Business Moves

January 25, 2009

AFCO Credit, Cananwill

AFCO Credit Corp. plans to buy the domestic operations and assets of the premium finance business of Cananwill from Aon Corp. The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter. Terms were not disclosed.

Glenview, Ill.-based Cananwill provides insurance premium financing for commercial property and casualty policies. AFCO is the primary insurance premium finance subsidiary of Branch Banking and Trust Co. of Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Hartford, Lincoln National

The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision approved applications from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Lincoln National Corp. to become bank holding companies, a step toward these companies obtaining federal cash.

Hartford, the large life and property insurer that has been among the hardest hit by investment losses, and Lincoln, one of the largest life insurers, have applied to take part in the U.S. Treasury Department’s $250 billion capital injection program. The program is designed for banks, but insurers with a federally regulated unit are eligible to apply. Hartford and Lincoln are buying small banks in order to comply.

Hartford, which posted a record $2.6 billion loss in the third quarter on investment losses, has said it could be eligible for up to $3.4 billion if approved. Hartford plans to buy Federal Trust Bank in Sanford, Florida, for $10 million and then recapitalize it.

Markel, Child Welfare Insurance Services

Markel Insurance Co. has acquired the property and casualty insurance renewal rights of Child Welfare Insurance Services effective Dec. 31, 2008.

Rhonda Sciortino, founder and chief executive officer of Child Welfare Insurance Services in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., joins Markel as business development specialist to expand the insurance and loss control services for non-profit businesses serving disadvantaged children.

Child Welfare Insurance Services has been a producing broker for Markel since 2000. Underwriting will continue from the Richmond, Virginia and Alameda, California offices of Markel..

Brown & Brown, Preferred Insurance Services

Florida-based Brown & Brown Inc. has acquired the assets of Phoenix, Ariz.,-based Preferred Insurance Services LLC. Preferred Insurance Services, with annualized revenues of approximately $1.3 million, focuses on property/casualty and benefits insurance for individuals and businesses in Phoenix and throughout the U.S. Gary F. Hapip, Craig S. King and Gary R. Honea, the members and managers of Preferred Insurance Services, and their staff will combine their operations with that of Brown & Brown’s existing Phoenix office, under the leadership of John Slater.

Glatfelter Insurance Group, Professional Underwriters

York, Pennsylvania-based insurance broker Glatfelter Insurance Group has acquired Professional Underwriters Co. of Exton, Pa. for an undisclosed sum.

Glatfelter is one of the largest insurance brokerages in the country; Professional Underwriters is a national program administrator for public entities. In connection with the acquisition, John Solari will be promoted to executive vice president and chief underwriting officer of Glatfelter’s Public Practice division, and along with his team, will continue to operate out of Exton, Pa.

Rockwood, Modern Insurance

Rockwood Programs has partnered with Modern Insurance of Florida to establish a new subsidiary named Modern Insurance Consultants, LLC that will focus on errors and omissions insurance for insurance agents, insurance companies and miscellaneous professional liability classes.

Modern’s Mark Lann will serve as president and CEO of the new entity, according to Glenn Clark, Rockwood president. The operation will be located in Homestead, Florida.

HCC, VMGU Insurance

Houston-based specialty insurer HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. has acquired VMGU Insurance Agency, an underwriter of the lumber, building materials, forest products and woodworking industries.

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, VMGU says it is the only lumber and wood products underwriter that operates in all 50 states.

VMGU, which is expected to write approximately $20 million in 2009, will become part of HCC’s Professional Indemnity Agency subsidiary. VMGU is headed by President Richard D. Hayes, who will remain.

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