AmWINS Group (AmWINS) has signed an agreement to acquire Gresham & Associates and is likely to close the transaction by the end of 2012.

Under terms of the agreement, more than $7.5bn will be invested by the combined firm in annual premiums and will create jobs to nearly 2,800 employees in 90 offices across 18 countries, following the completion of acquisition.

Gresham & Associates chairman Jim Gresham said that the acquisition will provide an opportunity to grow its platform and serve clients and markets better than ever before.

AmWINS CEO Steven DeCarlo said, "This partnership gives us enhanced distribution and allows us to deepen the relationships that both firms have built with their clients and carrier partners.

"Additionally, the strength of their binding authority capabilities is second to none and a natural fit for us, as we look forward to growing that segment of our business," DeCarlo added.

The company president Tony Gresham will also assume the additional role as CEO of Gresham & Associates and will be responsible for all sales and business operations, while Jim Gresham will continue as chairman of Gresham & Associates.

AmWINS Group is a specialty distributor of insurance products and services and provides diversified mix of property, casualty and group benefits products.