Magazine article American Banker

BB&T Purchasing Virginia Agency for Benefits Boost

Magazine article American Banker

BB&T Purchasing Virginia Agency for Benefits Boost

Article excerpt

BB&T Corp., which had been looking for benefits firms to buy to round out its insurance offerings, found one.

Its BB&T Insurance Services Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., said Tuesday that would buy Clark Consulting Group, an employee benefits specialist in Roanoke, Va.

The price was not disclosed. Clark is to be merged into BB&T-Chaney Thomas, a property and casualty agency in Roanoke. The deal is scheduled to close by the end of the quarter.

"Clark Consulting is a pure employee benefits agency," said Wade Reece, president of BB&T Insurance. "Our Roanoke agency did some employee benefits sales, but Clark will more than double the amount of employee benefits business we have in that city."

BB&T already has a benefits presence at some of its agencies. In August it bought Poindexter & Associates Inc., an employee benefits specialist in Martinsville, Va., and rolled it into BB&T's agency in that area.

Each of BB&T's agencies functions autonomously. Mr. Reece said the fact that property and casualty insurance still makes up 70% of its business is not a problem for him. However, he said he wants to be able to offer more products from all lines of insurance, including employee benefits.

BB&T is continuing to buy agencies at a fast clip. "We've averaged about five agency acquisitions a year for the last 10 years," Mr. Reece said.

It has 62 agencies in seven states and is the 13th-largest insurance broker (and the second-largest bank-owned broker) in the United States, according to Business Insurance magazine's yearly listing of the 100 largest U. …

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