Banking & Finance

Bank sells insurance operation

January 28, 2014
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Bank sells insurance operation
Wells Fargo, founded in 1852, is a diversified financial services company, with $1.5 trillion in assets. Photo via fb.com

A global bank is selling 42 of its insurance offices — and Grand Rapids is among the markets the company is exiting.

USI Insurance Services in Valhalla, N.Y., the 14th largest insurance broker in the world, will acquire the 42 offices from Wells Fargo Insurance, a part of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Company.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

"Expanding" in Grand Rapids

All 56 of the employees with the Grand Rapids office of Wells Fargo Insurance at the time of the transaction will be offered continuous employment by USI.

“We are honored to welcome this dedicated group of insurance professionals to USI, and we will work together to share the unique set of combined solutions and resources with our future clients and associates,” said Michael J. Sicard, USI’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

USI said the acquisition will expand its presence and complement its offerings.

“We look forward to building and expanding in these cities and states with an innovative and comprehensive set of solutions,” Sicard said.

The offerings include middle market property casualty, employee benefits, personal lines, retirement and other specialty lines.

Larger markets

The sale is part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing strategy to focus investments and resources in select markets, including Charlotte, Dallas, Minneapolis and San Francisco, where the insurance business has the “greatest growth potential and stronger partnerships with the bank’s commercial customers.”

“Wells Fargo is 100 percent committed to the insurance business and serving the needs of our customers,” said Laura Schupbach, head of Wells Fargo Insurance. “We are focused on strengthening our insurance operations in larger markets where we can partner more closely with the bank to serve more of our core middle and upper-middle-market customers.”

Offices in the deal

Upon close of the transaction, Wells Fargo’s Insurance Brokerage and Consulting business will operate in 55 locations.

Under the agreement, USI anticipates acquiring the following Wells Fargo locations: (Ala.) Birmingham, Tuscaloosa; (Alaska) Anchorage; (Calif.) Fresno, Grass Valley; (Fla.) West Palm Beach; (Ga.) Savannah; (Idaho) Boise; (Ill.) Springfield; (Ind.) Elkhart, Fort Wayne; (Kan.) Overland Park; (Ky.) Lexington, Louisville; (Mich.) Grand Rapids; (Minn.) Grand Rapids, St. Cloud, Virginia; (Neb.) Omaha; (N.M.) Albuquerque; (N.D.) Bismark, Minot, Valley City; (Ohio) Dayton, Youngstown; (Ore.) Eugene, Newport; (Pa.) Erie; (S.C.) Columbia; (Tenn.) Knoxville; (Texas) El Paso; (Utah) Salt Lake City; (Va.) Abingdon, Bluefield, Grundy, Norfolk; and (W. Va.) Beckley, Charleston, Huntington, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling.

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