J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for our first quarter 2022 earnings call. On the call with me today is Doug Howell, our Chief Financial Officer, as well as the heads of our operating divisions. We had a fantastic start to the year. For the first quarter, our combined Brokerage and Risk Management segments posted 30% growth in revenue, more than 10% organic growth, net earnings growth of 28%, adjusted EBITDAC growth of 34% and adjusted earnings per share growth of 26%. And we were named a world's most ethical company for the 11th year in a row, an outstanding achievement on its own and a testament to our nearly 40,000 professionals around the globe As you can tell, I'm extremely proud of how the team performed during the quarter
So let me give you some more detail on our first quarter Brokerage segment performance. During the quarter, reported revenue growth was 32%. Of that, 9.6% was organic, which is just excellent. Rollover revenues of $380 million were pretty consistent with our March IR Day expectations and mostly driven by the December Reinsurance Brokerage acquisition. Doug will have some further comments on rollover revenues in his prepared remarks. That earnings growth was 27%. Adjusted EBITDAC growth was 35% and we expanded our adjusted EBITDAC margin by about 50 basis points, an outstanding all-around quarter for the brokerage team. Let me walk you around the world and break down the 9.6% organic, starting with our PC operations.
First, our domestic retail business posted 11% organic driven by terrific new business, strong retention and continued renewal premium increases. Risk placement services, our domestic wholesale operations, posted organic of 10%. This includes more than 20% organic in open brokerage and 6% organic in our MGA programs and binding businesses. New business was better than first quarter '21 levels and retention was consistent with prior year. Outside the U.S., our U.K. business posted organic of 14%. Within retail, fantastic new business and continued renewal premium increases helped drive 10% organic.
In our London specialty business, including our legacy Gallagher Re operations, saw 17% organic. Australia and New Zealand combined organic was nearly 10% driven by strong new business stable retention and higher renewal premium increases. And finally, Canada was up more than 12% organically and continues to benefit from renewal premium increases and great new business production. Moving to our employee benefit brokerage and consulting business. First quarter organic was up over 7%, more than one point better than our [Indecipherable] organic was in line with our expectations of 5%, and the upside in the quarter was driven by our international operations and our HR consulting, pharmacy benefits and various other life insurance product sales. So 7% organic in benefits, 11% organic within our PC operations, an excellent quarter.
Next, I'd like to make a few comments on the PC market. Overall, global first quarter renewal premium increases were 8%, consistent with the fourth quarter of '21 after controlling for line of coverage mix differences. Recall the renewal premium change includes both rate and exposure. So let me break that down around the world. About 10% in U.S. retail, including double-digit increases in property, professional liability and casualty somewhat offset by workers' comp and commercial auto.
In Canada, New Zealand renewal premiums were up about 8.5%, with professional liability seeing the strongest increases. In Australia and U.K. retail, renewal premiums were up mid-single digits driven by increases in casualty and package. Within RPS, wholesale open brokerage premium increases were up 11% and binding operations were up 6%. And in our London specialty business, we saw first quarter rate increases around 7.5%. Moving to reinsurance. As we noted in January, our 1/1 renewals showed price increases that varied by geography and client-specific attributes in loss history, even loss-free programs faced modest rate increases.
Our April Gallagher Re first review report is more focused on Japanese renewals which tend to dominate the April one renewal season. We saw pricing increases in property-related classes, while casualty pricing was flattish despite inflation being a key topic of discussion. You can access our April reinsurance market report on our website for more information. So whether retail, wholesale or reinsurance premium -- looking forward, we expect our mix shift away from workers' compensation renewals in Q1 to U.S. property cat renewals in Q2 will lead to premium increases in the second quarter, very similar to full year 2021.
And we see these difficult PC market conditions continuing throughout the remainder of this year. Carriers will likely continue their cautious underwriting stance due to rising loss costs and increases in reinsurance pricing. And this comes at a time when the conflict in Ukraine is elevating geopolitical uncertainty, courts are reopening and global monetary policy is tightening. So from our seat, it looks like carriers will continue to push for rate and don't see a dramatic change in the near term.
Moving to our employee benefit brokerage and consulting business. I see domestic labor market conditions in '22 working in our favor. There are more than 11 million job openings in the U.S. That's five million more jobs available than people unemployed in looking for work. And that imbalance lays the groundwork for robust demand for our HR and benefits consulting services as employers look to attract, retain and motivate their workforce. So we finished first quarter with organic of 9.6%. Given our first quarter results and the current insurance market conditions, as we sit here today, we think 22% organic should end up even better than '21.
Moving on to mergers and acquisitions, starting with some comments on our recent reinsurance acquisition. Integration is progressing at a fast pace and is ahead of schedule. Alongside the speed that we are executing comes the pull-forward of some of the future integration costs which Doug will cover in his remarks. Also, we had a strong first quarter with the legacy Gallagher Re team growing 30% and our new reinsurance operations delivering towards $340 million of revenue and over $170 million in EBITDAC. And our reinsurance colleagues are melding together extremely well. So it continues to be a really good story. During the first quarter, we completed five new tuck-in brokerage mergers, representing about $32 million of estimated annualized revenues. I'd like to thank all of our new partners for joining us and extend a very warm welcome to our growing Gallagher family of professionals. As I look at our tuck-in merger and acquisition pipeline, we have around 40 term sheets signed or being prepared, representing nearly $250 million of annualized revenue. We know not all of these will close. However, we believe we will get our fair share.
Next, I'd like to move to our Risk Management segment, Gallagher Bassett. First quarter organic growth was 15.2%, better than our IR Day expectation due to a strong March, some new business wins and higher-than-expected COVID claims. Adjusted EBITDAC margin was 17.3% and would have been 18.5% but we had a litigation settlement late in the quarter. Moving forward, we think the remaining '22 quarterly margins will be closer to our 19% expectation. We again saw increases in new arising claims across general liability, property and, to a lesser extent, core workers' compensation during the quarter.
New arising COVID claims were well above what we saw during the fourth quarter. However, core claim counts, which tend to have a greater impact on results, still have room to rebound fully to pre-COVID levels. Looking forward, we see ample opportunity for organic revenue growth from existing clients, growing claim counts and new business and expect organic to be around 10% per quarter for the remainder of the year. And let me finish with some thoughts on our bedrock culture. I believe our outstanding financial results are made possible because we're able to act as one company, united by one set of values, the Gallagher Way. As I mentioned earlier, we were once again named a world's most ethical company by Ethisphere, a truly global effort that reflects our colleagues' care and integrity to each other and our clients. Every day, I hear stories of our colleagues working together as one team to give our clients exactly what they need all around the world. That collaboration is possible because we genuinely want to deliver the best possible service at all times. When one team wins, we all win. And then there's the way our people give back to their communities.
In March, we announced a special matching donation to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Ukraine. Thanks to the generosity of my Gallagher colleagues, we're able to donate over $1 million for necessities like food, water, supplies and first aid. I'm proud to stand together with my Gallagher colleagues impacting communities around the world, and that is the Gallagher way.
Okay, I'll stop now and turn it over to Doug. Doug?