Business Moves

October 27, 2007

USI, Armitage

USI Holdings Corp. has completed the acquisition of Jericho, N.Y.-based Armitage & Co., which sells property/casualty and surety products in the New York metropolitan area. Armitage will be combined with USI’s existing Woodbury, N.Y. location and is expected to contribute approximately $2.5 million of revenues to USI on an annual basis.

Brown & Brown, Professional Risk Managers

Brown & Brown Inc. announced the asset acquisition of Professional Risk Managers Inc. and PRM Group LLC (collectively the PRM Group)

The PRM Group, with annualized revenues of approximately $4.5 million, sells property/casualty, surety, and group benefits in the New York City metropolitan area. The PRM Group will continue operating out of its current Purchase, N.Y., location.

Thomas E. Riley, regional president of Brown & Brown Inc., John P. Raucci, William M. Scott, Peter H. Goodstein, the principals of Professional Risk Managers Inc., and PRM Group LLC, announced the acquisition.


MEMIC Indemnity Co., a member of The MEMIC Group, has recently earned authorization to write workers’ compensation insurance in Rhode Island, North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. The MEMIC Group can now offer workers’ compensation coverage to employers in 42 states.

MEMIC President and CEO John T. Leonard said the company “set out to offer coverage across the country and we’re nearly there.” It can now offer coverage from Maine to Virginia.

The company said it has already begun to ally with agents in Rhode Island while it is still making plans for its efforts in Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado. MEMIC’s current growth plans are concentrated in Connecticut and New York.

The company said it is working to get authorization in California and it will also make application to West Virginia in 2008 when that market opens for competition.

TD Banknorth, Commerce Bank Insurance

Canada’s TD Bank Financial Group reported that it will acquire the Mid-Atlantic regional bank Commerce Bancorp Inc. in a 25 percent cash and 75 percent stock deal valued at $8.5 billion.

If approved, the purchase would double TD Bank’s presence in the U.S. by adding nearly 460 Commerce branches on the East Coast. TD Bank Financial Group said it would become the seventh largest bank in North America as measured by branch locations and the first bank with “critical mass” in both Canada and the U.S.

In addition, Commerce has agreed to negotiate the sale of its $1 billion Commerce Banc Insurance Services Inc. (CBIS) to George E. Norcross, III, who founded the insurance division and is currently chairman and chief executive officer of CBIS and a director of the Commerce board. Any sale would be subject to the approval of TD Bank Financial Group.

The bank acquisition is expected to close in March or April 2008 subject to approvals from Commerce shareholders and U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities.

TD Bank has about $400 billion in assets and Commerce, about $48 billion. TD Bank owns TD Waterhouse Canada and TD Waterhouse U.K., along with a stake in TD Ameritrade. TD Banknorth’s banking subsidiary, TD Banknorth, N.A., operates banking divisions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. TD Banknorth also operates an insurance division, TD Banknorth Insurance Agency, Inc., which is New England’s largest insurance network with 15 offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and upstate New York.

The operations of Commerce Bank include nearly 460 locations and close to 700 automated teller machines throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Southeast Florida. Commerce Banc Insurance Services (CBIS) ranks among the 25 largest insurance agencies in the nation, with $1 billion in premium and 13 locations.

Shore Bancshares, TSGIA, Jack Martin

Shore Bancshares Inc., parent company of three independent community banks and two retail insurance agencies serving the Delmarva peninsula, has closed two new acquisitions including a retail agency specializing in marine insurance and a wholesale insurance agency offering a variety of specialty products for independent insurance agencies throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

One of the acquisitions is TSGIA Inc. & Subsidiaries, of Salisbury, Md., which has been a regional wholesale insurance operation for 30 years and generates $6.5 million in annual gross revenue.

The other is Jack Martin & Associates Inc., of Annapolis, a family-owned agency that was founded in the 1920s and specialized in marine insurance in the mid-Atlantic region. It produces $2 million in annual revenue.

According to Terry M. Mead, chief executive officer of the existing Shore Bancshares retail insurance agency subsidiaries — The Avon Dixon Agency LLC and Elliott Wilson Insurance LLC — both acquisitions are expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.

Mead said the Annapolis-based acquisition will more than double the size of the marine-related book of business for Shore Bancshares, while the new wholesale operation will create “significant growth opportunities” in a much wider geographic area.

The principals and staff of both acquired firms will be retained. Edward A. Dickerson, CEO of TSGIA, will also serve as chief executive officer of a newly-formed wholesale insurance subsidiary of Shore Bancshares, which will be managed separately from the company’s group of retail insurance subsidiaries under Mead.

Shore Bancshares Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Easton, Md. It is the parent company of three banks, The Talbot Bank of Easton, Maryland, The Centreville National Bank of Maryland, and The Felton Bank; two insurance producer firms, The Avon-Dixon Agency LLC and Elliott Wilson Insurance LLC; an insurance premium finance company, Mubell Finance LLC; a mortgage company, Wye Mortgage Group and a wealth management and investment advisory company, Wye Trust Services.

Brown & Brown, J.P. Morgan Insurance

Florida-based Brown & Brown Inc. has purchased the property and casualty insurance brokerage business of J.P. Morgan Insurance Agency Inc., located in Newark, Del.

The acquired business, with annualized revenues of approximately $4 million, consists primarily of personal lines property and casualty business. The agency specializes in high value coverage for residential and specialized, unique property such as works of art, collectibles and jewelry.

The management and staff of the acquired business will continue to operate in Newark, Del., as a new Brown & Brown profit center under the name Brown & Brown Private Client Group.

Starr International, Republic Insurance

Starr International Co. Inc. announced its U.S. subsidiary, Starr International USA Inc., acquired Republic Insurance Co. from Columbia Insurance Co., a member of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Group.

Republic Insurance Co., a property/casualty insurer, is located in Dallas. Republic Insurance Co. is not affiliated with The Republic Group of Companies, a regional property/casualty insurer that is also based in Dallas.

The name of the Texas property casualty insurer will be changed to Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. will offer customized property and casualty insurance and loss control, claims management, administrative and reinsurance services.

Starr International Co. Inc. is a private investment holding company run by Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former CEO of American International Group who now also heads C.V. Starr & Co.

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