BB&T Corp. says it plans to buy its first Georgia insurance agency.
The Winston-Salem, N.C., banking company announced last week that it would buy Huffines-Russell Agency, a commercial insurance specialist in Alpharetta, Ga. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close at the end of this quarter, were not disclosed.
BB&T Insurance Services, the Raleigh, N.C., insurance unit of the banking company, is the 16th-largest insurance agency in the country; it operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
"They've been very aggressive in their acquisitions, and they've put together a very good program," said James M. Campbell, senior vice president at Reagan & Associates, an Atlanta consulting firm.
Last month BB&T announced it would buy First Citizens Corp. a 14-branch bank based in Newnan, Ga., by the end of the third quarter.
"We try to go into states where the bank is already," said Bronna B. Greer, BB&T Insurance's acquisitions and merger manager.
Founded in 1982, Huffines-Russell has 36 employees and focuses on commercial insurance lines and assurety products, such as bonding insurance. Travis Huffines, the agency's president, said being part of BB&T would give his firm new opportunities.
"We have never been in the personal lines business," he said, "and I'm satisfied we'll get into that area eventually."
BB&T has made 34 insurance acquisitions. It recently shut down a title agency, Century Title of Woodbridge, Va., that it acquired as part of another deal, Ms. Greer said. The agency was not profitable, she said.
But she said the banking company is pursuing other title agencies. "We are very interested in growing our title business," she said.