World Insurance Associates receives growth investment from Charlesbank

World Insurance Associates LLC, a Tinton Falls-based insurance brokerage, announced on Monday it has received a majority investment from funds affiliated with Charlesbank Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm based in Boston and New York.

Under the deal, WIA’s management team and employee shareholders will remain major shareholders alongside Charlesbank. WIA operates 40 offices in 11 states.

The growth investment from Charlesbank will help WIA accelerate its expansion program, it said.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to establish World as one of the country’s fastest-growing insurance brokerages, with a reputation for excellent client service,” WIA CEO Rich Eknoian said. “With the benefit of Charlesbank’s extensive financial and operational resources, we are well-positioned to build on World’s foundation and to continue to grow organically and through targeted M&A. This investment will enable World to create new opportunities for our employees, further enhance services for our customers, and expand relationships with our carrier partners.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We are tremendously impressed by all that Rich and the World team have accomplished, firmly establishing World as an acquirer of choice among insurance brokerages,” Michael Choe, CEO and managing director of Charlesbank, said. “We are excited to be the Company’s first private equity sponsor, and look forward to supporting Rich and the team in World’s next phase of growth.”

Piper Sandler & Co. and Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. served as financial advisors to WIA, and Evercore served as financial advisor to Charlesbank. Paul Hastings LLP provided legal counsel to WIA, and Goodwin Procter LLP provided legal counsel to Charlesbank. Macquarie Capital Principal Finance and Madison Capital Funding will provide debt financing for the deal.