Magazine article American Banker

Frost of Tex. Entering Fort Worth Insurance Market with AIS Deal

Magazine article American Banker

Frost of Tex. Entering Fort Worth Insurance Market with AIS Deal

Article excerpt

Frost National Bank of San Antonio is expanding its insurance business into Fort Worth with its fourth agency acquisition in two years.

Frost Insurance Agency, which is owned by the $7.8 billion-asset bank, said Thursday that it had agreed to buy AIS Insurance and Risk Management, which sells property-casualty lines, employee benefits, business succession plans, and risk management services to small and midsize businesses.

The deal for AIS "rounds out our insurance operations in the state," said Dick Evans, chairman and chief executive officer of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., Frost National's parent company.

Frost National has 80 branches in Texas and an investment management operation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area called Frost Brokerage Services, which has $13 million of assets under management.

The product of three acquisitions, Frost Insurance Agency offers property-casualty and life insurance, employee benefits, and estate planning services to commercial and individual customers. It had revenues of $15 million in 2000, Mr. Evans said.

"Our marketing is more targeted toward commercial insurance right now -- matching up with opportunities that come from the banking institution," Mr. Evans said.

But the bank cross-sells among all its businesses. "We believe a financial services organization needs to be sure it ties all its services together," he said.

AIS is a good fit for Frost Insurance, Mr. Evans said, not only because it is in one of the bank's strong markets but also because of its similar focus on selling a broad range of commercial insurance lines to small and midsize businesses. …

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