GREELEY — Shirazi Benefits, an independent insurance agency based in Greeley, has joined 23 other insurance and financial services companies across the United States to form Alera Group, an employee-benefits, property/casualty, risk-management and wealth-management firm with approximately $158 million in revenue.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The new firm, headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., has more than 750 employees serving more than 20,000 clients in 40 U.S.-based offices across 15 states. The merger marks the first time that 24 financial services firms have joined together as one.
Shirazi Benefits will continue to offer group employee benefits, now with an extensive network of national resources. Shirazi Benefits employees and advisers will continue to operate as Shirazi Benefits out of the firm’s existing offices in Greeley and Fort Collins. It will continue to be led by Hossein Shirazi, Masoud Shirazi and Ty Miller, principals.
“Our clients’ needs are changing and, frankly, our industry has been slow to respond,” said Alan Levitz, president and chief executive of Alera Group. “That’s why we brought together this hand-picked group.”
Levitz said clients will see two benefits. First, they will get the combined resources, technical experience and best practices of a larger firm. Second, they will continue to receive the personal service and independent decision-making power of a local business
“Our goal is to set a new, higher standard for their experience.”
Hossein Shirazi said the new partnership will allow Shirazi Benefits to elevate its client services, grow its expertise and offer more thought leadership to the local market.
“We are thrilled to be a part of history, as we join Alera Group with like-minded firms that are dedicated to an exceptional client experience,” he said.
With investment from Genstar Capital LLC, a middle market private-equity firm based in San Francisco, and brokerage assistance from consulting and investment banking firm Marsh, Berry & Co. Inc. in Ohio, Alera Group will become the 14th largest privately held insurance firm and seventh largest privately held employee benefits firm nationally.
In 1976, Masoud S. Shirazi founded Shirazi Benefits in Greeley, specializing in employee benefits and estate and business planning. He was joined in 1981 by his brother, Hossein Shirazi, and a third principal, Ty Miller, in 1992. After 40 years in business, Shirazi Benefits is one of the largest group-benefits brokerages in Northern Colorado, with offices in Greeley and Fort Collins, representing approximately 350 employer groups ranging in size from one to 2,000 employees.