BB&T Insurance acquires Regions Insurance Group, rebrands as McGriff Insurance Holdings

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – BB&T Insurance Holdings has closed on its acquisition of Memphis-based Regions Insurance Group and has rebranded as McGriff Insurance Services. The deal will strengthen BB&T’s position as the largest insurance broker in the state of Tennessee and the fifth largest insurance broker in the US and internationally.

“Since our founding in 1922, BB&T Insurance has never wavered in our commitment to provide highly personalized client service,” said David Pruett, vice chairman and CEO of BB&T Insurance Services. “The McGriff name goes back to 1886, and we are excited to build on the brand equity and long-standing recognition associated with this industry leader while remaining committed to the outstanding client service we have provided for years.”

Pruett added with the acquisition of Regions Insurance Group the timing was right for the name change.

“The combined company will have even greater client-facing resources and industry knowledge under a single united brand that is recognized and respected by the insurance industry and clients,” Pruett said.

“This will have no impact locally. It’s strictly a name change from BB&T Insurance – Legge Insurance to McGriff Insurance – Legge Insurance Agency. We’re still exactly the same. It doesn’t affect any of our people, products, or the way we do business,” explained Chuck Sparks, agency manager. “I’ve been here 23 years.  We have two people that have been here over 35 years. It’s the same folks. We’re proud of it.”

The Legge Agency was founded in 1946 by Sparks’ grandfather and Sparks is now the third generation to run it. BB&T bought the Legge Agency in November 2004 from Bill Legge who continued to run it until his retirement in 2007. Legge’s son, David, also works at the agency.

“McGriff has been around since 1886 and it was a very large agency. They were the 10thlargest insurance agency before BB&T bought them. They handle insurance for Fortune 1000 type firms,” David Legge said. “They and we do a little bit of everything, employee benefits, property and casualty, personal lines, surety, life insurance, financial planning. That’s the advantage of being part of the fifth largest insurance agency. We have a lot of assets.

“We offer on-line training needs for our customers, financial planning from a perpetuation standpoint, risk management, loss control, loss engineering, all those things we can do in-house for free where our customers used to have to go outside and contract with someone to do that. We can do this for free as part of our risk management program that we have.”

BB&T Insurance operates more than 200 offices through subsidiaries BB&T Insurance Services, BB&T Insurance Services of California, McGriff, Seibels & Williams, CRC Insurance Services, Crump Life Insurance Services and AmRisc LLC.

The acquisition of Regions Insurance, the 35thlargest insurance broker in the US, will add 31 offices across the southeast, Louisiana and Texas.

Expanded client services include business and individual insurance, employee benefits, risk management with specialty offerings in agribusiness, construction, behavioral health care, architecture and engineering, and entertainment. The brand transition will include a new logo with an updated version of the McGriff name, as well as an updated color palette, fonts and other design elements.

After the closing, McGriff’s business profile will be 49 percent retail and 51 percent wholesale according to figures from BB&T. The company’s annual revenue will likely increase to roughly $2 billion.

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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