Business Moves

November 15, 2009

BB&T, Oswald Trippe

Raleigh, North Carolina-based BB&T Insurance Services, the nation’s seventh largest insurance broker, said it has expanded its southwest Florida operation with the acquisition of Oswald Trippe and Co. Inc. of Fort Myers.

Terms were not disclosed.

In addition to its Fort Myers headquarters, Oswald Trippe has offices in Cape Coral, Miami, Naples, Sarasota, Holmes Beach, Weston and Ocala. It also operates four offices in North Carolina that were not part of the BB&T Insurance acquisition.

The acquisition comes following BB&T Corp.’s acquisition in August of Colonial Bank, which expanded BB&T’s presence in southwest Florida. That deal for financially troubled Colonial BancGroup, a major lender in Southwest Florida, was facilitated by federal regulators.

One of the largest privately owned insurance agencies in southwest Florida, Oswald Trippe provides commercial property and casualty, employee benefits, individual life and health, personal lines, and professional liability insurance to businesses and individuals throughout Florida.

OTC was founded in 1982 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Trippe and his wife, Gay Trippe, and James Pender, honorary chairman of corporate partner, The Oswald Companies of Cleveland, Ohio. The company has about 130 employees in Florida.

Trippe will remain with BB&T-Oswald Trippe in a client and community relationships and management consulting role. Agency President John Pollock will serve as agency manager and report to BB&T Insurance Regional Manager Rick Iler.

BB&T Insurance Services also operates Florida agencies J. Rolfe Davis Insurance of metro Orlando; Burkey Risk Services of metro Orlando and Boynton Beach; BB&T-Iler Wall & Shonter of St. Petersburg; BB&T-Wyman, Green & Blalock of Bradenton; and BB&T-Landrum Yaeger of Tallahassee.

Aon, Carpenter Moore

Global insurance broker Aon Corp. has agreed to acquire Carpenter Moore Insurance Services, Inc., a provider of executive liability risk management services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chicago-based Aon and New York-based NASDAQ said they will enter into a five-year exclusive marketing agreement in the area of liability insurance. The two organizations also will collaborate on the annual Carpenter Moore Benchmarking Survey.

Carpenter Moore was formed through the merger of Carpenter Moore and NASDAQ Insurance Agency in 2005. It serves technology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, durable goods, transportation, energy and financial services industries.

Earlier this month, Carpenter Moore reported it had sold its Western region book of 60 directors and officers liability insurance clients to the California insurance agency, Woodruff & Sawyer.

Donegal Mutual, Southern Mutual

Pennsylvania-based Donegal Mutual Insurance Co. and Georgia-based Southern Mutual Insurance Co. have finalized an affiliation they announced in early September, a deal that brings Southern Mutual into Donegal’s insurance pool and gives the Georgia insurer additional products to sell.

Southern Mutual will retain its mutual status, its Georgia domicile and its current headquarters in Athens, Georgia with the same management, employees and agents. Donegal Mutual will assist Southern Mutual in offering additional insurance products.

Donald H. Nikolaus, president of Donegal Mutual, said he expects both companies to increase their business in Georgia and South Carolina as a result of the deal.

As part of the deal, Donegal Mutual purchased a surplus note of Southern Mutual in the amount of $2,500,000 and Southern Mutual’s surplus now exceeds $11 million; Southern Mutual has entered into a quota share reinsurance agreement where Donegal Mutual has assumed 100 percent of Southern Mutual’s currently in force business and future business. Donegal Mutual is including and will include all business it assumes from Southern Mutual in its pooling agreement with Atlantic States Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Donegal Group Inc.

Donegal Mutual is a member of the Donegal Insurance Group, which had net written premium of $452.2 million in 2008.

Southern Mutual’s marketing territory covers Georgia and South Carolina. It had net written premiums of approximately $12 million in 2008.

Southeastern US

A workers’ compensation insurer for 3,000 public entities, hospitals, private companies and associations in Georgia has been declared insolvent and will be liquidated.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas Campbell on Oct. 27 approved the liquidation order for Southeastern US Insurance Co. (SEUS), which advertised itself as the state’s eighth largest workers’ compensation carrier.

According to the court order, continuation of the company “would substantially increase the risk of loss to the creditors, claimants, policyholders and the public.”

Clark Fain III, who founded the company in 2001, has been serving as chairman and chief executive. Clark is also CEO of Common Sense Claims, Inc., Risk Management Engineering, LLC, Bi Partisan Bill Review, Inc. and Identity Managed Care Organization, Inc., all of which are vendors to SEUS.

21st Century, Homeowners Choice

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.-based 21st Century Holding Co. has unanimously rejected an unsolicited buyout proposal by Florida insurer Homeowners Choice, Inc., which sought to acquire all outstanding shares of 21st Century for approximately $5.30 per share or about $40 million.

21st Century Holding said the Oct. 12 offer from Homeowners Choice Chairman Paresh Patel “is wholly inadequate and not in the best interest of the company’s shareholders.”

Bruce Simberg, chairman of the board of directors of 21st Century Holding, dismissed the offer as “simply an opportunistic attempt to acquire 21st Century’s valuable licenses and portfolio and enhance Homeowners Choice’s balance sheet at the expense of 21st Century’s shareholders.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West

Insurance Journal Magazine