Ryan Specialty Group, a start-up insurance brokerage founded by the former chief executive of Aon Corp., has recruited about 100 employees from an insurance unit of BB&T Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

The Chicago venture, launched in February by Pat Ryan, is expected to hire employees of CRC Insurance Services in multiple locales including Chicago and Philadelphia, the people said.

In a note to clients and business partners this week, Tom Curtin, the CEO and founder of CRC Insurance Services, wrote that "a number of CRC employees in Illinois, California and Pennsylvania resigned" on May 4.

In a statement Thursday, Curtin confirmed that "approximately 100 employees," including brokers and staff, left the company, though he did not say where they were going.

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