Insureon, the online insurance delivery platform for small-business owners, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Insurance Noodle. Insurance Noodle, an online wholesale insurance broker, is a subsidiary of Willis Group Holdings (WSH).

The transaction is expected to close later this month.

The acquisition will mean greater operational efficiency for both parties and will let Insurance Noodle’s brokers/agents leverage Insureon’s underwriting expertise in numerous key industries via a proprietary technology platform and products covering more than 550 industry segments, thus improving their ability to meet the needs of their clients in the small and micro business sector.

With the acquisition, Insureon will exceed $100 million in total premium and give agents and brokers increased access to a larger portfolio of "A" rated insurance carriers.

"We couldn’t be more excited," said Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon. "The acquisition will position Insureon to even better serve small-business owners around the country. The combination of Insureon’s top-tier online strategy with Noodle’s geographically diverse network of brokers/agents is a key component of our long-term strategy for growth. The acquisition reinforces the change that technology is enabling in the small commercial buying process."

Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (together, "FT Partners") served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Insureon in this transaction.

Edgar Bronfman, Jr., General Partner of Accretive LLC, a private, New York-based investment firm and Insureon’s majority owner, added that the partnership will mean a new level of support for and commitment to Insurance Noodle’s network of independent and captive agents and brokers. "Between Insureon’s commitment to approaching every customer interaction from a place of deep, technology-driven expertise and Noodle’s extensive network of world-class independent and captive agents, the nation’s small insurance agents and brokers will have more capabilities to serve clients and grow their businesses," he said.

The acquisition reinforces the growing importance of the nation’s more than 40 million small and micro businesses to both the U.S. economy as a whole and the future of commercial insurance. Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group, noted that the transition is the natural next step for Insurance Noodle. "Insureon’s focused investment in IT enables the constant, incremental improvement that’s essential for both companies to remain responsive to the needs of small-business owners and competitive in the small commercial marketplace," he said.

Insureon also brings to the table unique expertise in small commercial insurance that aligns with Noodle’s commitment to its captive and independent agents. This expertise will provide Noodle’s brokers/agents increased access to carriers, products, and vertical-specific expertise, which will improve their ability to deliver the customer service for which they are renowned.

Ralph Blust, President and CEO of Insurance Noodle, will remain President and oversee wholesale operations for the companies. Upon transaction closing, the Insurance Noodle team will join Insureon in its Chicago offices in January 2014.