Kelso & Company buys majority of Risk Strategies

Kelso & Company is buying a majority stake of Risk Strategies Company. Financial terms weren’t announced. Boston-based Risk Strategies is a national insurance & benefits brokerage and risk management firm. Macquarie Capital served as Kelso’s financial advisor and is providing committed debt financing. Morgan Stanley advised Risk Strategies.


BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – Oct 20, 2015) – Risk Strategies Company (“Risk Strategies” or the “Company”), a national insurance & benefits brokerage and risk management firm headquartered in Boston, and Kelso & Company (“Kelso”), one of the oldest and most established firms in the private equity industry and a leading investor in the insurance sector, today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement whereby Kelso will acquire a majority stake in Risk Strategies from Kohlberg & Company.
The partnership between Kelso and Risk Strategies will position the Company to maintain its accelerated growth and bolster national business operations for current and future customers and partners. Kelso has agreed to acquire a majority of the Company’s stock and is seeking to invest substantial additional equity capital to support Risk Strategies’ client and growth initiatives.
Founded in 1997 and ranked among the largest insurance brokerage firms in the U.S., privately-held Risk Strategies is a leader in Property & Casualty and Employee Benefits insurance. With a focus on middle and upper-middle market commercial and high-net-worth clients, Risk Strategies’ vertical industry expertise includes healthcare, higher education, manufacturing, professional liability, construction, entertainment, fine arts, private equity, private client and real estate.
Risk Strategies’ leadership team — led by Chief Executive Officer and Founder Michael Christian — will remain completely intact, providing consistency to clients, trading partners and employees. RSC management and employees have also retained significant ownership.
The new investment and partnership will help Risk Strategies enhance its client resources, add new teams of professionals in several important segments and continue its strategic M&A activities to create additional growth opportunities.
“This investment is a real vote of confidence in our work, our people and plans for on-going success,” said Michael Christian, CEO RSC. “Kelso’s stability and collaborative style is a perfect fit for our long term vision to build a national specialty brokerage firm with a focused, smarter approach to the business,” he added.
“We are delighted to partner with Mike and his team. Risk Strategies has established itself as a premier insurance brokerage platform, and we look forward to supporting the company in its next phase of growth,” said Chris Collins, Managing Director of Kelso.
As part of the transaction, insurance brokerage industry veteran Vic Krauze will be joining Risk Strategies’ Board of Directors and investing alongside Kelso and management.
“We are pleased that our partnership with Mike and the team at Risk Strategies has helped the Company accelerate its growth trajectory and execution of its long-term strategic plan,” commented Chris Anderson, Partner at Kohlberg & Company. “We are confident that the Company will experience continued success through its partnership with Kelso, and we wish them much future success.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Macquarie Capital served as Kelso’s financial advisor and is providing committed debt financing for the transaction. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as Kelso’s legal advisor.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor to Risk Strategies, and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to Risk Strategies.
About Risk Strategies Company
Ranked in the top 30 brokers in the country, Risk Strategies Company is a national brokerage firm focused on delivering risk management and insurance solutions to privately-held and publicly-traded commercial clients and high net worth individuals. Risk Strategies focuses on client risk management challenges and delivers pragmatic, cost-effective financial and business solutions.
About Kelso & Company
Kelso & Company has been investing in North American private equity for over 35 years. Kelso benefits from a successful investment track record, a long-tenured and stable investing team, a reputation as a preferred partner to management teams and strategics, and a significant alignment of interest with all of its partners. Since 1980, Kelso has raised a total of nine private equity funds, representing nearly $11 billion of outside LP capital, and has made over 110 investments. Kelso was founded by Louis Kelso, commonly referred to as the inventor of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”). The tenets of the Kelso ESOP heritage, including a significant alignment of interest and history of partnership, remain key components of the firm’s strategy and differentiation.