Chattanooga-based insurance broker Reliance partners with Carousel Capital
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Chattanooga-based insurance broker Reliance partners with Carousel Capital

The nation’s fastest-growing insurance broker focused on the trucking industry expects to stay in the fast lane with a new capital investment from an outside private investment firm.

Reliance Partners LLC, which was started in Chattanooga in 2009 and has grown with funding from Chattanooga’s Lamp Post Group, is getting an extra capital boost from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Carousel Capital fund. With the new investment announced this week, Reliance leaders hope to double the size of the commercial insurance business in the next three years and reach its goal of having more than $1 billion of annual written premiums by 2o25.

“Our company is at an inflection point, and after getting to know Carousel over the past two years, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with them for both financial support as well as strategic guidance,” said Chad Eichelberger, president of Reliance Partners. “Their experience fits perfectly with our strategy, where we are today as a company, and where we want to take Reliance over the next decade.”

(READ MORE: Best Places to Work 2021: Reliance Partners moved quickly to respond to coronavirus)

In a telephone interview, Eichelberger declined to specify the amount of the Carousel Capital investment. But Eichelberger said the additional equity “will help accelerate the growth of our business.

“We’re going to be much more aggressive in deploying technology, strategic acquisitions and our western expansion, in particular,” Eichelberger said.

The Carousal Capital investment is the first outside capital investment in the company, which has grown steadily over the past 13 years.

Reliance Partners was named this spring as one of the top 100 commercial insurance agencies in the United States by the Hales Report after achieving year-over-year growth last year of 81.4%.

The Chattanooga-based agency operates additional offices in Austin, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago; Milwaukee; Nashville; Sacramento, California; and Tampa, Florida. Reliance Partners was recently ranked among America’s fastest growing companies on the Inc. magazines 5000 lists.

The company has about 260 employees and now provides access to a full suite of insurance solutions to more than 8,000 truck fleets and freight brokerage customers across the United States.

Carousel Capital, which has invested in 49 companies since its start in 1996, invests in high-growth companies across the Southeast such as Reliance Partners, according to a company news release.

(READ MORE: How we got here: Chattanooga’s road to logistics dominance)

“We were drawn to this partnership due to the strength of the team, their unparalleled track record of organic growth, differentiated sales strategy and customer-centric focus,” Al Welch, a partner in Carousel Capital, said in an announcement of the investment. “Reliance is the leading domain expert in transportation risk management in the US and is uniquely positioned within a very large and fragmented market.”

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or at 423-757-6340. Follow him on Twitter @dflessner1.

photo Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Chad Eichelberger, president of Reliance Partners, speaks after winning the Small Business Award for the 45-200 employees category during the Small Business Awards Luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The event was put on by the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

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