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BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc., the insurance brokerage unit of Winston Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T Corp., will acquire rival bank-owned brokerage Regions Insurance Group from Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions Financial Corp., BB&T said Friday.
Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, were not disclosed.
Regions is the 33rd-largest broker of U.S. business, according to Business Insurance’s latest ranking, with about $142 million in brokerage revenue. It has about 740 employees in 32 retail offices, mainly in the Southeast, and its business was 46.9% commercial retail, 6.6% wholesale, 11.5% personal lines and 30% employee benefits, according to the 2017 Business Insurance Agents & Brokers Directory.
The broker serves more than 60,000 clients across the Southeast, Texas and Indiana, according to statements from both companies.
“Regions Insurance significantly adds to our retail insurance network providing us the opportunity to further build out our footprint in core BB&T markets across the Southeast,” BB&T’s Corp.’s chairman and CEO, Kelly S. King, said in the BB&T statement. “With this acquisition, BB&T increases the contribution from our insurance brokerage business to almost $2 billion in annual revenue and further affirms our commitment to growing the business.”
The deal will help re-balance BB&T’s brokerage operations more toward retail, something BB&T Insurance Chairman and CEO John Howard had indicated was a priority when he spoke to Business Insurance in 2017.
Following this acquisition, BB&T Insurance’s retail network will contribute almost half of the insurance brokerage’s revenue, the statement said.
BB&T Insurance is the fifth-largest insurance brokerage in the world with $1.8 billion in brokerage revenue, according to Business Insurance’s latest ranking.
“This acquisition reinforces our current position as the fifth-largest insurance broker in the U.S. and globally,” Mr. Howard said in the statement.
Regions management and staff will join BB&T with the acquisition, according to BB&T.
“We welcome Rick Ulmer, president and chief executive officer of Regions Insurance, and other Regions Insurance associates who will be joining BB&T Insurance in senior leadership and other positions,” Mr. Howard said in the statement.
“This transaction supports our efforts to streamline our company and focus on businesses where we can add the most value for our clients, associates and shareholders,” Grayson Hall, chairman and CEO of Regions Financial, said in the company’s own statement on the deal.
“Regions’ experienced insurance professionals will have access to additional capabilities to meet the risk management needs of our clients,” Mr. Ulmer said in the company’s statement. “We are committed to continuing to provide seamless and high-touch service as we join forces with BB&T Insurance Holdings over the coming months.”
Regions Financial Corp. has $124 billion in assets and is a member of the S&P 500 Index, according to the company’s own statement on the deal.
Banks may be showing renewed interest in the insurance brokerage business, if BB&T Corp.'s $500 million acquisition of the North American brokerage business of Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd. is any indication.