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Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549 

 

FORM 10-K 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from     to     

Commission file number 001-13619

 

BROWN & BROWN, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Florida

 

 

59-0864469

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

 

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

300 North Beach Street,

Daytona Beach, FL

 

 

 

32114

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (386252-9601

Registrant’s Website: www.bbinsurance.com

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

COMMON STOCK, $0.10 PAR VALUE

BRO

New york stock exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes   No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes   No

Note - Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes   No

The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the price at which the stock was last sold on June 30, 2020 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was $9,600,807,597.

The number of shares of the Registrant’s common stock, $0.10 par value, outstanding as of February 22, 2021 was 282,089,166.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of Brown & Brown, Inc.’s Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.

 


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BROWN & BROWN, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020

INDEX 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE

NO.

 

 

Part I

5

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

12

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

21

Item 2.

Properties

21

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

21

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

21

 

 

 

Part II

22

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

22

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

24

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

25

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

39

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

40

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

80

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

80

Item 9B.

Other Information

80

 

 

 

Part III

81

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

81

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

82

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

83

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

83

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

83

 

 

Part IV

84

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

84

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

86

 

 

Signatures

87

 

2


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Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Brown & Brown, Inc., together with its subsidiaries (collectively, “we,” “Brown & Brown” or the “Company”), makes “forward-looking statements” within the “safe harbor” provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, throughout this report and in the documents we incorporate by reference into this report, including those relating to the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”) on the Company’s business, operations, financial performance and prospects.. You can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan” and “continue” or similar words. We have based these statements on our current expectations about potential future events. Although we believe the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K and the reports, statements, information and announcements incorporated by reference into this report are based upon reasonable assumptions within the bounds of our knowledge of our business, a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, whether oral or written, made by us or on our behalf. Further, statements about the effects of COVID-19 on our business, operations, financial performance and prospects may constitute forward-looking statements and are subject to the risk that the actual impacts may differ, possibly materially, from what is reflected in those forward-looking statements due to factors and future developments that are uncertain, unpredictable and in many cases beyond our control, including the scope and duration of COVID-19, actions taken by governmental authorities in response to COVID-19, and the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 on our customers, insurance carriers, third parties and us. Many of these factors have previously been identified in filings or statements made by us or on our behalf. Important factors which could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this report include but are not limited to the following items, in addition to those matters described in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” and Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”:

 

COVID-19 and the resulting governmental and societal responses, the severity and duration of the pandemic, and the resulting impact on the U.S. economy, the global economy, and the Company’s business, liquidity, customers, insurance carriers and third parties;

 

The inability to retain or hire qualified employees, as well as the loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees;

 

Acquisition-related risks that could negatively affect the success of our growth strategy, including the possibility that we may not be able to successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates, complete acquisitions, integrate acquired businesses into our operations, and expand into new markets;

 

A cybersecurity attack or any other interruption in information technology and/or data security and/or outsourcing relationships;

 

The requirement for additional resources and time to adequately respond to dynamics resulting from rapid technological change;

 

The loss of or significant change to any of our insurance company relationships, which could result in additional expense, loss of market share or material decrease in our profit-sharing contingent commissions, guaranteed supplemental commissions or incentive commissions;

 

Adverse economic conditions, natural disasters, or regulatory changes in states where we have a concentration of our business;

 

The inability to maintain our culture or a change in management, management philosophy or our business strategy;

 

Risks facing us in our Services Segment, including our third-party claims administration operations, that are distinct from those we face in our insurance intermediary operations;

 

The limitations of our system of disclosure and internal controls and procedures in preventing errors or fraud, or in informing management of all material information in a timely manner;

 

The significant control certain existing shareholders have over the Company;

 

Risks related to our international operations, which may require more time and expense than our domestic operations to achieve or maintain profitability;

 

Changes in data privacy and protection laws and regulations or any failure to comply with such laws and regulations;

 

Improper disclosure of confidential information;

 

The potential adverse effect of certain actual or potential claims, regulatory actions or proceedings on our businesses, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity;

 

Uncertainty in our business practices and compensation arrangements due to potential changes in regulations;

3


Table of Contents

 

 

Regulatory changes that could reduce our profitability or growth by increasing compliance costs, technology compliance, restricting the products or services we may sell, the markets we may enter, the methods by which we may sell our products and services, or the prices we may charge for our services and the form of compensation we may accept from our customers, carriers and third-parties;

 

A decrease in demand for liability insurance as a result of tort reform litigation;

 

Our failure to comply with any covenants contained in our debt agreements;

 

The possibility that covenants in our debt agreements could prevent us from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities;

 

Changes in the U.S.-based credit markets that might adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition;

 

Risks associated with the current interest rate environment and to the extent we use debt to finance our investments, changes in interest rates will affect our cost of capital and net investment income;

 

Disintermediation within the insurance industry, including increased competition from insurance companies, technology companies and the financial services industry, as well as the shift away from traditional insurance markets;

 

Changes in current U.S. or global economic conditions;

 

Effects related to pandemics, epidemics, or outbreaks of infectious diseases;

 

Conditions that result in reduced insurer capacity;

 

Quarterly and annual variations in our commissions that result from the timing of policy renewals and the net effect of new and lost business production;

 

Intangible asset risk, including the possibility that our goodwill may become impaired in the future; and

 

Other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings.

Assumptions as to any of the foregoing and all statements are not based upon historical fact, but rather reflect our current expectations concerning future results and events. Forward-looking statements that we make or that are made by others on our behalf are based upon a knowledge of our business and the environment in which we operate, but because of the factors listed above, among others, actual results may differ from those in the forward-looking statements. Consequently, these cautionary statements qualify all of the forward-looking statements we make herein. We cannot assure you that the results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that those results or developments will result in the expected consequences for us or affect us, our business or our operations in the way we expect. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We assume no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements.

4


Table of Contents

 

PART I

ITEM 1. Business.

General

Brown & Brown is a diversified insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, insurance programs and service organization with origins dating from 1939 and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Company markets and sells insurance products and services, primarily in the property, casualty and employee benefits areas. We provide our customers with quality, non-investment insurance contracts, as well as other targeted, customized risk management products and services. As an agent and broker, we do not assume underwriting risks with the exception of the activity in The Wright Insurance Group, LLC (“Wright”). Within Wright, we operate a write-your-own flood insurance carrier, Wright National Flood Insurance Company (“WNFIC”). WNFIC’s underwriting business consists entirely of policies written pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), the program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), and excess flood policies which are fully reinsured, thereby substantially eliminating WNFIC’s exposure to underwriting risk, as these policies are backed by either FEMA or a reinsurance carrier with an AM Best Company rating of “A” or better.

The Company is compensated for its services primarily by commissions paid by insurance companies and to a lesser extent, by fees paid directly by customers for certain services. Commission revenues are usually a percentage of the premium paid by the insured and generally depend upon the type of insurance, the particular insurance company and the nature of the services provided by us. In some limited cases, we share commissions with other agents or brokers who have acted jointly with us in a transaction. We may also receive from an insurance company a “profit-sharing contingent commission,” which is a profit-sharing commission based primarily on underwriting results, but may also contain considerations for volume, growth and/or retention. Fee revenues are generated primarily by: (1) our Services Segment, which provides insurance-related services, including third-party claims administration and comprehensive medical utilization management services in both the workers’ compensation and all-lines liability arenas, as well as Medicare Set-aside services, Social Security disability and Medicare benefits advocacy services, and other claims adjusting services, (2) our National Programs and Wholesale Brokerage Segments, which earn fees primarily for the issuing of insurance policies on behalf of insurance carriers, and (3) our Retail Segment for fees received in lieu of commissions. The amount of our revenues from commissions and fees is a function of several factors, including continued new business production, retention of existing customers, acquisitions and fluctuations in insurance premium rates and “insurable exposure units,” which are units that insurance companies use to measure or express insurance exposed to risk (such as property values, sales and payroll levels) to determine what premium to charge the insured. Insurance companies establish these premium rates based upon many factors, including loss experience, risk profile and reinsurance rates paid by such insurance companies, none of which we control.

As of December 31, 2020, our activities were conducted in 332 domestic locations in 43 states, and 9 international locations in Canada, England, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands.

 

 

Industry Overview

Premium pricing within the property and casualty insurance underwriting (risk-bearing) industry has historically been cyclical in nature and has varied widely based upon market conditions with a “hard” market in which premium rates are increasing or a “soft” market, characterized by stable or declining premium rates in many lines and geographic areas. Premium pricing is influenced by many factors including loss experience, interest rates and the availability of capital being deployed into the insurance market in search of returns.

Segment Information

Our business is divided into four reportable segments: (1) the Retail Segment, (2) the National Programs Segment, (3) the Wholesale Brokerage Segment and (4) the Services Segment. The Retail Segment provides a broad range of insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public entities, and to professional and individual customers, as well as non-insurance warranty services and products through our automobile dealer services (“F&I”) businesses. The National Programs Segment, which acts as a managing general agent (“MGA”), provides professional liability and related package products for certain professionals, a range of insurance products for individuals, flood coverage, and targeted products and services designated for specific industries, trade groups, governmental entities and market niches, all of which are delivered through a nationwide network of independent agents, including Brown & Brown retail agents. The Wholesale Brokerage Segment markets and sells excess and surplus commercial and personal lines insurance, primarily through independent agents and brokers, as well as Brown & Brown retail agents. The Services Segment provides insurance-related services, including third-party claims administration and adjusting services, comprehensive medical utilization management services in both the workers’ compensation and all-lines liability arenas, as well as Medicare Set-aside services and Social Security disability benefits advocacy services.

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Table of Contents

 

The following table summarizes (1) the commissions and fees generated by each of our reportable operating segments for 2020, 2019 and 2018, and (2) the percentage of our total commissions and fees represented by each segment for each such period:

 

(in thousands, except percentages)

 

2020

 

 

%

 

 

2019

 

 

%

 

 

2018

 

 

%

 

Retail Segment

 

$

1,471,352

 

 

 

56.5

%

 

$

1,366,016

 

 

 

57.3

%

 

$

1,041,691

 

 

 

51.8

%

National Programs Segment

 

 

609,842

 

 

 

23.4

%

 

 

516,915

 

 

 

21.7

%

 

 

493,878

 

 

 

24.6

%

Wholesale Brokerage Segment

 

 

352,161

 

 

 

13.5

%

 

 

309,426

 

 

 

13.0

%

 

 

286,364

 

 

 

14.2

%

Services Segment

 

 

174,012

 

 

 

6.7

%

 

 

193,641

 

 

 

8.1

%

 

 

189,041

 

 

 

9.4

%

Other

 

 

(1,259

)

 

 

(0.1

)%

 

 

(1,261

)

 

 

(0.1

)%

 

 

(1,117

)

 

 

(0.0

)%

Total

 

$

2,606,108

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

2,384,737

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

$

2,009,857

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

We conduct all of our operations within the United States of America, except for one Wholesale Brokerage operation based in England, one National Programs operation in Canada and Retail operations based in Bermuda and The Cayman Islands. These operations generated $35.1 million, $17.7 million and $15.2 million of revenues for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. We do not have any material foreign long-lived assets.

See Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional segment financial data relating to our business.

Retail Segment

The Retail Segment provides a broad range of insurance products and services to commercial, public and quasi-public, professional and individual insured customers, and non-insurance services and products through our automobile dealer services (“F&I”) businesses. Significant lines of coverage and capabilities are:

 

Builders Risk

Group Medical & Pharmaceutical

Property

Commercial Auto

Homeowners

Reinsurance

Crop & Hail

Inland Marine

Retirement Benefit

Cyber

Long Term Disability

Risk Mitigating Warranty Products

Directors & Officers

Management Liability

Short Term Disability

Errors & Omissions

Medical Stop Loss

Term Life

Excess Liability

Personal Auto

Umbrella

General Liability

Prescription Drug

Workers Compensation

Group Dental

 

 

 

No material part of our retail business is attributable to a single customer or a few customers. During 2020, commissions and fees from our largest single Retail Segment customer represented four tenths of one percent (0.4%) of the Retail Segment’s total commissions and fees.

As of December 31, 2020, our Retail Segment employed 5,764 employees. Our Retail Segment has physical locations in 39 states and Bermuda and is licensed to do business in all 50 states. In connection with the selling and marketing of insurance coverages, we provide a broad range of related services to our customers, such as risk management strategies, loss control surveys and analysis, consultation in connection with placing insurance coverages and claims processing.

National Programs Segment

As of December 31, 2020, our National Programs Segment employed 2,508 employees. The National Programs Segment specializes in the development and management of insurance program business, often designed for niche, underserved markets. We offer program management expertise for insurance carrier partners across numerous lines of business, which can be grouped into five broad categories: (1) Professional Programs, (2) Personal Lines Programs, (3) Commercial Programs, (4) Public Entity-Related Programs, and (5) Specialty Lines Program:

 

Professional Programs. Professional liability and related package insurance products are tailored to the needs of professionals in the following areas: dentistry, legal, eyecare, insurance, financial, physicians, and real estate title professionals. Professional liability programs also offer supplementary insurance-related products to include weddings, events, medical facilities, and cyber liability.

 

Personal Lines Programs. Personal lines programs offer a variety of insurance products to personal lines consumers including homeowners and personal property policies; residential earthquake; as well as private passenger automobile and motorcycle coverage.

 

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Commercial Lines Programs. Commercial programs serve a broad segment of industries with our Core Commercial offering. Specific industries and market niches are served by our specialty programs including automotive aftermarket, professional and amateur sports, motorsports, special events, and the entertainment industry; commercial transportation and trucking; forestry; manufactured housing; and workers’ compensation.

 

Public Entity Programs. Public entity programs range from providing fully insured programs to establishing risk retention insurance pools, and excess and facultative specific coverages, including administration of various insurance trusts for cities, counties, municipalities, school boards, special taxing districts, and quasi-governmental agencies.

 

Specialty Programs. Specialty programs include flood insurance, commercial difference-in-conditions (earthquake), all-risk commercial property, coastal property programs including wind, lender-placed solutions, sovereign Indian nations, and parcel insurance.

Wholesale Brokerage Segment

As of December 31, 2020, our Wholesale Brokerage Segment employed 1,578 employees. Our Wholesale Brokerage Segment markets and sells excess and surplus commercial insurance products and services to retail insurance agencies (including Brown & Brown retail offices). The Wholesale Brokerage Segment offices represent various U.S. and U.K. surplus lines insurance companies. Additionally, certain offices are also Lloyd’s of London correspondents. The Wholesale Brokerage Segment also represents admitted insurance companies for purposes of affording access to such companies for smaller agencies that otherwise do not have access to large insurance company representation. Excess and surplus insurance products encompass many insurance coverages, including personal lines, homeowners, yachts, jewelry, commercial property and casualty, commercial automobile, garage, restaurant, builder’s risk and inland marine lines. Difficult-to-insure general liability and products liability coverages are a specialty, as is excess workers’ compensation coverage. Wholesale brokers solicit business through mailings and direct contact with retail agency representatives. During 2020, commissions and fees from our largest Wholesale Brokerage Segment customer represented approximately 1.3% of the Wholesale Brokerage Segment’s total commissions and fees.

Services Segment

As of December 31, 2020, our Services Segment employed 936 employees and provided a wide range of insurance-related services.

Below are brief descriptions of the capabilities within the Services Segment.

 

Social Security Advocacy - assists individuals throughout the United States who are seeking to establish eligibility for coverage under the federal Social Security Disability program and provides health plan selection and enrollment assistance for Medicare beneficiaries. We work closely with employer sponsored group life, disability and health plan participants to assist disabled individuals in receiving the education, advocacy and benefit coordination assistance necessary to achieve the fastest possible benefit approvals. In addition, we provide second injury fund recovery services to the workers’ compensation insurance market.

 

Claims Administration - provides third-party administration (“TPA”) services for commercial and personal property and casualty, medical, vocational, and professional liability insurance markets on a nationwide basis, providing claims adjusting, administration, subrogation, litigation and data management, claims investigations services, claim investigations, and audit services to insurance companies, self-insureds, public municipalities, insurance brokers and corporate entities. We source claims activity from various Arrowhead programs in our National Programs Segment, as well as from third parties.

 

Medicare Secondary Payer compliance and Medicare Set-Aside – provides statutory compliance services, conditional payment negotiation and resolution, structured settlements/annuity funding, professional administration, and a post-settlement durable medical equipment and pharmacy program administration.

 

Self-Insured Trust Administration - provides TPA services for government entities and self-funded or fully-insured workers’ compensation and liability plans and trusts including claims administration and a dedicated subrogation recovery department.

 

Workers’ Compensation and Liability Plan Administration - provides claims administration, cost containment consulting services for secondary disability and subrogation recoveries, certified and non-certified medical management programs, access to medical networks, case management, utilization review services and risk management services such as loss control.

In 2020, our five largest contracts represented approximately 20.0% of fees revenues in our Services Segment.

Competition

The insurance intermediary business is highly competitive, and numerous firms actively compete with us for customers and insurance markets. Competition in the insurance business is largely based upon innovation, knowledge, understanding of terms and conditions of coverage, quality of service and price. A number of firms and banks with substantially greater resources and market presence compete with us.

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A number of insurance companies directly sell insurance, primarily to individuals or small enterprises, and do not pay commissions to third-party agents and brokers. In addition, the internet and start-up technology companies continue to be a source for direct placement of personal lines or small business insurance. We have our own technology capabilities to also serve single-line and small businesses. While it is difficult to quantify the impact on our business from individuals or small businesses purchasing insurance over the Internet, we believe this risk would generally be isolated to personal lines customers with single-line coverage, or small businesses that do not have a complex insurance program, which represent a small portion of our overall Retail or National Programs segments.

Regulation, Licensing and Agency Contracts

We and/or our designated employees must be licensed to act as agents, brokers, intermediaries or third-party administrators by state regulatory authorities in the locations in which we conduct business. Regulations and licensing laws vary by individual state and international location and are often complex.

The applicable licensing laws and regulations in all states and international jurisdictions are subject to amendment or reinterpretation by regulatory authorities, and such authorities are vested in most cases with relatively broad discretion as to the granting, revocation, suspension and renewal of licenses. We endeavor to monitor the licensing of our employees, but the possibility exists that we and/or our employees could be excluded or temporarily suspended from carrying on some or all of our activities in a particular jurisdiction in addition to being subjected to fines.

Human Capital

At December 31, 2020, the Company had 11,136 employees. We have agreements with our sales employees and certain other employees that include provisions: (1) protecting our confidential information and trade secrets, (2) restricting their ability post-employment to solicit the business of our customers, and (3) preventing the hiring of our employees for a period of time after separation from employment with us. The enforceability of such agreements varies from state to state depending upon applicable law and factual circumstances. The majority of our employment relationships are at-will and terminable by either party at any time; however, the covenants regarding confidential information and non-solicitation of our customers and employees generally extend for a period of at least two years after cessation of employment.

None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement and we consider our relations with our employees to be good.

Our Guiding Principles

Every successful team thrives on the diversity of talent, thought, experience, character, and work ethic. Our continued success depends on the full and effective recruitment and enhancement of the most qualified teammates. Put simply, Brown & Brown is a Meritocracy®—our people rise according to their merits. We pride ourselves on creating an open, diverse, performance-driven, and transparent culture that celebrates and recognizes teammates at all levels.

Culture

Our unique culture drives our results and is a key component of the Company’s strategy. Brown & Brown is a lean, decentralized, highly competitive, profit-oriented sales and service organization composed of people of the highest integrity and quality, bound together by clearly defined goals and prideful relationships. We consider ourselves teammates, not “employees,” and our success is guided by leaders, not managers. Our Company believes our teammates are far more than ordinary, and we know they achieve extraordinary results because they are challenged, empowered, and rewarded for doing so.

Soliciting Feedback.

We regularly solicit anonymous feedback from our teammates, and we are proud that 94% of our teammates say Brown & Brown is a Great Place to Work®. We know these results stem from the fact that we view the personal health and well-being of our teammates and their families as paramount. As an organization, we value, encourage, and support these priorities, and by doing so, we cultivate a productive and highly engaged team that drives our Company to thrive and succeed.

Human Capital Credentials

Nearly a quarter of our Company is owned by our teammates, which we believe cultivates a unique ownership culture. We strive to provide multiple opportunities for teammates to share in the ownership of Brown & Brown and to create personal wealth, including through our employee stock purchase program, our 401(k) plan, and long-term equity grants. We estimate that more than 60% of our teammates own stock in our Company, establishing an ownership mindset that we believe demonstrates the strongest vote of confidence from our teammates. This ownership mindset also influences how we operate, including how we invest in our business, and the work we do for our customers. In addition to being a Great Place to Work® certified company, Brown & Brown, Inc. was recognized as a Best Workplace for Women and Millennials in 2020.

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Our Workforce.

The vast majority of our teammates are regular full-time employees. Our goal is to provide our teammates with careers, not jobs. In addition to our regular full-time teammates, we also employ regular part-time teammates and seasonal/temporary teammates. The following chart illustrates the categorical breakdown of our teammate population, which includes all persons who receive wages or salaries through the Company’s payroll:

 

 

Regular full-time teammates: Teammates who work at least a 32-hour workweek for an indefinite period of time. All regular full-time teammates are generally eligible for all employment benefits provided by the Company to its teammates.

 

Regular part-time teammates: Teammates working less than a 32-hour workweek for an indefinite period of time. Depending on the average hours worked per week, regular part-time teammates may be eligible for limited employment benefits as specified in the terms of the particular employment benefit plan or policy.

 

Seasonal/temporary teammates: A teammate who is hired as an interim replacement, to temporarily supplement our workforce, or to assist on the completion of a specific project, other than those supplied under contract by an outside agency. Employment assignments in this category are typically of a limited duration.

Recruitment; Education and Development

A critical part of the Company’s strategy revolves around the recruitment and development of our teammates; to drive our growth by offering innovative risk management solutions to our customers, we often think of ourselves as being in the people recruiting and enhancing business. We actively recruit in all of our offices and at all levels of our organization. We have been particularly successful at building our talented workforce by hiring recent college graduates, mid-level professionals with experience outside of the insurance industry, and seasoned insurance professionals with a desire to elevate their careers. We also recruit and develop talent through our college internship program, which leverages our strong relationships with a number of key colleges and universities.

We also build our team by completing high-quality acquisitions that fit culturally and make sense financially. In 2020, we added approximately 796 new teammates through 25 strategic acquisitions.

We invest heavily in our teammates' education and development because we believe it improves their capabilities, engagement, satisfaction, and productivity, which, in turn, positively impacts how we serve our customers and, ultimately, our Company’s performance and results. One of the pillars of our educational program is “Brown & Brown University,” a rigorous training program we believe distinguishes us from our industry peers, offering comprehensive sales, technical, and other courses for new producers, office leaders, and other teams within the organization. In addition, the Company recently established the Brown & Brown Education Assistance Program, which provides tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment assistance, as well as the National Merit Brown & Brown Scholarship.

The Company recently launched a “Peer Partnership Program” designed to connect individuals from across our organization and support them in building new partnerships, expanding their networks, and experiencing our Company culture through different perspectives.

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Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

The Company believes diversity of thought and experiences results in better outcomes and empowers our teammates to make more meaningful contributions to our customers, our Company, and the communities in which we live. Accordingly, as part of our strategy, we recently announced the formation of the Brown & Brown Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Task Force. This task force is composed of individuals with diverse experience and expertise, and it seeks to collect ideas, thoughts, and stories from our teammates across our operating segments and locations. Our goal is to ensure a wide range of perspectives are considered as we develop a strategic framework around promoting diversity, inclusion, and belonging throughout the Company. To this end, the task force has already undertaken the following initiatives to understand the Company’s current strengths and areas for development, which will drive our go-forward priorities:

 

 

launched a Company-wide teammate survey on diversity, inclusion, and belonging that allows us to gather baseline metrics;

 

conducted focus group sessions, as well as one-on-one outreach and conversations, that foster meaningful discussions on our future strategy;

 

completed an assessment to analyze the strategies, programs, and messaging of companies with similar size and composition, as well as peers across the insurance industry;

 

launched an external listening campaign involving interviews with peer corporations with a range of experiences and approaches, as well as engaging sector experts with knowledge of diversity and inclusion program design, training modalities, and cross-company comparisons; and

 

provided a dedicated mailbox for teammates to submit suggestions, thoughts, and stories.

Brown & Brown does not tolerate discrimination in any form with respect to any aspect of employment. The Company has an established policy that recruitment, hiring, transfers, promotions, terminations, compensation, and benefits practices be without regard to race, color, religion, absence of religious affiliation, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, perception of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, gender orientation, marital status, service in our armed forces, veteran status in our armed forces, political activity, or political party affiliation.

The Company tracks the representation of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities because we know diversity helps us build better teams and improve our customer experience. Our gender and minority data are presented periodically to our Board. We are proud of our efforts in this area to date and continue to strive to further diversify our workforce and strengthen our culture of inclusion and belonging.

Health and Safety

The safety and well-being of all Brown & Brown teammates are of utmost importance. Brown & Brown intends to provide a safe environment for teammates and visitors to our offices.

In 2020, the Company had no work-related fatalities and 29 injuries or occupational diseases, as determined based on the number of claims made under our workers’ compensation policy, other than claims that were closed and for which no payment was made.

Focus on Health and Wellness

The Company is uniquely focused on our teammates' physical, mental, spiritual, and financial health and wellness. We recognize that healthy employees are better positioned to support their families, their communities, and our customers and, in turn, to deliver strong results for the Company and our shareholders. Individuals are encouraged to exercise regularly, and our offices routinely sponsor local races and other events to encourage our teammates to stay active. We also encourage our teammates to pursue interests outside of work by taking vacation or personal time, volunteering in their communities, and pursuing their hobbies.

Our new headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida, was designed with open floorplans to encourage regular movement and interaction among our teammates, which we believe facilitates a better and more productive work environment. Substantially all offices and workstations in our new headquarters have been equipped with ergonomic furniture and standing desks to support the physical health of our teammates.

The remote working environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance we place on our teammates' health and wellness. During the pandemic, our Chief Executive Officer appeared in weekly check-in videos to our teammates focused on personal stories about grit, resiliency, and maintaining mental and physical well-being. In addition, during the pandemic, the Company launched a series of 30-minute “Small Bites” sessions on a wide range of topics, including meditation, yoga, nutrition, fitness, and home office ergonomics.

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Safety Guidelines

The Company has formal workplace safety guidelines that apply to all of our teammates and facilities, with some offices establishing even more specific guidelines for conduct. These guidelines cover, among other things, hazardous and unsafe work areas and conditions, cell phone usage, travel, attire, communication protocols for closures and emergencies, and our workers’ compensation benefits. Our teammates are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will foster and maintain cooperative working relationships, ensure safety, and promote effectiveness. Teammates are expected to perform their duties professionally, to the best of their ability, and in accordance with all established standards, and to exercise sound judgment and conduct themselves in a professional, courteous manner at all times.

Driving for Business Policy

The Company has a formal Driving for Business policy prohibiting teammates from using mobile devices for calls, texting, or email while driving, except when using a hands-free device. Under our policy, teammates routinely driving for business purposes are required to maintain an acceptable motor vehicle record (“MVR”) and be subject to the MVR being reviewed at the time of hire and periodically after that. Teammates must have a valid driver’s license, obtain supervisory approval, and show proof of minimum required insurance before using their personal vehicle for business purposes.

Violence in the Workplace Policy

The Company has a formal policy against violence in the workplace. This policy prohibits any form of weapon from being carried or maintained in the Company’s offices and prohibits teammates from making threats or engaging in violent activities. Under our policy, any teammate who believes he or she has been a victim of violence, threats of violence, intimidating conduct, or has heard jokes or offensive comments about a violent occurrence must report such actions immediately to their team leader or another member of the Company’s leadership. In addition, any teammate who believes he, she, or another teammate may be in imminent danger of violence must notify local law enforcement officials immediately.

Mental Health

We are particularly passionate about mental health, and we believe leadership in that area starts at the top. Our Chief Executive Officer regularly addresses the importance of mental health in his communications with our teammates. Individuals are encouraged to engage in activities that promote good mental health and, when needed, to seek out help from friends, co-workers, and medical professionals. To foster a sense of connection during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help our teammates better recognize and address mental health issues, the Company curated weekly videos featuring teammates from across our organization sharing their personal experiences related to stress, anxiety, loneliness, acts of kindness and service, and navigating work from home with spouses, partners, pets, and children.

Through the Company’s Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”), the Company has contracted with a third-party service provider to offer all teammates and their dependents no-cost, confidential employee assistance on a 24/7 basis. Under the EAP, teammates and their dependents can get help for emotional concerns, marital or family difficulties, alcohol or drug dependency, stress, compulsive gambling, and legal or financial problems.

Available Information

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and its rules and regulations. The Exchange Act requires us to file reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. We make available free of charge on our website, at www.bbinsurance.com, our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder, as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing or furnishing such material to the SEC. These documents are posted on our website at www.bbinsurance.com and may be accessed by selecting the “Investor Relations” link and then the “SEC Filings” link.

The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. These materials may be obtained electronically by accessing the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

The charters of the Audit, Compensation and Nominating/Governance Committees of our Board of Directors as well as our Corporate Governance Principles, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Code of Ethics-CEO and Senior Financial Officers (including any amendments to, or waivers of any provision of any of these charters, principles or codes) are also available on our website or upon request. Requests for copies of any of these documents should be directed in writing to: Corporate Secretary, Brown & Brown, Inc., 300 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114, or by telephone to (386)-252-9601.

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ITEM 1A. Risk Factors.

Our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows are subject to, and could be materially adversely affected by, various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, those set forth below, any one of which could cause our actual results to vary materially from recent results or our anticipated future results. We present these risk factors grouped by category, and the risks factors contained in each respective category are presented in order of their relative priority to us.

Risks Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND THE RESULTING GOVERNMENTAL AND SOCIETAL RESPONSES, THE SEVERITY AND DURATION OF THE PANDEMIC, AND THE RESULTING IMPACT ON THE U.S. ECONOMY AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, MAY MATERIALLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECT THE COMPANY’S BUSINESS, LIQUIDITY, CUSTOMERS, INSURANCE CARRIERS AND THIRD PARTIES.

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, surfaced. Since then, COVID-19 has spread across the world, and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The global outbreak of COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve. The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption, which could further adversely affect our business and may materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The extent to which COVID-19 impacts our business will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the ultimate geographic spread and severity of COVID-19; the duration of the pandemic; the effectiveness and roll-out of vaccinations against COVID-19; business closures, travel restrictions, social distancing and other actions taken to contain and treat COVID-19; the effectiveness of actions taken to contain and treat the virus; the impact of the pandemic on economic activity; the timing and effectiveness of government stimulus programs; the extent and duration of the effect on customer demand and buying patterns; and any impairment in value of our tangible or intangible assets which could be recorded as a result of weaker economic conditions. In addition, if the pandemic continues to create disruptions or turmoil in the credit or financial markets, or impacts our credit ratings, it could adversely affect our ability to access capital on favorable terms and continue to meet our liquidity needs, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and any associated protective or preventative measures continue to spread in the United States and around the world, we may experience disruptions to our business, including:

 

 

our customers choosing to limit purchases of insurance and services due to declining business conditions, our customers ceasing their business operations on a temporary or permanent basis, and a reduction in our customers’ insurable exposure units, all of which would impact our ability to generate commission revenue and other revenue;

 

a delay in cash payments to us from customers or carrier partners due to COVID-19, which could negatively impact our financial condition;

 

travel restrictions and quarantines leading to a lack of in-person meetings, which would hinder our ability to establish relationships or originate new business;

 

alternative working arrangements, including teammates working remotely, which could negatively impact our business should such arrangements remain for an extended period of time; and

 

failure of third parties upon which we rely to meet their obligations to us, or significant disruptions in their ability to meet those obligations in a timely manner, which may be caused by their own financial or operational difficulties.

 

We cannot predict the impact that COVID-19 will have on our customers, insurance carriers, suppliers, and other third-party contractors, and each of their financial conditions; however, any material effect on these parties could adversely impact us. Even after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided, we may experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of the virus’ global economic impact. Further, COVID-19 may affect our operating and financial results in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not consider as presenting significant risks to our operations.

Additionally, COVID-19 could negatively affect our internal controls over financial reporting as a portion of our workforce is required to work from home and therefore new processes, procedures, and controls could be required to respond to changes in our business environment. Further, should any key employees become ill from the coronavirus and unable to work, the attention of the management team could be diverted. Our management is focused on mitigating the effects of COVID-19, which has required and will continue to require a large investment of time and resources across our business.

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To mitigate the economic impact caused by COVID-19, certain governmental entities have declared or proposed a “grace period” on the collection of insurance premiums. It is unclear the impact this would have on our commission revenues, typically calculated as a percentage of premium. It is possible that such grace periods could delay our receipt of revenues as we continue to incur compensation and operating expenses related to serving our clients. In addition, certain governmental entities have proposed requiring underwriting enterprises to pay business interruption and workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 losses despite applicable policy exclusions. Retroactively expanding business interruption or other coverages could materially negatively affect underwriting enterprises, reduce the availability of insurance coverage, and negatively affect our ability to generate commission revenues from such policies as well as supplemental and contingent commissions from underwriting enterprises. Other legislation would require underwriting enterprises to return premiums to clients on certain lines of coverage. While it is unclear the impact such legislation would have on us, it is possible we could be asked to disgorge commission revenues related to such premiums.

These and other disruptions related to COVID-19 could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Further, the potential effects of COVID-19 also could impact and, in some cases, magnify many of our risk factors described in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. However, as the COVID-19 situation is unprecedented and continuously evolving, the potential impacts to our risk factors remain uncertain. Additionally, any potential effects of COVID-19 may lag behind the developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Risks Related to Our Business

OUR INABILITY TO RETAIN OR HIRE QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS THE LOSS OF ANY OF OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OR OTHER KEY EMPLOYEES, COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR ABILITY TO RETAIN EXISTING BUSINESS AND GENERATE NEW BUSINESS.

Our success depends on our ability to attract and retain skilled and experienced personnel. There is significant competition from within the insurance industry and from businesses outside the industry for exceptional employees, especially in key positions. If we are not able to successfully attract, retain and motivate our employees, our business, financial results and reputation could be materially and adversely affected.

Losing employees who manage or support substantial customer relationships or possess substantial experience or expertise could adversely affect our ability to secure and complete customer engagements, which would adversely affect our results of operations. Also, if any of our key personnel were to join an existing competitor or form a competing company, some of our customers could choose to use the services of that competitor instead of our services. While our key personnel are generally prohibited by contract from soliciting our employees and customers for a two-year period following separation from employment with us, they are not prohibited from competing with us.

In addition, we could be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for the succession of our senior leaders and key executives. The succession plans and employment arrangements we have in place with certain key executives do not guarantee that the services of these executives will continue to be available to us. The loss of our senior leaders or other key personnel, or our inability to continue to identify, recruit and retain such personnel, could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

OUR GROWTH STRATEGY DEPENDS, IN PART, ON THE ACQUISITION OF OTHER INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES, WHICH MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE ON ACCEPTABLE TERMS IN THE FUTURE OR WHICH, IF CONSUMMATED, MAY NOT BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO US.

Our growth strategy partially includes the acquisition of other insurance intermediaries. Our ability to successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates, complete acquisitions, integrate acquired businesses into our operations, and expand into new markets requires us to implement and continuously improve our operations and our financial and management information systems. Integrated, acquired businesses may not achieve levels of revenues or profitability comparable to our existing operations, or otherwise perform as expected. In addition, we compete for acquisition and expansion opportunities with firms and banks that may have substantially greater resources than we do. Acquisitions also involve a number of risks, such as diversion of management’s attention; difficulties in the integration of acquired operations and retention of personnel; increase in expenses and working capital requirements, which could reduce our return on invested capital; entry into unfamiliar markets or lines of business; unanticipated problems or legal liabilities; estimation of the acquisition earn-out payables; and tax and accounting issues, some or all of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Post-acquisition deterioration of operating performance could also result in lower or negative earnings contribution and/or goodwill impairment charges.

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A CYBERSECURITY ATTACK, OR ANY OTHER INTERRUPTION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND/OR DATA SECURITY AND/OR OUTSOURCING RELATIONSHIPS, COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION AND REPUTATION.

We rely on information technology and third-party vendors to provide effective and efficient service to our customers, process claims, and timely and accurately report information to carriers and which often involves secure processing of confidential sensitive, proprietary and other types of information. Cybersecurity breaches of any of the systems we rely on may result from circumvention of security systems, denial-of-service attacks or other cyber-attacks, hacking, “phishing” attacks, computer viruses, ransomware, malware, employee or insider error, malfeasance, social engineering, physical breaches or other actions, any of which could expose us to data loss, monetary and reputational damages and significant increases in compliance costs. An interruption of our access to, or an inability to access, our information technology, telecommunications or other systems could significantly impair our ability to perform such functions on a timely basis. If sustained or repeated, such a business interruption, system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to write and process new and renewal business, provide customer service, pay claims in a timely manner or perform other necessary business functions. We have from time to time experienced cybersecurity incidents, such as malware infections, phishing campaigns and vulnerability exploit attempts, which to date have not had a material impact on our business.

Additionally, we are an acquisitive organization and the process of integrating the information systems of the businesses we acquire is complex and exposes us to additional risk as we might not adequately identify weaknesses in the targets’ information systems, which could expose us to unexpected liabilities or make our own systems more vulnerable to attack. In the future, any material breaches of cybersecurity, or media reports of the same, even if untrue, could cause us to experience reputational harm, loss of customers and revenue, loss of proprietary data, regulatory actions and scrutiny, sanctions or other statutory penalties, litigation, liability for failure to safeguard customers’ information or financial losses. Such losses may not be insured against or not fully covered through insurance we maintain.

We cannot entirely eliminate all risk of improper access to private information, and the cost and operational consequences of implementing, maintaining and enhancing further system protections measures could increase significantly as cybersecurity threats increase. As these threats evolve, cybersecurity incidents will be more difficult to detect, defend against and remediate. Any of the foregoing may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and reputation.

RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE MAY REQUIRE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND TIME TO ADEQUATELY RESPOND TO DYNAMICS, WHICH MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS AND OPERATING RESULTS.

Frequent technological changes, new products and services and evolving industry standards are influencing the insurance business. The Internet, for example, is increasingly used to securely transmit benefits and related information to customers and to facilitate business-to-business information exchange and transactions.

We are continuously taking steps to upgrade and expand our information systems capabilities, including how we electronically interact with our customers and insurance carriers. Maintaining, protecting and enhancing these capabilities to keep pace with evolving industry and regulatory standards, and changing customer preferences, requires an ongoing commitment of significant resources. If the information we rely upon to run our businesses was found to be inaccurate or unreliable or if we fail to effectively maintain our information systems and data integrity, we could experience operational disruptions, regulatory or other legal problems, increases in operating expenses, loss of existing customers, difficulty in attracting new customers, or suffer other adverse consequences.

Our technological development projects may not deliver the benefits we expect once they are completed or may be replaced or become obsolete more quickly than expected, which could result in the accelerated recognition of expenses. If we do not effectively and efficiently manage and upgrade our technology portfolio regularly, or if the costs of doing so are higher than we expect, our ability to provide competitive services to new and existing customers in a cost-effective manner and our ability to implement our strategic initiatives could be adversely impacted.

WE DERIVE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR COMMISSION REVENUES FROM A LIMITED NUMBER OF INSURANCE COMPANIES, THE LOSS OF WHICH COULD RESULT IN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE AND LOSS OF MARKET SHARE.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, no more than 5.0% of our total core commissions was derived from insurance policies underwritten by one insurance company. Should this insurance company seek to terminate its arrangements with us or to otherwise decrease the number of insurance policies underwritten for us, we believe that other insurance companies are available to underwrite the business, although some additional expense and loss of market share could result.

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BECAUSE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR BUSINESSES ARE CONCENTRATED IN FLORIDA, CALIFORNIA, MASSACHUSETTS, GEORGIA, NEW YORK, AND MICHIGAN, ADVERSE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, NATURAL DISASTERS, OR REGULATORY CHANGES IN THESE STATES COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION.

A significant portion of our businesses are concentrated in Florida, California, Massachusetts, Georgia, New York, and Michigan, where for the year ended December 31, 2020, we derived approximately 19%, 11%, 8%, 8%, 7%, and 6% of our annual revenue, respectively. We believe the current regulatory environment for insurance intermediaries in these states is no more restrictive than in other states. The insurance business is primarily a state-regulated industry, and therefore, state legislatures may enact laws that adversely affect the insurance industry. Because our business is concentrated in the states identified above, we face greater exposure to unfavorable changes in regulatory conditions in those states than insurance intermediaries whose operations are more diversified through a greater number of states. In addition, the occurrence of adverse economic conditions, natural or other disasters, or other circumstances specific to or otherwise significantly impacting these states could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. We are susceptible to losses and interruptions caused by hurricanes (particularly in Florida, where we have 55 offices and our headquarters, as well as in Texas, where we have 24 offices), earthquakes (including in California, where we have 33 offices), power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, fire, extreme weather conditions, geopolitical events such as terrorist acts and other natural or man-made disasters. Our insurance coverage with respect to natural disasters is limited and is subject to deductibles and coverage limits. Such coverage may not be adequate or may not continue to be available at commercially reasonable rates and terms.

OUR CORPORATE CULTURE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO OUR SUCCESS, AND IF WE CANNOT MAINTAIN THIS CULTURE, OR IF WE EXPERIENCE A CHANGE IN MANAGEMENT, MANAGEMENT PHILOSOPHY, OR BUSINESS STRATEGY, OUR BUSINESS MAY BE HARMED.

We believe that a significant contributor to our success has been our corporate culture as a lean, decentralized, highly competitive, profit-oriented sales and service organization. As we grow, including from the integration of employees and businesses acquired in connection with previous or future acquisitions, we may find it difficult to maintain important aspects of our corporate culture, which could negatively affect our profitability and/or our ability to retain and recruit people of the highest integrity and quality who are essential to our future success. We may face pressure to change our culture as we grow, particularly if we experience difficulties in attracting competent personnel who are willing to embrace our culture. In addition, as our organization grows and we are required to implement more complex organizational structures, or if we experience a change in management, management philosophy, or business strategy, we may find it increasingly difficult to maintain the beneficial aspects of our corporate culture, such as our decentralized sales and service operating model, which could negatively impact our future success.

We face a variety of risks in our services segment, including our third-party claims administration operations, that are distinct from those we face in our insurance intermediary operations.

Our Services Segment, including our third-party claims administration operations, face a variety of risks distinct from those faced by our insurance intermediary operations, including the risks that:

 

The favorable trend among both insurance companies and self-insured entities toward outsourcing various types of claims administration and risk management services may reverse or slow, causing our revenues or revenue growth to decline;

 

Concentration of large amounts of revenue with certain customers may result in greater exposure to the potential negative effects of lost business due to changes in management of such customers or for other reasons;

 

Contracting terms will become less favorable or the margins on our services may decrease due to increased competition, regulatory constraints, or other developments;

 

Our revenue is impacted by claims volumes, which are dependent upon a number of factors and difficult to forecast accurately;

 

Economic weakness or a slow-down in economic activity could lead to a reduction in the number of claims we process;

 

The U.S. Federal government modifies, discontinues, or otherwise limits our ability to derive revenues from the Social Security disability benefits program, Medicare, or any other program or type of coverage from which our business derives revenue;

 

We may be unable to develop further efficiencies in our claims-handling business and may be unable to obtain or retain certain customers if we fail to make adequate improvements in technology or operations; and

 

Insurance companies or certain large self-insured entities may create in-house servicing capabilities that compete with our services.

If any of these risks materialize, our results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

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DUE TO INHERENT LIMITATIONS, OUR SYSTEM OF DISCLOSURE AND INTERNAL CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES MAY NOT BE SUCCESSFUL IN PREVENTING ALL ERRORS OR FRAUD, OR IN INFORMING MANAGEMENT OF ALL MATERIAL INFORMATION IN A TIMELY MANNER.

Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, does not expect that our disclosure controls and internal controls and procedures will prevent all error and fraud. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the Company have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur simply because of error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by management override of a control.

There can be no assurance that the design of any of our systems of controls will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Over time, a control may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and may not be detected.

CERTAIN OF OUR EXISTING SHAREHOLDERS HAVE SIGNIFICANT CONTROL OF THE COMPANY.

At December 31, 2020, our executive officers, directors and certain of their family members collectively beneficially owned approximately 16.9% of our outstanding common stock, of which J. Hyatt Brown, our Chairman, and his son, J. Powell Brown, our President and Chief Executive Officer, and P. Barrett Brown, our Executive Vice President and the President of our Retail Segment, beneficially owned approximately 16.1%. As a result, our executive officers, directors and certain of their family members have significant influence over (1) the election of our Board of Directors, (2) the approval or disapproval of any other matters requiring shareholder approval and (3) our affairs and policies.

WE HAVE OPERATIONS INTERNATIONALLY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN A NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL RISKS AND REQUIRE MORE MANAGEMENT TIME AND EXPENSE THAN OUR DOMESTIC OPERATIONS TO ACHIEVE OR MAINTAIN PROFITABILITY.

We have operations in Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In the future, we intend to continue to consider additional international expansion opportunities. Our international operations may be subject to a number of risks, including:

 

Difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

Less flexible employee relationships, which may make it difficult and expensive to terminate employees and which limits our ability to prohibit employees from competing with us after their employment ceases;

 

Political and economic instability (including acts of terrorism and outbreaks of war);

 

Coordinating our communications and logistics across geographic distances and multiple time zones;

 

Unexpected changes in regulatory requirements and laws;

 

Adverse trade policies, and adverse changes to any of the policies of either the U.S. or any of the foreign jurisdictions in which we operate;

 

Adverse changes in tax rates;

 

Variations in foreign currency exchange rates;

 

Legal or political constraints on our ability to maintain or increase prices;

 

Governmental restrictions on the transfer of funds to or from us, including to or from our operations outside the United States;

 

Any adverse developments arising out of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, including any related economic downturn in the United Kingdom, any sustained weakness in the British pound’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar resulting from such exit, or our ability to place insurance coverage with British insurance carriers for companies located outside of the United Kingdom;

 

Burdens of complying with, and the risk of employees or third parties acting on our behalf violating, anti-corruption laws in foreign countries; and

 

Burdens of complying with a wide variety of labor practices and foreign laws, including those relating to export and import duties, environmental policies and privacy issues.

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Risks Related to Legal, Compliance and Regulatory Matters

CHANGES IN DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTION LAWS AND REGULATIONS, OR ANY FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH SUCH LAWS AND REGULATIONS, COULD ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL RESULTS.

We are subject to a variety of continuously evolving and developing laws and regulations globally regarding privacy, data protection, and data security, including those related to the collection, storage, handling, use, disclosure, transfer, and security of personal data. Significant uncertainty exists as privacy and data protection laws may be interpreted and applied differently from country to country and may create inconsistent or conflicting requirements. These laws apply to transfers of information among our affiliates, as well as to transactions we enter into with third-party vendors. For example, the European Union adopted a comprehensive General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”) in May 2016, which replaced the former EU Data Protection Directive and related country-specific legislation. The GDPR became fully effective in May 2018 and requires companies to satisfy new requirements regarding the handling of personal and sensitive data, including its use, protection and the ability of persons whose data is stored to correct or delete such data about themselves. Failure to comply with GDPR requirements could result in penalties of up to 4% of worldwide revenue. Complying with the enhanced obligations imposed by the GDPR may result in significant costs to our business and require us to revise certain of our business practices. In addition, legislators and regulators in the U.S. have enacted and are proposing new and more robust privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations in light of the recent broad-based cyber-attacks at a number of companies, including but not limited to the New York State Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

These and similar initiatives around the world could increase the cost of developing, implementing or securing our servers and require us to allocate more resources to improved technologies, adding to our IT and compliance costs. In addition, enforcement actions and investigations by regulatory authorities related to data security incidents and privacy violations continue to increase. The enactment of more restrictive laws, rules, regulations or future enforcement actions or investigations could impact us through increased costs or restrictions on our business, and noncompliance could result in regulatory penalties and significant legal liability.

IMPROPER DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR BUSINESS.

We are responsible for maintaining the security and privacy of our customers’ confidential and proprietary information and the personal data of their employees. We have put in place policies, procedures and technological safeguards designed to protect the security and privacy of this information; however, we cannot guarantee that this information will not be improperly disclosed or accessed. Disclosure of this information could harm our reputation and subject us to liability under our contracts and laws that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenues.

OUR BUSINESS, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS, FINANCIAL CONDITION AND LIQUIDITY MAY BE MATERIALLY ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY CERTAIN ACTUAL AND POTENTIAL CLAIMS, REGULATORY ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS.

We are subject to various actual and potential claims, regulatory actions and other proceedings, including those relating to alleged errors and omissions in connection with the placement or servicing of insurance and/or the provision of services in the ordinary course of business, of which we cannot, and likely will not be able to, predict the outcome with certainty. Because we often assist customers with matters involving substantial amounts of money, including the placement of insurance and the handling of related claims that customers may assert, errors and omissions claims against us may arise alleging potential liability for all or part of the amounts in question. Also, the failure of an insurer with whom we place business could result in errors and omissions claims against us by our customers, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Claimants may seek large damage awards, and these claims may involve potentially significant legal costs, including punitive damages. Such claims, lawsuits and other proceedings could, for example, include claims for damages based upon allegations that our employees or sub-agents failed to procure coverage, report claims on behalf of customers, provide insurance companies with complete and accurate information relating to the risks being insured or appropriately apply funds that we hold for our customers on a fiduciary basis. In addition, given the long-tail nature of professional liability claims, errors and omissions matters can relate to matters dating back many years.

Our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity may be adversely affected if, in the future, our insurance coverage proves to be inadequate or unavailable, or if there is an increase in liabilities for which we self-insure. Our ability to obtain professional indemnity insurance in the amounts and with the deductibles we desire in the future may be adversely impacted by general developments in the market for such insurance or our own claims experience. In addition, regardless of monetary costs, these matters could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and cause harm to our carrier, customer or employee relationships, or divert personnel and management resources.

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OUR BUSINESS PRACTICES AND COMPENSATION ARRANGEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO UNCERTAINTY DUE TO POTENTIAL CHANGES IN REGULATIONS.

The business practices and compensation arrangements of the insurance intermediary industry, including our practices and arrangements, are subject to uncertainty due to investigations by various governmental authorities. Certain of our offices are parties to profit-sharing contingent commission agreements with certain insurance companies, including agreements providing for potential payment of revenue-sharing commissions by insurance companies based primarily on the overall profitability of the aggregate business written with those insurance companies and/or additional factors such as retention ratios and the overall volume of business that an office or offices place with those insurance companies. Additionally, some of our offices are parties to supplemental commission agreements with certain insurance companies, which provide for commission rates in excess of standard commission rates to be applied to specific lines of business, such as group health business, and which are based primarily on the overall volume of business that such office or offices placed with those insurance companies. Various state legislatures may adopt new laws addressing contingent commission arrangements, including laws prohibiting such arrangements, and addressing disclosure of such arrangements to insureds. Various state departments of insurance may also adopt new regulations addressing these matters which could adversely affect our results of operations.

WE COMPETE IN A HIGHLY REGULATED INDUSTRY, WHICH MAY RESULT IN INCREASED EXPENSES OR RESTRICTIONS ON OUR OPERATIONS.

We conduct business in each of the fifty states of the United States of America and are subject to comprehensive regulation and supervision by government agencies in each of those states. The primary purpose of such regulation and supervision is to provide safeguards for policyholders rather than to protect the interests of our shareholders, and it is difficult to anticipate how changes in such regulation would be implemented and enforced. As a result, such regulation and supervision could reduce our profitability or growth by increasing compliance costs, technology compliance, restricting the products or services we may sell, the markets we may enter, the methods by which we may sell our products and services, or the prices we may charge for our services and the form of compensation we may accept from our customers, carriers and third parties. The laws of the various state jurisdictions establish supervisory agencies with broad administrative powers with respect to, among other things, licensing of entities to transact business, licensing of agents, admittance of assets, regulating premium rates, approving policy forms, regulating unfair trade and claims practices, determining technology and data protection requirements, establishing reserve requirements and solvency standards, requiring participation in guarantee funds and shared market mechanisms, and restricting payment of dividends. Also, in response to perceived excessive cost or inadequacy of available insurance, states have from time to time created state insurance funds and assigned risk pools, which compete directly, on a subsidized basis, with private insurance providers. We act as agents and brokers for such state insurance funds and assigned risk pools in California and New York as well as certain other states. These state funds and pools could choose to reduce the sales or brokerage commissions we receive. Any such reductions, in a state in which we have substantial operations could affect the profitability of our operations in such state or cause us to change our marketing focus. Further, state insurance regulators and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners continually re-examine existing laws and regulations, and such re-examination may result in the enactment of insurance-related laws and regulations, or the issuance of interpretations thereof, that adversely affect our business. Certain federal financial services modernization legislation could lead to additional federal regulation of the insurance industry in the coming years, which could result in increased expenses or restrictions on our operations. Other legislative developments that could adversely affect us include: changes in our business compensation model as a result of regulatory developments (for example, the Affordable Care Act); and federal and state governments establishing programs to provide health insurance or, in certain cases, property insurance in catastrophe-prone areas or other alternative market types of coverage, that compete with, or completely replace, insurance products offered by insurance carriers. Also, as climate change issues become more prevalent, the U.S. and foreign governments are beginning to respond to these issues. This increasing governmental focus on climate change may result in new environmental regulations that may negatively affect us and our customers. This could cause us to incur additional direct costs in complying with any new environmental regulations, as well as increased indirect costs resulting from our customers incurring additional compliance costs that get passed on to us. These costs may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

PROPOSED TORT REFORM LEGISLATION, IF ENACTED, COULD DECREASE DEMAND FOR LIABILITY INSURANCE, THEREBY REDUCING OUR COMMISSION REVENUES.

Legislation concerning tort reform has been considered, from time to time, in the United States Congress and in several state legislatures. Among the provisions considered in such legislation have been limitations on damage awards, including punitive damages, and various restrictions applicable to class action lawsuits. Enactment of these or similar provisions by Congress, or by states in which we sell insurance, could reduce the demand for liability insurance policies or lead to a decrease in policy limits of such policies sold, thereby reducing our commission revenues.

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Risks Related to Our Indebtedness and Financing

IF WE FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE COVENANTS CONTAINED IN CERTAIN OF OUR AGREEMENTS, OUR LIQUIDITY, RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED.

At December 31, 2020, we believe we were in compliance with the financial covenants and other limitations contained in each of the credit agreements that govern out debt. However, failure to comply with material provisions of our covenants in these agreements or other credit or similar agreements to which we may become a party could result in a default, rendering them unavailable to us and causing a material adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition. In the event of certain defaults, the lenders thereunder would not be required to lend any additional amounts to or purchase any additional notes from us and could elect to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable. If the indebtedness under these agreements or our other indebtedness, were to be accelerated, there can be no assurance that our assets would be sufficient to repay such indebtedness in full.

CERTAIN OF OUR AGREEMENTS CONTAIN VARIOUS COVENANTS THAT LIMIT THE DISCRETION OF OUR MANAGEMENT IN OPERATING OUR BUSINESS AND COULD PREVENT US FROM ENGAGING IN CERTAIN POTENTIALLY BENEFICIAL ACTIVITIES.

The restrictive covenants in our debt agreements may impact how we operate our business and prevent us from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities. In particular, among other covenants, our debt agreements require us to maintain a minimum ratio of Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), adjusted for certain transaction-related items (“Consolidated EBITDA”), to consolidated interest expense and a maximum ratio of consolidated net indebtedness to Consolidated EBITDA. Our compliance with these covenants could limit management’s discretion in operating our business and could prevent us from engaging in certain potentially beneficial activities.

OUR BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION, MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY FURTHER CHANGES IN THE U.S.-BASED CREDIT MARKETS.

The failure of any lender under our revolving credit facility (which matures in 2022) could adversely affect our ability to borrow on that facility, which over time could negatively impact our ability to consummate significant acquisitions or make other significant capital expenditures. Tightening conditions in the credit markets in future years could adversely affect the availability and terms of future borrowings or renewals or refinancing.

We also have a significant amount of trade accounts receivable from some insurance companies with which we place insurance. If those insurance companies were to experience liquidity problems or other financial difficulties, we could encounter delays or defaults in payments owed to us, which could have a significant adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

WE ARE SUBJECT TO RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRENT INTEREST RATE ENVIRONMENT AND TO THE EXTENT WE USE DEBT TO FINANCE OUR INVESTMENTS, CHANGES IN INTEREST RATES WILL AFFECT OUR COST OF CAPITAL AND NET INVESTMENT INCOME.

As of July 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has urged banks and institutions to discontinue their use of the London Interbank Overnight Rate (“LIBOR”) benchmark rate for floating rate debt, and other financial instruments tied to the rate after 2021. To help with the transition, the Federal Reserve Board and New York Fed have commissioned the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”), comprised of a diverse set of private-sector entities that have an important presence in markets affected by USD LIBOR and a wide array of official-sector entities, including banking and financial sector regulators, as ex-officio members. The ARRC have recommended the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as the best alternative rate to LIBOR post discontinuance and has proposed a transition plan and timeline designed to encourage the adoption of SOFR from LIBOR.

As of December 31, 2020, the Company’s primary exposure are debt instruments referencing LIBOR-based rates which includes the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (the “Amended and Restated Credit Agreement”) term loan balance of $290.0 million outstanding and matures in June 2022, as well as the term loan credit agreement (the “Term Loan Credit Agreement”) which had an outstanding balance of $270.0 million and matures in December 2023. As such, any potential effect of any such event on our cost of capital, interest rate exposure and net investment income cannot yet be determined. In addition, any further changes or reforms to the determination or supervision of LIBOR may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in reported LIBOR, which could have an adverse impact on the market value for or value of any LIBOR-linked securities, loans, and other financial obligations or extensions of credit held by or due to us and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The Company is currently evaluating the transition from LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark to other potential alternative reference rates, including, but not limited to, SOFR. Management will continue to actively assess the related opportunities and risks associated with the transition and monitor related proposals and guidance published by ARRC and other alternative-rate initiatives, with an expectation the we will be prepared to for a termination of LIBOR benchmarks after 2021.

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Risks Related to Our Industry

OUR CURRENT MARKET SHARE MAY DECREASE AS A RESULT OF DISINTERMEDIATION WITHIN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY, INCLUDING INCREASED COMPETITION FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES, TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES AND THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AS WELL AS THE SHIFT AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL INSURANCE MARKETS.

The insurance intermediary business is highly competitive and we actively compete with numerous firms for customers and insurance companies, many of which have relationships with insurance companies or have a significant presence in niche insurance markets that may give them an advantage over us. Other competitive concerns may include the quality of our products and services, our pricing and the ability of some of our customers to self-insure and the entrance of technology companies into the insurance intermediary business. A number of insurance companies are engaged in the direct sale of insurance, primarily to individuals, and do not pay commissions to agents and brokers. In addition, and to the extent that banks, securities firms, private equity funds, and insurance companies affiliate, the financial services industry may experience further consolidation, and we therefore may experience increased competition from insurance companies and the financial services industry, as a growing number of larger financial institutions increasingly, and aggressively, offer a wider variety of financial services, including insurance intermediary services.

In addition, there has been an increase in alternative insurance markets, such as self-insurance, captives, risk retention groups and non-insurance capital markets, and we cannot be certain that such alternative markets will provide the same level of insurance coverage or profitability as traditional insurance markets.

CURRENT U.S. OR GLOBAL ECONOMIC CONDITIONS MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS.

If economic conditions were to worsen, a number of negative effects on our business could result, including declines in insurable exposure units, declines in insurance premium rates, the financial insolvency of insurance companies, or the reduced ability of customers to pay. Also, if general economic conditions are poor, some of our customers may cease operations completely or be acquired by other companies, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. If these customers are affected by poor economic conditions, but yet remain in existence, they may face liquidity problems or other financial difficulties that could result in delays or defaults in payments owed to us, which could have a significant adverse impact on our consolidated financial condition and results of operations. Any of these effects could decrease our net revenues and profitability.

OUR BUSINESS, AND THEREFORE OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL CONDITION, MAY BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY CONDITIONS THAT RESULT IN REDUCED INSURER CAPACITY.

Our results of operations depend on the continued capacity of insurance carriers to underwrite risk and provide coverage, which depends in turn on those insurance companies’ ability to procure reinsurance. Capacity could also be reduced by insurance companies failing or withdrawing from writing certain coverages that we offer to our customers. We have no control over these matters. To the extent that reinsurance becomes less widely available or significantly more expensive, we may not be able to procure the amount or types of coverage that our customers desire and the coverage we are able to procure for our customers may be more expensive or limited.

QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL VARIATIONS IN OUR COMMISSIONS THAT RESULT FROM THE TIMING OF POLICY RENEWALS AND THE NET EFFECT OF NEW AND LOST BUSINESS PRODUCTION MAY HAVE UNEXPECTED EFFECTS ON OUR RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

Our commission income (including profit-sharing contingent commissions and supplemental commissions) can vary quarterly or annually due to the timing of policy renewals and the net effect of new and lost business production. We do not control the factors that cause these variations. Specifically, customers’ demand for insurance products can influence the timing of renewals, new business and lost business (which includes policies that are not renewed), and cancellations. In addition, we rely on insurance companies for the payment of certain commissions. Because these payments are processed internally by these insurance companies, we may not receive a payment that is otherwise expected from a particular insurance company in a particular quarter or year until after the end of that period, which can adversely affect our ability to forecast these revenues and therefore budget for significant future expenditures. Quarterly and annual fluctuations in revenues based upon increases and decreases associated with the timing of new business, policy renewals and payments from insurance companies may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Profit-sharing contingent commissions are special revenue-sharing commissions paid by insurance companies based upon the profitability, volume and/or growth of the business placed with such companies generally during the prior year. Over the last three years these commissions generally have been in the range of 3.0% to 3.5% of our previous year’s total core commissions and fees. Due to, among other things, potentially poor macroeconomic conditions, the inherent uncertainty of loss in our industry and changes in underwriting criteria due in part to the high loss ratios experienced by insurance companies, we cannot predict the payment of these profit-sharing contingent commissions. Further, we have no control over the ability of insurance companies to estimate loss reserves, which affects our ability to make profit-sharing calculations. Supplemental commissions are paid by insurance companies based upon the volume of business that we place with them and are generally paid over the course of the year. Any decrease in their payment to us could adversely affect our results of operations, profitability and our financial condition.

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WE ARE EXPOSED TO INTANGIBLE ASSET RISK; SPECIFICALLY, OUR GOODWILL MAY BECOME IMPAIRED IN THE FUTURE.

As of the date of the filing of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the 2020 fiscal year, we have $4.4 billion of goodwill recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. We perform a goodwill impairment test on an annual basis and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of our goodwill may not be recoverable from estimated future cash flows. We completed our most recent evaluation of impairment for goodwill as of November 30, 2020 and determined that the fair value of goodwill exceeded the carrying value of such assets. A significant and sustained decline in our stock price and market capitalization, a significant decline in our expected future cash flows, a significant adverse change in the business climate or slower growth rates could result in the need to perform an additional impairment analysis prior to the next annual goodwill impairment test. If determined that a future write-down of our goodwill is necessary, the appropriate charge would be recorded which could result in material charges that are adverse to our operating results and financial position. See Note 1-“Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” and Note 4-“Goodwill” to the Consolidated Financial Statements and “Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.”

Additionally, the carrying value of amortizable intangible assets attributable to each business or asset group comprising the Company is periodically reviewed by management to determine if there are events or changes in circumstances that would indicate that its carrying amount may not be recoverable. Accordingly, if there are any such circumstances that occur during the year, we assess the carrying value of our amortizable intangible assets by considering the estimated future undiscounted cash flows generated by the corresponding business or asset group. Any impairment identified through this assessment may require that the carrying value of related amortizable intangible assets be adjusted; however, no impairments have been recorded for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.

ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

ITEM 2. Properties.

We own our executive offices, which are located at 300 North Beach Street, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114, and are situated on several contiguous parcels of land totaling over thirteen acres. We lease offices at each of our other 341 locations. Our operating leases expire on various dates and generally contain renewal options and rent escalation clauses based upon increases in the lessors’ operating expenses and other charges. We expect that most leases will be renewed or replaced upon expiration. We believe that our facilities are suitable and adequate for present purposes, and that the productive capacity in such facilities is substantially being utilized, taking into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the needs of a more remote workforce. From time to time, we may have unused space and seek to sublet such space to third parties, depending on the demand for office space in the locations involved which could be impacted by certain of our employees working remotely from our offices. In the future, we may need to purchase, build or lease additional facilities to meet the requirements projected in our long-term business plan. See Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on our lease commitments.

We are subject to numerous litigation claims that arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe any of these are, or are likely to become, material to our business.

ITEM 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “BRO”.

On February 22, 2021, there were 282,089,166 shares of our common stock outstanding, held by approximately 1,489 shareholders of record.

Sales of Unregistered Securities

In connection with certain acquisitions, the Company issued 274,348 shares of Company common stock on May 1, 2020; 68,568 shares of Company common stock on September 10, 2020; 44,978 shares of Company common stock on September 11, 2020; and 335,045 shares of Company common stock on October 9, 2020, to the owners of the businesses acquired. The issuances were made in reliance upon the following exemptions or exclusions from the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”): Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Under the authorizations from the Company’s Board of Directors, shares may be purchased from time to time, at the Company’s discretion and subject to the availability of stock, market conditions, the trading price of the stock, alternative uses for capital, the Company’s financial performance and other potential factors. These purchases may be carried out through open market purchases, block trades, accelerated share repurchase plans of up to $100.0 million each (unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors), negotiated private transactions or pursuant to any trading plan that may be adopted in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Exchange Act. On July 18, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $200.0 million of its shares of common stock, and on July 20, 2015, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $400.0 million of the Company’s outstanding common stock. On May 1, 2019, the Board of Directors approved an additional repurchase authorization amount of $372.5 million to bring the total available share repurchase authorization at that time to approximately $500.0 million.

During 2020, the Company repurchased 1,234,417 shares at an average price per share of $44.63 for a total cost of $55.1 million. At December 31, 2020, the remaining amount authorized by our Board of Directors for share repurchases was $406.2 million. Under the authorized repurchase programs, the Company has repurchased a total of approximately 16.7 million shares for an aggregate cost of approximately $591.3 million between 2014 and 2020.

The following table presents information with respect to our purchases of our common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020.

 

Period

 

Total

number of

shares

purchased(1)

 

 

Average

price paid

per share

 

 

Total number of

shares purchased

as part of

publicly

announced

plans or

programs

 

 

Approximate

dollar value of

shares that may

yet be purchased

under

the plans or

programs

 

October 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020

 

 

650

 

 

$

46.12

 

 

 

 

 

$

453,969,269

 

November 1, 2020 to November 30, 2020

 

 

23,055

 

 

 

45.80

 

 

 

20,542

 

 

 

453,030,046

 

December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020

 

 

1,040,010

 

 

 

45.09

 

 

 

1,038,944

 

 

 

406,186,901

 

Total

 

 

1,063,715

 

 

$

45.10

 

 

 

1,059,486

 

 

$

406,186,901

 

 

(1)

Of the shares reported in this column, 1,059,486 shares were purchased in open market transactions. All other shares reported in this column are attributable to shares withheld for taxes in connection with the vesting of restricted shares awarded under our Performance Stock Plan and 2010 Stock Incentive Plan.

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Performance Graph

The following graph is a comparison of five-year cumulative total shareholder returns for our common stock as compared with the cumulative total shareholder return for the NYSE Composite Index, and a group of peer insurance broker and agency companies (Aon plc, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company). The returns of each company have been weighted according to such companies’ respective stock market capitalizations as of December 31, 2015 for the purposes of arriving at a peer group average. The total return calculations are based upon an assumed $100 investment on December 31, 2015, with all dividends reinvested.

 

 

 

12/15

 

 

12/16

 

 

12/17

 

 

12/18

 

 

12/19

 

 

12/20

 

Brown & Brown, Inc.

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

141.79

 

 

 

164.69

 

 

 

178.34

 

 

 

257.99

 

 

 

312.32

 

NYSE Composite

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

112.08

 

 

 

133.26

 

 

 

121.54

 

 

 

152.85

 

 

 

163.66

 

Peer Group

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

118.67

 

 

 

146.56

 

 

 

158.69

 

 

 

219.34

 

 

 

247.57

 

 

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ITEM 6. Selected Financial Data.

The following selected Consolidated Financial Data for each of the five fiscal years in the period ended December 31, have been derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements. Such data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Item 7 of Part II of this Annual Report and with our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes thereto in Item 8 of Part II of this Annual Report.

 

<

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

(in thousands, except per share data, number of employees and percentages)

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

REVENUES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissions and fees

 

$

2,606,108

 

 

$

2,384,737

 

 

$

2,009,857

 

 

$

1,857,270

 

 

$

1,762,787

 

Investment income

 

 

2,811

 

 

 

5,780

 

 

 

2,746

 

 

 

1,626

 

 

 

1,456

 

Other income, net

 

 

4,456

 

 

 

1,654

 

 

 

1,643

 

 

 

22,451

 

 

 

2,386

 

Total revenues(1)

 

 

2,613,375

 

 

 

2,392,171

 

 

 

2,014,246

 

 

 

1,881,347

 

 

 

1,766,629

 

EXPENSES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employee compensation and benefits

 

 

1,436,377

 

 

 

1,308,165

 

 

 

1,068,914

 

 

 

994,652

 

 

 

925,217

 

Other operating expenses

 

 

365,973

 

 

 

377,089

 

 

 

332,118

 

 

 

283,470

 

 

 

262,872

 

(Gain)/loss on disposal

 

 

(2,388

)

 

 

(10,021

)

 

 

(2,175

)

 

 

(2,157

)

 

 

(1,291

)

Amortization

 

 

108,523

 

 

 

105,298

 

 

 

86,544

 

 

 

85,446

 

 

 

86,663

 

Depreciation

 

 

26,276

 

 

 

23,417

 

 

 

22,834

 

 

 

22,698

 

 

 

21,003

 

Interest

 

 

58,973

 

 

 

63,660

 

 

 

40,580

 

 

 

38,316

 

 

 

39,481

 

Change in estimated acquisition earn-out payables

 

 

(4,458

)

 

 

(1,366

)

 

 

2,969

 

 

 

9,200

 

 

 

9,185

 

Total expenses

 

 

1,989,276

 

 

 

1,866,242

 

 

 

1,551,784

 

 

 

1,431,625

 

 

 

1,343,130

 

Income before income taxes

 

 

624,099

 

 

 

525,929

 

 

 

462,462

 

 

 

449,722

 

 

 

423,499

 

Income taxes(2)

 

 

143,616

 

 

 

127,415

 

 

 

118,207

 

 

 

50,092

 

 

 

166,008

 

Net income

 

$

480,483

 

 

$

398,514

 

 

$

344,255

 

 

$

399,630

 

 

$

257,491

 

EARNINGS PER SHARE INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share - diluted(3)

 

$

1.69

 

 

$

1.40

 

 

$

1.22

 

 

$

1.40

 

 

$

0.91

 

Weighted average number of shares outstanding - diluted(3)

 

 

275,867

 

 

 

274,616

 

 

 

275,521

 

 

 

277,586

 

 

 

275,608

 

Dividends declared per share(3)

 

$

0.35

 

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.31

 

 

$

0.28

 

 

$

0.25

 

YEAR-END FINANCIAL POSITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets(4)

 

$

8,966,492

 

 

$

7,622,821

 

 

$

6,688,668

 

 

$

5,747,550

 

 

$

5,262,734

 

Long-term debt(5)

 

$

2,025,906

 

 

$

1,500,343