Ingrid Merriwether (Courtesy photo)

Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services (MWIS) merged with Hub International Limited (Hub on May 1, which enhances the commercial insurance and aligned risk management capabilities of the two entities.

MWIS, with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, provides contractor development and bonding programs, aligned risk management and special project consulting, and insurance brokerage services.  Hub, based in Chicago, is a leading global insurance brokerage and financial services firm.

The acquisition of MWIS by Hub allows MWIS to offer clients the resources of a globally recognized firm while maintaining local management, long-term client, community and industry relationships, and the individualized service and support model for which the company is known.

Ingrid Merriwether, founder and CEO of MWIS, will continue as president of Aligned Risk Management within the Hub Central & Northern California unit, and MWIS staff will remain in place to ensure continuity of service.

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The term “aligned risk management” describes MWIS’ innovative strategies to overcome participatory barriers for people of color and other underrepresented groups, while effectively reducing client risk through a multifaceted approach, including commercial, property and casualty insurance coverage, special project, safety and loss control consulting, and small contractor technical assistance, including access to critical financial resources.

“We owe our long-term success to our many clients and program sponsors, who have enabled our own growth and by extension, supported our programs to increase contracting equity for diverse businesses in the public entity marketplace,” said Merriwether.

Darren Caesar (Courtesy photo)

“Since our inception, we have distinguished ourselves by offering services tailored to our clients’ specific insurance and risk management needs, and have developed unique and innovative partnerships with forward-thinking public agencies, contractors, non-profits and other stakeholders to promote greater inclusion of small, minority, and women-owned businesses in the economic life of their communities.

“This new partnership will enhance MWIS’ ability to advocate for and positively impact diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the insurance industry on a broader platform. We are thrilled that Hub appreciates the value of our proven work and sees the opportunity to help scale it in the national marketplace.”

Founded in 1997 by Ingrid Merriwether and Rick Williams, MWIS has branches in Northern and Southern California and programs in North Carolina. The MWIS client portfolio ranges from public agencies and public-private partnerships, to start-ups, small business owners and non-profit organizations. In the Los Angeles region, MWIS administers the LA Regional CDABP on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, L.A. Metro, and the County of Los Angeles.  In Northern California, MWIS administers similar programs for the City and County of San Francisco, Alameda County, and the City of Oakland.

Within the public works construction arena alone, MWIS has documented that implementing DEI strategies increases the pool of qualified contractors, leading to a more competitive bidding process, and resulting in over $22 million to date in contract cost savings to taxpayers.  Also, these strategies enable more small, local and diverse businesses to develop and grow, creating new livable wage employment opportunities within historically under resourced communities.

As a top 5 global broker, Hub is committed to advancing DEI in its business practices, including serving local communities and contributing its resources and expertise to better support diverse contractors interested in public works construction.

“Hub International has long recognized that our company’s success is intertwined with the success and well-being of the diverse communities which we serve, and which our over 17,000 employees call home,” said Darren Caesar, president, Central & Northern California, Hub International Limited.

“We see our role as facilitating the expansion and effectiveness of MWIS’ work while simultaneously broadening the mutual palette of resources and products through an aligned risk management lens to support our clients more holistically.  Cooperatively, we can all play a part in building a brighter, more resilient future.”