Marsh & McLennan Agency acquires US-based Blakestad

15 March 2017

Marsh & McLennan Agency has acquired Minneapolis-based Blakestad insurance and risk management consultancy for an undisclosed sum. The deal further adds to the firm's presence in the region, with Blakestad continuing to operate with its original team out of its current locations.

Blakestad is an insurance and risk management consultancy agency, is headquartered in Minneapolis, with an office in New York City. The Agency is focused on the with high-net worth individuals and families segment across the global market. The agency was originally established in 1974, taking on the Blakestad brand in 2013 following the transition of the company to current owner and president, Jerod Blakestad – formerly a Senior Vice President at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Blakestad and Marsh & McLennan Agency

The acquisition, the details of the deal have not been disclosed, sees Blakestad join the wider Marsh & McLennan Agency* network. The transition will see Blakestad’s employees and leadership retained. The team will continue to operate the business from its current Minneapolis office.

Bill Jeatran, CEO of MMA’s upper Midwest region remarks, “The addition of Blakestad to our firm expands our capabilities in the private client market with an established agency and highly regarded team of professionals.”

MMA has a history of inorganic additions in recent years, including the acquisitions of several mid-market firms, including Aviation Solutions, Corporate Consulting Services, Celedinas Insurance Group, Benefits Advisory Group, J. Smith Lanier & Co and iaCONSULTING.

* MMA is a US-based mid-market risk prevention consultancy and insurance broker. The firm, which is a subsidiary of Marsh, is the 12th largest insurance broker in the US, with revenues of approximately $900 million. The firm is focused on the SME market, offering advice, solutions, and programmes to companies that tend to fall outside the services scope of the “big firms”.


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”