Interview: Steve Gedestad on Keenan Merger

With the big news that Keenan & Associates was merging into Assured Partners, CBJ fired off a few questions to Steve Gedestad, Executive Vice President of Keenan, to get his take on the merger.

Here are Steve’s answers:

Why did Keenan agree to merge with AssuredPartners?
Keenan wanted to join with AssuredPartners because they presented us with an offer that created immense growth opportunities, preserved the Keenan culture, and protected jobs.

Why did AssuredPartners want to merge Keenan into their bigger company?
There has been considerable consolidation in the insurance distribution market. This trend shows no sign of slowing. While our organic growth is very strong, we wanted to join with another company that could provide us with access to additional capital to continue to invest in new solutions for our clients. This also gives us access to AP’s national distribution network for Keenan’s products. AP doesn’t really have a presence in CA, so we will serve as their California hub.

What leadership will remain at Keenan?
Sean Smith [current President & CEO] and the current leadership team will continue to direct operations at Keenan. There is basically no change to the reporting structure, other than Sean will report to the leadership at AP.

How will this impact clients?
Clients will not notice any change. They will continue to work with Keenan as they have in the past and their account teams will remain the same. One of the reasons that AP was interested in Keenan was because of our history of strong customer service and relationships with clients. This will not change.

What staffing changes might this create in California?
There won’t be any staffing changes due joining AP.

How will this improve Keenan and its ability to deliver for clients?
AssuredPartners is currently the 13th largest broker in the nation and will provide Keenan with additional capital to invest in solutions for our clients. Being part of a larger organization will also ensure that we can continue to negotiate the best terms with carriers for our clients. As the market landscape changes, we feel this move will ensure that Keenan will remain strong into the future and be able to continue to meet the needs of our clients.

Does AssuredPartners provider products and services to local government in other states?
Keenan is the only member of the AP family that specializes in the public agency sector. Some of their agencies might have some local government clients, but we are the specialists for AP.