Insurance brokers’ stocks outpaced much of the rest of the industry this week as the sector’s largest companies reported first-quarter organic revenue growth well beyond expectations.

The S&P 500 was essentially flat for the week ending April 30, edging up just 0.02{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} to 4,181.17, while the SNL U.S. Insurance index advanced 0.72{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} to 1,398.30.

Brown & Brown Inc. started the week with quarterly results that boasted near double-digit organic revenue growth. Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. then disclosed a sharp year-over-year climb in quarterly net income and adjusted earnings that exceeded market forecasts.

For the week, Brown & Brown’s stock picked up 5.35{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}, and Marsh & McLennan’s added 6.29{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}.

Merger partners Willis Towers Watson PLC and Aon PLC improved their profiles to investors after an April 28 report that their planned blockbuster tie-up was on the verge of European regulatory approval. Both companies’ stocks moved higher on the day even as the broader markets ticked downward.

Willis Towers Watson subsequently released first-quarter results, which included 4{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} organic revenue growth compared to the prior-year first quarter.

CEO John Haley during an April 29 conference call said he hoped this would be his last earnings presentation, meaning the deal with Aon would close on schedule by June 30. He is slated to become executive chairman for the combined company; Aon’s top executives will lead management. Merger aside, Haley also touted Willis Towers Watson’s stand-alone 2021 outlook.

“We feel better about the rest of the year today than we did when we entered 2021,” the CEO said.

Aon posted 6{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} organic revenue growth compared to the year-ago period. Aon CEO Gregory Case said the prior-year comparison was not clouded by the pandemic because its effects were not included in first-quarter 2020 results.

“Observing 6{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} [growth] against that is a great start to the year,” Case said on a conference call to discuss earnings.

His company’s share price rose more than 6{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} when trading resumed as the broader markets trended downward. For the week, the company’s stock price climbed 8.90{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}. Willis Towers Watson’s share price picked up momentum at the same time, and closed the week up 11.45{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}.

EHealth Inc.’s non-GAAP net income reported this week exceeded analysts’ expectations by a relatively wide margin, while Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. reported organic revenue growth of 6{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}. Both companies were among the biggest gainers, as eHealth’s stock rose 5.14{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} and Arthur J. Gallagher’s stock price added 5.08{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}.

Shares of Tiptree Inc. saw one of the week’s largest percentage drops after the company announced the cancellation of its planned IPO for subsidiary The Fortegra Group Inc. Tiptree’s shares fell nearly 20{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} the day of the announcement and 32.82{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} for the week. Tiptree said it decided to nix the offering based on “prevailing market conditions,” along with the value of its subsidiary’s growth prospects.

Renaissance Capital LLC Chairwoman and co-founder Kathleen Smith noted that her company’s IPO exchange-traded fund shows that investor returns from initial offerings had declined during the first part of 2021.

“This makes IPO investors more cautious about new IPOs on the calendar,” Smith said in an email.

Investor sentiment for shares of Chubb Ltd. and The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. returned to earth after Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg made it clear that the pursuit of The Hartford was over. Chubb also disclosed lower year-on-year operating income and higher catastrophe losses for the first quarter.

Chubb managed a 1.38{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} gain for the week, and The Hartford slipped 3.47{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6}.

Among the life names that reported results, Aflac Inc. booked higher first-quarter earnings, but its shares remained virtually flat for the week with a 0.67{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} gain. Genworth Financial Inc. reported a jump in net income for the quarter; its shares jumped 13.09{98cae0078f524eff3ab8ec32cf55b261677ef6c8a6ed6e94d92a4234b93f46b6} on the week.

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