Insureon, an online provider of business-owner insurance policies, has agreed to acquire online wholesale insurance broker Insurance Noodle, a subsidiary of Willis Group Holdings.

With the acquisition Insureon will exceed $100 million in total premium and offer agents and brokers greater access to a larger portfolio of "A" rated insurance carriers, Insureon said.  The transaction is expected to close in January.

"We couldn't be more excited," said Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon. "The acquisition will position Insureon to even better serve small-business owners around the country. The combination of Insureon's top-tier online strategy with Noodle's geographically diverse network of brokers and agents is a key component of our long-term strategy for growth. The acquisition reinforces the change that technology is enabling in the small commercial buying process."

The acquisition is intended to increase operational efficiencies for Insureon and Insurance Noodle, Insureon said, and enable Insurance Noodle's brokers and agents to leverage Insureon's underwriting expertise and products, which cover more than 550 industry segments, through a proprietary technology platform.

"Between Insureon's commitment to approaching every customer interaction from a place of deep, technology-driven expertise and Noodle's extensive network of world-class independent and captive agents, the nation's small insurance agents and brokers will have more capabilities to serve clients and grow their businesses," said Edgar Bronfman Jr., general partner of Accretive LLC, a private investment firm and Insureon's majority owner.

Ralph Blust, president and CEO of Insurance Noodle, will remain as president and be responsible for wholesale operations. The Insurance Noodle team will join Insureon in its Chicago offices after the transaction closes.

"Insureon's focused investment in IT enables the constant, incremental improvement that's essential for both companies to remain responsive to the needs of small-business owners and competitive in the small commercial marketplace," said Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group.

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