prohibit employees from competing with us after their employment ceases;

 

Political and economic instability (including acts of terrorism and outbreaks of war);

 

Coordinating our communications and logistics across geographic distances and multiple time zones;

 

Unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and laws;

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Adverse trade policies, and adverse changes to any of the policies of either the U.S. or any of the foreign jurisdictions in which we operate;

 

Adverse changes in tax rates;

 

Variations in foreign currency exchange rates;

 

Legal or political constraints on our ability to maintain or increase prices;

 

Governmental restrictions on the transfer of funds to or from us, including to or from our operations outside the United States;

 

Any adverse developments arising out of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, including any related economic downturn in the United Kingdom and any sustained weakness in the British pound’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar resulting from such exit;

 

Burdens of complying with, and the risk of employees or third parties acting on our behalf violating, anti-corruption laws in foreign countries; and

 

Burdens of complying with a wide variety of labor practices and foreign laws, including those relating to export and import duties, environmental policies and privacy issues.

WE ARE SUBJECT TO RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRENT INTEREST RATE ENVIRONMENT AND TO THE EXTENT WE USE DEBT TO FINANCE OUR INVESTMENTS, CHANGES IN INTEREST RATES WILL AFFECT OUR COST OF CAPITAL AND NET INVESTMENT INCOME.

As of July 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has urged banks and institutions to discontinue their use of the London Interbank Overnight Rate (“LIBOR”) benchmark rate for floating rate debt, and other financial instruments tied to the rate after 2021. To help with the transition, the Federal Reserve Board and New York Fed have commissioned the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), comprised of a diverse set of private-sector entities that have an important presence in markets affected by USD LIBOR and a wide array of official-sector entities, including banking and financial sector regulators, as ex-officio members. The ARRC have recommended the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as the best alternative rate to LIBOR post discontinuance and has proposed a transition plan and timeline designed to encourage the adoption of SOFR from LIBOR.

As of December 31, 2019, the Company’s primary exposure are debt instruments referencing LIBOR-based rates which includes the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Amended and Restated Credit Agreement”) term loan balance of $330.0 million and $100.0 million on the revolving credit facility outstanding and matures in June 2022, as well as the term loan credit agreement (the “Term Loan Credit Agreement”) which had an outstanding balance of $285.0 million and matures in December 2023. As such, any potential effect of any such event on our cost of capital, interest rate exposure and net investment income cannot yet be determined. In addition, any further changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in reported LIBOR, which could have an adverse impact on the market value for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The Company is currently evaluating the transition from LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark to other potential alternative reference rates, including but not limited to the SOFR interest rate. Management will continue to actively asses the related opportunities and risks associated with the transition and monitor related proposals and guidance published by ARRC and other alternative-rate initiatives, with an expectation the we will be prepared to for a termination of LIBOR benchmarks after 2021.

Risks Related to Our Industry

OUR CURRENT MARKET SHARE MAY DECREASE AS A RESULT OF DISINTERMEDIATION WITHIN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY, INCLUDING INCREASED COMPETITION FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES, TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AS WELL AS THE SHIFT AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL INSURANCE MARKETS.

The insurance intermediary business is highly competitive and we actively compete with numerous firms for customers and insurance companies, many of which have relationships with insurance companies or have a significant presence in niche insurance markets that may give them an advantage over us. Other competitive concerns may include the quality of our products and services, our pricing and the ability of some of our customers to self-insure and the entrance of technology companies into the insurance intermediary business. A number of insurance companies are engaged in the direct sale of insurance, primarily to individuals, and do not pay commissions to agents and brokers. In addition, and to the extent that banks, securities firms, private equity funds, and insurance companies affiliate, the financial services industry may experience further consolidation, and we therefore may experience increased competition from insurance companies and the financial services industry, as a growing number of larger financial institutions increasingly, and aggressively, offer a wider variety of financial services, including insurance intermediary services.

In addition, there has been an increase in alternative insurance markets, such as self-insurance, captives, risk retention groups and non-insurance capital markets. While we collaborate and compete in these segments on a fee-for-service basis, we cannot be certain that such alternative markets will provide the same level of insurance coverage or profitability as traditional insurance markets.

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CURRENT U.S. OR GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS.

If economic conditions were to worsen, a number of negative effects on our business could result, including declines in insurable exposure units, declines in insurance premium rates, the financial insolvency of insurance companies, or the reduced ability of customers to pay. Also, if general economic conditions are poor, some of our customers may cease operations completely or be acquired by other companies, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. If these customers are affected by poor economic conditions, but yet remain in existence, they may face liquidity problems or other financial difficulties that could result in delays or defaults in payments owed to us, which could have a significant adverse impact on our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. Any of these effects could decrease our net revenues and profitability.

OUR BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION, MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY CONDITIONS THAT RESULT IN REDUCED INSURER CAPACITY.

Our results of operations depend on the continued capacity of insurance carriers to underwrite risk and provide coverage, which depends in turn on those insurance companies’ ability to procure reinsurance. Capacity could also be reduced by insurance companies failing or withdrawing from writing certain coverages that we offer to our customers. We have no control over these matters. To the extent that reinsurance becomes less widely available or significantly more expensive, we may not be able to procure the amount or types of coverage that our customers desire and the coverage we are able to procure for our customers may be more expensive or limited.

QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL VARIATIONS IN OUR COMMISSIONS THAT RESULT FROM THE TIMING OF POLICY RENEWALS AND THE NET EFFECT OF NEW AND LOST BUSINESS PRODUCTION MAY HAVE UNEXPECTED EFFECTS ON OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

Our commission income (including profit-sharing contingent commissions and override commissions) can vary quarterly or annually due to the timing of policy renewals and the net effect of new and lost business production. We do not control the factors that cause these variations. Specifically, customers’ demand for insurance products can influence the timing of renewals, new business and lost business (which includes policies that are not renewed), and cancellations. In addition, we rely on insurance companies for the payment of certain commissions. Because these payments are processed internally by these insurance companies, we may not receive a payment that is otherwise expected from a particular insurance company in a particular quarter or year until after the end of that period, which can adversely affect our ability to forecast these revenues and therefore budget for significant future expenditures. Quarterly and annual fluctuations in revenues based upon increases and decreases associated with the timing of new business, policy renewals and payments from insurance companies may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Profit-sharing contingent commissions are special revenue-sharing commissions paid by insurance companies based upon the profitability, volume and/or growth of the business placed with such companies generally during the prior year. Over the last three years these commissions generally have been in the range of 3.0% to 3.5% of our previous year’s total core commissions and fees. Due to, among other things, potentially poor macroeconomic conditions, the inherent uncertainty of loss in our industry and changes in underwriting criteria due in part to the high loss ratios experienced by insurance companies, we cannot predict the payment of these profit-sharing contingent commissions. Further, we have no control over the ability of insurance companies to estimate loss reserves, which affects our ability to make profit-sharing calculations. Override commissions are paid by insurance companies based upon the volume of business that we place with them and are generally paid over the course of the year. Any decrease in their payment to us could adversely affect our results of operations, profitability and our financial condition.

WE COULD INCUR SUBSTANTIAL LOSSES FROM OUR CASH AND INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS IF ONE OF THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT WE USE FAILS OR IS TAKEN OVER BY THE U.S. FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (“FDIC”).

We maintain cash and investment balances, including restricted cash held in premium trust accounts, at numerous depository institutions in amounts that are significantly in excess of the limits insured by the FDIC. If one or more of the depository institutions with which we maintain significant cash balances were to fail or be taken over by the FDIC, our ability to access these funds might be temporarily or permanently limited, and we could face material liquidity problems and potential material financial losses.

OUR BUSINESS PRACTICES AND COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO UNCERTAINTY DUE TO POTENTIAL CHANGES IN REGULATIONS.

The business practices and compensation arrangements of the insurance intermediary industry, including our practices and arrangements, are subject to uncertainty due to investigations by various governmental authorities. Certain of our offices are parties to profit-sharing contingent commission agreements with certain insurance companies, including agreements providing for potential payment of revenue-sharing commissions by insurance companies based primarily on the overall profitability of the aggregate business written with those insurance companies and/or additional factors such as retention ratios and the overall volume of business that an office or offices place with those insurance companies. Additionally, to a lesser extent, some of our offices are parties to override commission agreements with certain insurance companies, which provide for commission rates in excess of standard commission rates to be applied to specific lines of business, such as group health business, and which are based primarily on the overall volume of business that such office or offices placed with those insurance companies. The legislatures of various states may adopt new laws addressing contingent commission arrangements, including laws prohibiting such

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arrangements, and addressing disclosure of such arrangements to insureds. Various state departments of insurance may also adopt new regulations addressing these matters which could adversely affect our results of operations.

WE COMPETE IN A HIGHLY-REGULATED INDUSTRY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN INCREASED EXPENSES OR RESTRICTIONS ON OUR OPERATIONS.

We conduct business in each of the fifty states of the United States of America and are subject to comprehensive regulation and supervision by government agencies in each of those states. The primary purpose of such regulation and supervision is to provide safeguards for policyholders rather than to protect the interests of our shareholders, and it is difficult to anticipate how changes in such regulation would be implemented and enforced. As a result, such regulation and supervision could reduce our profitability or growth by increasing compliance costs, technology compliance, restricting the products or services we may sell, the markets we may enter, the methods by which we may sell our products and services, or the prices we may charge for our services and the form of compensation we may accept from our customers, carriers and third parties. The laws of the various state jurisdictions establish supervisory agencies with broad administrative powers with respect to, among other things, licensing of entities to transact business, licensing of agents, admittance of assets, regulating premium rates, approving policy forms, regulating unfair trade and claims practices, determining technology and data protection requirements, establishing reserve requirements and solvency standards, requiring participation in guarantee funds and shared market mechanisms, and restricting payment of dividends. Also, in response to perceived excessive cost or inadequacy of available insurance, states have from time to time created state insurance funds and assigned risk pools, which compete directly, on a subsidized basis, with private insurance providers. We act as agents and brokers for such state insurance funds and assigned risk pools in California and New York as well as certain other states. These state funds and pools could choose to reduce the sales or brokerage commissions we receive. Any such reductions, in a state in which we have substantial operations could affect the profitability of our operations in such state, or cause us to change our marketing focus. Further, state insurance regulators and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners continually re-examine existing laws and regulations, and such re-examination may result in the enactment of insurance-related laws and regulations, or the issuance of interpretations thereof, that adversely affect our business. Certain federal financial services modernization legislation could lead to additional federal regulation of the insurance industry in the coming years, which could result in increased expenses or restrictions on our operations. Other legislative developments that could adversely affect us include: changes in our business compensation model as a result of regulatory developments (for example, the Affordable Care Act); and federal and state governments establishing programs to provide health insurance or, in certain cases, property insurance in catastrophe-prone areas or other alternative market types of coverage, that compete with, or completely replace, insurance products offered by insurance carriers. Also, as climate change issues become more prevalent, the U.S. and foreign governments are beginning to respond to these issues. This increasing governmental focus on climate change may result in new environmental regulations that may negatively affect us and our customers. This could cause us to incur additional direct costs in complying with any new environmental regulations, as well as increased indirect costs resulting from our customers incurring additional compliance costs that get passed on to us. These costs may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

Although we believe that we are in compliance in all material respects with applicable local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations, there can be no assurance that more restrictive laws, rules, regulations or interpretations thereof, will not be adopted in the future that could make compliance more difficult or expensive.

WE ARE EXPOSED TO INTANGIBLE ASSET RISK; SPECIFICALLY, OUR GOODWILL MAY BECOME IMPAIRED IN THE FUTURE.

As of the date of the filing of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the 2019 fiscal year, we have $3,746.1 million of goodwill recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. We perform a goodwill impairment test on an annual basis and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of our goodwill may not be recoverable from estimated future cash flows. We completed our most recent evaluation of impairment for goodwill as of November 30, 2019 and determined that the fair value of goodwill exceeded the carrying value of such assets. A significant and sustained decline in our stock price and market capitalization, a significant decline in our expected future cash flows, a significant adverse change in the business climate or slower growth rates could result in the need to perform an additional impairment analysis prior to the next annual goodwill impairment test. If we were to conclude that a future write-down of our goodwill is necessary, we would then record the appropriate charge, which could result in material charges that are adverse to our operating results and financial position. See Note 1-“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” and Note 4-“Goodwill” to the Consolidated Financial Statements and “Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.”

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Additionally, the carrying value of amortizable intangible assets attributable to each business or asset group comprising the Company is periodically reviewed by management to determine if there are events or changes in circumstances that would indicate that its carrying amount may not be recoverable. Accordingly, if there are any such circumstances that occur during the year, we assess the carrying value of our amortizable intangible assets by considering the estimated future undiscounted cash flows generated by the corresponding business or asset group. Any impairment identified through this assessment may require that the carrying value of related amortizable intangible assets be adjusted; however, no impairments have been recorded for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.

PROPOSED TORT REFORM LEGISLATION, IF ENACTED, COULD DECREASE DEMAND FOR LIABILITY INSURANCE, THEREBY REDUCING OUR COMMISSION REVENUES.

Legislation concerning tort reform has been considered, from time to time, in the United States Congress and in several state legislatures. Among the provisions considered in such legislation have been limitations on damage awards, including punitive damages, and various restrictions applicable to class action lawsuits. Enactment of these or similar provisions by Congress, or by states in which we sell insurance, could reduce the demand for liability insurance policies or lead to a decrease in policy limits of such policies sold, thereby reducing our commission revenues.

Risks Related to Investing in our Securities

OUR CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Our credit ratings are an assessment by rating agencies of our ability to pay our debts when due. Consequently, real or anticipated changes in our credit ratings will generally affect the market value of our securities. Agency ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the issuing agency. Each agency’s rating should be evaluated independently of any other agency’s rating.

WE MAY EXPERIENCE VOLATILITY IN OUR STOCK PRICE THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR INVESTMENT.

The market price of our common stock may be subject to significant fluctuations in response to various factors, including: quarterly fluctuations in our operating results; changes in securities analysts’ estimates of our future earnings; changes in securities analysts’ predictions regarding the short-term and long-term future of our industry; changes to the tax code; and our loss of significant customers or significant business developments relating to us or our competitors. Our common stock’s market price also may be affected by our ability to meet stock analysts’ earnings and other expectations. Any failure to meet such expectations, even if minor, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. In addition, stock markets have generally experienced a high level of price and volume volatility, and the market prices of equity securities of many listed companies have experienced wide price fluctuations not necessarily related to the operating performance of such companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect our common stock’s market price. In the past, securities class action lawsuits frequently have been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of such companies’ securities. If any such litigation is initiated against us, it could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

ITEM 2. Properties.

We lease our executive offices, which are located at 220 South Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114. We lease offices at each of our 311 locations. Our operating leases expire on various dates and generally contain renewal options and rent escalation clauses based upon increases in the lessors’ operating expenses and other charges. We expect that most leases will be renewed or replaced upon expiration. We own several contiguous parcels of land totaling over thirteen acres in Daytona Beach, Florida, located approximately a mile from our current executive offices, on which we have initiated a project to build a new office tower to hold our executive offices and certain other business operations with capacity for up to 1,000 employees and room for additional expansion through construction of additional office space at this location. We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate for present purposes, and that the productive capacity in such facilities is substantially being utilized. From time to time, we may have unused space and seek to sublet such space to third parties, depending on the demand for office space in the locations involved. In the future, we may need to purchase, build or lease additional facilities to meet the requirements projected in our long-term business plan. See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on our lease commitments.

We are subject to numerous litigation claims that arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe any of these are, or are likely to become, material to our business.

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ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “BRO.”

On February 20, 2020, there were 281,552,678 shares of our common stock outstanding, held by approximately 1,390 shareholders of record.

Sales of Unregistered Securities

We did not sell any unregistered securities during 2019.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Under the authorization from the Company’s Board of Directors, shares may be purchased from time to time, at the Company’s discretion and subject to the availability of stock, market conditions, the trading price of the stock, alternative uses for capital, the Company’s financial performance and other potential factors. These purchases may be carried out through open market purchases, block trades, accelerated share repurchase plans of up to $100.0 million each (unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors), negotiated private transactions or pursuant to any trading plan that may be adopted in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Exchange Act.

During 2019, the Company repurchased 1,654,513 shares at an average price per share of $35.46 for a total cost of $58.7 million. At December 31, 2019, the remaining amount authorized by our Board of Directors for share repurchases was $461.3 million. Under the authorized repurchase programs, the Company has repurchased a total of approximately 15.5 million shares for an aggregate cost of approximately $536.2 million between 2014 and 2019.

The following table presents information with respect to our purchases of our common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2019.

 

Period

 

Total

number of

shares

purchased(1)

 

 

Average

price paid

per share

 

 

Total number of

shares purchased

as part of

publicly

announced

plans or

programs

 

 

Approximate

dollar value of

shares that may

yet be purchased

under

the plans or

programs

 

October 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019

 

 

814,173

 

 

$

35.59

 

 

 

812,933

 

 

$

461,282,789

 

November 1, 2019 to November 30, 2019

 

 

1,160

 

 

 

37.88

 

 

 

 

 

 

461,282,789

 

December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019

 

 

1,113

 

 

 

38.62

 

 

 

 

 

 

461,282,789

 

Total

 

 

816,446

 

 

$

35.59

 

 

 

812,933

 

 

$

461,282,789

 

 

(1)

Of the shares reported in this column, 812,933 shares were purchased in open market transactions. All other shares reported in this column are attributable to shares withheld for taxes in connection with the vesting of restricted shares awarded under our Performance Stock Plan and 2010 Stock Incentive Plan.

Performance Graph

The following graph is a comparison of five-year cumulative total shareholder returns for our common stock as compared with the cumulative total shareholder return for the NYSE Composite Index, and a group of peer insurance broker and agency companies (Aon plc, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company). The returns of each company have been weighted according to such companies’ respective stock market capitalizations as of December 31, 2014 for the purposes of arriving at a peer group average. The total return calculations are based upon an assumed $100 investment on December 31, 2014, with all dividends reinvested.

 

 

 

12/14

 

 

12/15

 

 

12/16

 

 

12/17

 

 

12/18

 

 

12/19

 

Brown & Brown, Inc.

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

117.76

 

 

 

162.40

 

 

 

175.68

 

 

 

206.91

 

 

 

285.13

 

NYSE Composite

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

96.03

 

 

 

107.62

 

 

 

127.96

 

 

 

116.72

 

 

 

146.76

 

Peer Group

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

104.96

 

 

 

121.53

 

 

 

147.49

 

 

 

162.17

 

 

 

221.50

 

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ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data.

The following selected Consolidated Financial Data for each of the five fiscal years in the period ended December 31, have been derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements. Such data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Item 7 of Part II of this Annual Report and with our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes thereto in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands, except per share data, number of employees and percentages

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

REVENUES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissions and fees

 

$

2,384,737

 

 

$

2,009,857

 

 

$

1,857,270

 

 

$

1,762,787

 

 

$

1,656,951

 

Investment income

 

 

5,780

 

 

 

2,746

 

 

 

1,626

 

 

 

1,456

 

 

 

1,004

 

Other income, net

 

 

1,654

 

 

 

1,643

 

 

 

22,451

 

 

 

2,386

 

 

 

2,554

 

Total revenues(1)

 

 

2,392,171

 

 

 

2,014,246

 

 

 

1,881,347

 

 

 

1,766,629

 

 

 

1,660,509

 

EXPENSES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employee compensation and benefits

 

 

1,308,165

 

 

 

1,068,914

 

 

 

994,652

 

 

 

925,217

 

 

 

856,952

 

Other operating expenses

 

 

377,089

 

 

 

332,118

 

 

 

283,470

 

 

 

262,872

 

 

 

251,055

 

(Gain)/loss on disposal

 

 

(10,021

)

 

 

(2,175

)

 

 

(2,157

)

 

 

(1,291

)

 

 

(619

)

Amortization

 

 

105,298

 

 

 

86,544

 

 

 

85,446

 

 

 

86,663

 

 

 

87,421

 

Depreciation

 

 

23,417

 

 

 

22,834

 

 

 

22,698

 

 

 

21,003

 

 

 

20,890

 

Interest

 

 

63,660

 

 

 

40,580

 

 

 

38,316

 

 

 

39,481

 

 

 

39,248

 

Change in estimated acquisition earn-out payables

 

 

(1,366

)

 

 

2,969

 

 

 

9,200

 

 

 

9,185

 

 

 

3,003

 

Total expenses

 

 

1,866,242

 

 

 

1,551,784

 

 

 

1,431,625

 

 

 

1,343,130

 

 

 

1,257,950

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

525,929

 

 

 

462,462

 

 

 

449,722

 

 

 

423,499

 

 

 

402,559

 

Income taxes(2)

 

 

127,415

 

 

 

118,207

 

 

 

50,092

 

 

 

166,008

 

 

 

159,241

 

Net income

 

$

398,514

 

 

$

344,255

 

 

$

399,630

 

 

$

257,491

 

 

$

243,318

 

EARNINGS PER SHARE INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share - diluted(3)

 

$

1.40

 

 

$

1.22

 

 

$

1.40

 

 

$

0.91

 

 

$

0.85

 

Weighted average number of shares outstanding - diluted(3)

 

 

274,616

 

 

 

275,521

 

 

 

277,586

 

 

 

275,608

 

 

 

280,224

 

Dividends declared per share(3)

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.31

 

 

$

0.28

 

 

$

0.25

 

 

$

0.23

 

YEAR-END FINANCIAL POSITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets(4)

 

$

7,622,821

 

 

$

6,688,668

 

 

$

5,747,550

 

 

$

5,262,734

 

 

$

4,979,844

 

Long-term debt(5)

 

$

1,500,343

 

 

$

1,456,990

 

 

$

856,141

 

 

$

1,018,372

 

 

$

1,071,618

 

Total shareholders’ equity

 

$

3,350,279

 

 

$

3,000,568

 

 

$

2,582,699

 

 

$

2,360,211

 

 

$

2,149,776

 

Total shares outstanding at year end(3)

 

 

281,655

 

 

 

279,583

 

 

 

276,210

 

 

 

280,208

 

 

 

277,970

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of full-time equivalent employees at year-end

 

 

10,083

 

 

 

9,590

 

 

 

8,491

 

 

 

8,297

 

 

 

7,807

 

Total revenues per average number of employees(6)

 

$

243,193

 

 

$

222,809

 

 

$

224,130

 

 

$

219,403

 

 

$

215,679

 

Stock price at year-end(3)

 

$

39.48

 

 

$

27.56

 

 

$

25.73

 

 

$

22.43

 

 

$

16.05

 

Stock price earnings multiple at year-end(7)

 

 

28.2

 

 

 

22.6