Magazine article American Banker

Trustmark Breaks Drought with a Miss. Agency Buy

Magazine article American Banker

Trustmark Breaks Drought with a Miss. Agency Buy

Article excerpt

Trustmark Corp., a Jackson, Miss., banking company, has made its first insurance agency acquisition since January 1999.

The purchase of Chandler-Sampson Insurance Inc. in Ridgeland, Miss., was announced Monday. The price was not disclosed.

Trustmark, the $6.8 billion-asset parent of Trustmark National Bank, entered the insurance business in 1999 with its purchase of the Bottrell Insurance Agency, said Jerry Veazey, the president of Jackson-based Bottrell. Chandler-Sampson is being combined with Bottrell.

Mr. Veazey said Bottrell is a commercial lines agency that focuses on clients in the construction business. "We have customers in all kinds of commercial manufacturing," he said. "But the construction area has always been our bedrock."

However, he said, "we're very mature in the construction industry, so this (acquisition) allows us to diversify."

Chandler-Sampson's areas of expertise include schools, medical malpractice, and middle-market business insurance.

Since Chandler-Sampson does not currently offer group health or other employee benefits products to its clients, Mr. Veazey added, a growth opportunity has been created for the combined operation. Bottrell has set a goal of expanding its life and health sales, he said.

Mr. Veazey declined to give details about the size of either insurance operation but did say that they have about 90 employees combined.

Trustmark's 2001 annual report said the banking company does not break out its insurance commission revenues but includes them with income from account charges and other fees. …

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