Regions' Insurance Chief Plans to Be a Dealmaker
Gottlieb, Jenna, American Banker
Its new president and chief executive officer says Regions Insurance Group in Memphis would like to branch out within the 15-state footprint of its parent, Regions Financial Corp., and into all 50 states within three years.
David L. Bowlin, whose hiring to lead the newly created Regions insurance unit was announced last week, said a main goal will be a disciplined acquisition strategy. "We would like to do acquisitions in Regions' footprint," he said.
Regions Insurance has agencies in Arkansas and Louisiana, Mr. Bowlin noted, and Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial has offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas for a footprint covering the South and parts of the Midwest and Southwest.
It already has bought Rebsamen Insurance in Arkansas and the ICT Group in Louisiana -- each the largest independent agency in its state. "Down the road, we would want to do some agency deals," Mr. Bowlin said, though he could not specify a timetable.
"Given the insurance marketplace right now, a lot of companies want to sell, and we have a compelling story to tell," he said.
"In the next three years, I would like to have an agency in every state," he said, but Regions has a disciplined approach to deals. "They must share our values, and management must be able to stay on and work with us," he said, and a pricing model must be met. He declined to discuss pricing.
"We also want to buy agencies that are results-oriented, and we want people to be focused on growth opportunities," he said.
Another major goal "is to consolidate all of the diverse insurance operations of Regions Financial," he said, explaining that "Regions had four or five companies that have been autonomous subsidiaries. …