- change ups
USI acquires 40 Wells Fargo insurance offices
Grand Rapids was attractive to buyer looking for a Michigan presence.
An insurance services office in Grand Rapids sees a bright future ahead as it becomes part of a new firm.
USI Insurance Services, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm based in Valhalla, N.Y., last week closed on the acquisition of 40 Wells Fargo Insurance locations across the country, including the office at 648 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 300, in Grand Rapids. The Wells Fargo Insurance office in Grand Rapids, part of Wells Fargo & Co., is now called USI Insurance Services and is part of USI Midwest LLC.
Jim Dawdy, the former senior vice president at Wells Fargo Insurance in the Greater Grand Rapids area and current president of the Grand Rapids operations of USI Insurance Services, said the local level wasn’t really involved in the acquisition process.
“One of the issues that I was told after the acquisition was announced was that Grand Rapids was the driving force behind the acquisition,” said Dawdy. “We are one of the larger offices that USI acquired. USI had not previously been in Michigan and wanted a presence in Michigan, so we were very attractive to them.”
USI said the acquisition further strengthens its presence as a leader in middle-market insurance brokerage and consulting firms, and complements the various services offered by the firm.
Thomas Cassidy, regional chief executive officer for USI Midwest LLC, said as the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids offers great opportunities.
“The city has a strong manufacturing base and a solid business community, and is an area where USI is planning to invest, expand and grow,” said Cassidy. “This recent acquisition has enabled us to expand our footprint into 40 locations across the United States where USI previously did not have a presence. We feel there is tremendous opportunity in Grand Rapids and look forward to working with our new clients and associates there.”
According to Dawdy, the focus of USI and the Grand Rapids office moving forward is implementing growth through improving performance for clients using various technologies and abilities to help businesses and individuals understand what they need and what they don’t.
Although terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Dawdy said the Grand Rapids office is expected to retain services, and local leadership will stay the same. Wells Fargo said team members actively working in the locations that were sold were offered continuous employment by USI.
“The future for the Grand Rapids office is much brighter than it has been for a while, in my opinion,” said Dawdy. “We have two new people coming on board starting next Monday, and we will be further adding to staff as we move through the process.”
Wells Fargo said the sale of the 40 regional locations was part of the company’s strategy to focus investments and resources in the middle and upper middle markets, as well as with risk management customers.
According to the USI press release, the company employs more than 4,000 and has more than 140 offices throughout the United States.
“We are really excited about USI — what they stand for, what they do,” said Dawdy. “And we just see it as a really, really bright future for all our people and all our clients.”
USI Insurance Services acquired other Wells Fargo Insurance offices in Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.