Avance backs UniVista

Avance Investment Management has made a significant investment in UniVista Insurance, a franchisor of insurance-related products and services.

Avance Investment Management has made a significant investment in UniVista Insurance, a franchisor of insurance-related products and services. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

MIAMI and NEW YORK, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Avance Investment Management (“Avance” or the “firm”), a private equity firm that invests in growing middle market services and consumer businesses, today announced that it has made a significant investment in UniVista Insurance (“UniVista” or the “Company”), an independent, family-owned and operated franchisor of insurance-related products and services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Avance was established in 2020 by Co-Founders, David Perez, Luis Zaldivar and Erik Scott who have worked closely together for more than 15 years. Targeting founder-owned, middle market businesses in the Services and Consumer sectors, Avance seeks to partner with businesses that have scalable business models in fragmented sectors with consolidation and growth opportunities.

Established in 2006, UniVista delivers industry leading insurance products and services in dynamic and innovative ways, leveraging technology, data and analytics to foster customer loyalty, employee professional growth and community recognition. Family-owned and independently operated since inception, the Company sells insurance products across auto, home, commercial, property, life, health and annuity, predominately to the Hispanic community in Florida. UniVista operates under both a franchisor and a corporate model, totaling more than 130 franchises, 10 corporate stores and a large corporate call center, employing over 230 individuals.

Avance intends to partner with UniVista to expand its suite of offerings and franchises in Florida and across the U.S. through M&A as well as organic growth initiatives. Operating in a fragmented industry, with the support of Avance, UniVista should be poised to consolidate across multiple insurance verticals. The Company is expected to continue to be led by UniVista Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Iván Herrera and management.

“We are thrilled to announce Avance’s second platform investment – UniVista – which fits squarely into our investment strategy of partnering with visionary founders and talented management teams in the services and consumer sectors,” said Mr. Perez. “We are eager to leverage our industry relationships and knowledge of building technology-enabled businesses to help the Company strategically expand across the country to reach more consumer markets.”

“UniVista is a proven insurance platform, with a targeted customer base in Florida that is gaining significant market share,” said Mr. Zaldivar. “The Company has a strong management team, highly scalable business model and track record of executing a pipeline of growth initiatives. With Avance’s experience guiding companies through transformative growth utilizing our deep network and collaborative approach, we have strong conviction in our ability to partner with the management team and help grow UniVista into a national leader reaching the Hispanic market outside of Florida.”

“Over the last few years, UniVista has grown sales more than three hundred percent with more than 100 locations throughout Florida; we are confident that now is the right time to partner with an investor as experienced as Avance who shares our vision. Avance’s experience will help us to continue on this upward trajectory and expand our offerings through organic and inorganic growth in Florida and beyond,” said Mr. Herrera. “Avance’s team has a long history of partnering with founder-owned businesses, and we know that David, Luis and the entire Avance team will bring tremendous value to UniVista, helping us take the Company to the next level.”

“Today’s announcement is an exciting next step for the UniVista team who has worked incredibly hard to get to where we are today,” said Luis Castro, President and Chief Operating Officer of UniVista. “UniVista provides quality products, superior customer service, and highly competitive rates to customers throughout Florida, and we are excited to expand our offerings with the support of the talented Avance team who has a passion for helping strong businesses meet their full potential.”

About Avance Investment Management
Avance is a private equity firm with a passion for building great businesses in partnership with talented management teams. Avance focuses primarily on thematic investments within the Services and Consumer areas in the US, seeking attractive opportunities with catalysts for growth and fragmented spaces with consolidation opportunities. Avance’s team has a long history of partnering with founder-owned businesses, industry executives, and management teams and aims to add value to each investment through the application of its STAGE™ value creation framework. Avance has offices in New York and Miami.

About UniVista Insurance
UniVista Insurance is an independent, family-owned and operated insurance agency that has been protecting Florida for over 10 years. UniVista Insurance has become a trusted leader among Florida insurance companies and agencies by providing quality protection, superior customer service, and the lowest insurance rates in the state in auto, home, commercial, life, health, and annuity products. In 2020, Insurance Journal ranked UniVista Insurance nationally as one of the top 26 providers of property and casualty insurance. UniVista Insurance has been ranked among the top 2,710 companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. UniVista was named No. 22 in Growjo’s “100 Fastest Growing Companies in Miami” awards for 2020.