The number of mergers and acquisitions involving insurance producers fell last year according to the “2009 Insurance Brokerage M&A Activity Summary” released by New York-based Hales & Co.

After a record 307 transactions seen in 2008, there were just185 transactions in 2009, a 40% decline. This makes 2009 one of the least active of the decade, and the first year to see the number of M&A deals dip below 200 since 2003, the company reports. Of note, 140 or 76% of all announced transactions in 2009 were for property/casualty agencies compared to 201 or 66% during 2008.

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