Insurance broker Acrisure buys AI business

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(Bloomberg) -- Acrisure LLC, an insurance brokerage, agreed to purchase an artificial-intelligence business from Tulco LLC in a transaction valued at $400 million, the buyer’s largest deal ever.

The stock-for-stock purchase makes Tulco a significant minority shareholder in the insurance broker, the companies said Wednesday in a statement. Thomas Tull, the chairman and chief executive officer of Tulco, will become chairman of a new technology group at Acrisure.

The broker, which has completed more than 500 takeovers in recent years, gains an insurance practice to help build technology for its business lines, which include commercial property-casualty, personal insurance and employee benefits. The transaction also deepens the ties between the two companies after they formed Altway Insurance last year. After the deal is completed, Acrisure will own all of Altway, which focuses on individual health benefits.

“This transforms our business in a number of ways,” Greg Williams, co-founder and CEO of Acrisure, said in a phone interview. “It is a man-plus-machine type of opportunity here, where we take the best of man and machine, and expand and accelerate the ability we have to acquire clients.”

Tull said he was seeking a partner dedicated to implementing artificial-intelligence technology on a large scale, adding that it’s difficult for many large insurers to pivot business strategies.

“Acrisure is big enough to matter, but nimble enough to be able to do that,” Tull said. “To be able to deploy this at this scale, we’ll also learn things very, very quickly.”

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