BB&T Corp.'s Insurance-Broking Arm Posts Gains in 4Q

NU Online News Service, Jan. 19, 2:53 p.m. EST

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank BB&T Corp. says fourth-quarter net income in its insurance-brokerage business increased 4 percent over the previous year, primarily on the strength of the combination of acquisitions and P&C sales.

The company reported fourth-quarter insurance net income of $26 million, an increase of $1 million over 2010's fourth quarter.

For the full year, insurance net income rose less than 1 percent, or $1 million, to $104 million.

The bank as a whole reported an 88 percent net-income increase to $391 million. For the year, net income was up 58 percent, or $484 million to $1.3 billion.

During a conference call with investment analysts, Kelly King, chairman and chief executive officer, said the fourth-quarter results reflected “outstanding performance” on all fronts, reflecting the strongest quarterly earnings performance in three years.

Darrell Bible, chief financial officer for BB&T, said the insurance results reflected strong performance in the property and casualty business and the results of acquisitions.

The insurance brokerage completed three acquisitions in the fourth quarter:

  • Precept Group inIrvineandSan Ramon,Calif.
  • LibertyBenefit Insurance Services inSan Jose,Calif.
  • Atlantic Risk Management Corp. ofColumbia,Md.

Bible said that for 2012, the insurance-brokerage segment is expected to see modest strategic growth during the year.

King said the firm continues to gain market share in the property and casualty business. While market share has improved, the firming of insurance rates also helped to increase earnings on an organic basis, he said.

On the acquisition side, King says there will continue to be opportunities to acquire more insurance agencies, after a period of inactivity during the financial crisis. He characterized the anticipated activity in 2012 as “normal” with plenty of opportunity to acquire small agencies. He believes there will be few, if any opportunities for any major acquisitions because there are few such deals available.

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