Webster Bank Looking to Sell Conn.’s Largest Insurance Agency

July 27, 2007

Connecticut’s Webster Financial Corp., the parent of Webster Bank that owns the state’s largest insurance agency, could be out of the insurance agency business soon.

Following a strategic review begun last September, the bank has decided to focus on its core business of retail and commercial banking in New England and explore the sale of its sizable insurance agency, Webster Insurance.

“We are exploring strategic alternatives that will likely result the sale of Webster Insurance and ideally will include a partnership to continue to sell insurance products,” the bank revealed in a July 24 report to investors.

For the year ended December 31, 2006, Webster Insurance’s revenue was $38.8 million, a decrease of $5.2 million or 11.8%, compared to December 31, 2005, primarily due to reduced retention and a decline in contingent revenue.

A regional insurance agency, Webster Insurance provides insurance products and services throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island that include commercial and personal property and casualty insurance; life, health, disability and long-term care insurance; third party worker’s compensation claims administration and risk management services.

It is the largest insurance agency based on revenues in Connecticut. Headquartered in Meriden, it also has offices in several other Connecticut communities, including East Haven, Vernon, Waterford and Westport as well as an office in Harrison, New York.

The bank built its insurance operations in part by acquiring several established and well-known insurance agencies during the early 2000s. The acquisitions included Mathog and Moniello, Wolff-Zackin and Musante-Reihl.

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