One80 Intermediaries has expanded its capabilities to include accident and health (A&H), travel insurance, reinsurance, and premium and claims administration with a deal to buy Equinox Management Group and its affiliates Meridian Management Group and Co-Ordinated Benefit Plans.

Sue Whalen, Kevin Ley and Matthew Power

The acquisition is thought to be the biggest to date by the expansive Boston-based wholesale broker, program manager and insurance aggregator.

Matt Power (pictured above right), who leads Risk Strategies-owned One80 Intermediaries as president, described Equinox as “an innovation focused business, and a market leader in the travel/A&H sector”.

“Today’s announcement makes an integral step in building an even stronger and diverse foundation for our rapidly expanding business,” he told The Insurer.

Equinox was launched initially as a reinsurance MGU by Suzanne Whalen and Kevin Leys (both pictured above) in 1994.

It expanded its offerings to provide MGU services for travel and A&H and other specialty P&C lines of coverage to producers under the Meridian Management Group brand.

In 2006 it acquired Co-Ordinated Benefit Plans to provide tech-based admin services focusing on travel and A&H products.

The firm is based in Oradell, New Jersey with offices in Clearwater, Florida and San Diego, California.

In a statement, former AIG executive Power said: “At One80 Intermediaries we offer highly specialized solutions in targeted areas of the insurance industry. Equinox Management Group provides deep market expertise and broad coverage within the travel/ accident & health sector. 

“Sue and Kevin have created an innovative culture within Equinox that is constantly evolving through the introduction of new products and services. I am delighted to welcome them as an integral part of One80 Intermediaries.”

Equinox managing director Whalen said her firm works with carriers, distributors and assistance companies to “address challenges, bring ideas to fruition, and products to market”.

“Our unique suite of services, broad knowledge and creativity enable us to provide optimal commercial solutions to our clients,” she added.

Leys, who is president of Meridian Management Group added: “Together we look forward to bringing additional products and services to meet the opportunities and challenges in our markets.”

One80 continues platform build

The Equinox acquisition comes less than three weeks after One80 unveiled its first international acquisition with a deal to buy Canadian MGA Strategic Underwriting Managers.

At the time Power highlighted a “robust” M&A pipeline with opportunities both internationally and closer to home.

Earlier in August the firm added to its growing domestic US footprint with the acquisition of medical stop loss MGU National Underwriting Services.

Supported by its private equity-backed parent, One80 has already opened 19 offices around the US. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, but has operations in cities such as New York, Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Scottsdale, San Diego and Seattle.

John Mina-led Risk Strategies is a portfolio company of private equity firm Kelso & Company, which acquired a majority stake in 2015 from Kohlberg & Company. 

It offers programs targeting a variety of specialist sectors including marine, transportation, property and construction, healthcare, casualty, consumer and recreation, as well as financial lines.