IMS Insurance To Open In Houston

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By Mark E. Ruquet

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NU Online News Service, April 25, 3:48 p.m.EST?Insurance Market Solutions (IMS) announced it will beopening its doors within two months in Houston as a new player inthe wholesale brokerage business.[@@]

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The new operation is headed by Lawrence Mennes and StephenVallender, both experienced insurance executives who most recentlyworked for Dallas-based U.S. Risk Insurance Group, a managinggeneral agency and surplus lines broker, in its Houston office.

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IMS will be a subsidiary of Burnett Holdings, said John Burke,president of the New Orleans-based managing general agent.

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He said Mr. Mennes and Mr. Vallender are working to completecompany appointments, licensing and setting up required officespace and systems. The operations should be up and running in thenext 30 to 60 days.

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IMS will be an all-lines commercial excess and surplus linesbrokerage firm accepting business from a broad range of retailagents and brokers throughout the U.S., said Mr. Burke. Thewholesaler will accept all types of property, casualty andprofessional coverage ranging from large- to medium-sized accounts.IMS will also accept small-account program businessarrangements.

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He said the initial marketing will be in Texas and thesurrounding states, but IMS will accept any business throughout theU.S. Long-range plans call for expansion to other states "as marketconditions dictate," he added.

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While at U.S. Risk, Mr. Mennes was executive vice president andhead of the Houston office. Mr. Vallender was a vice president inthe office.

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Both have made their careers in the E&S field, beginning inthe early 1980's.

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