In response to banks' improving insurance sales savvy, Allstate Life Insurance Co. is restructuring its third-party marketing arm, Laughlin Group.
"We are making sure the services we offer banks really are value-added and are considering (the services') cost-effectiveness," said Sarah Donahue, an Allstate assistant vice president.
Allstate is "divisionalizing" Laughlin to consolidate its activities that match up with those of the insurance company, Ms. Donahue said.
"The old traditional third-party marketers owned and managed agencies for banks. Banks don't need that anymore," Ms. Donahue said. "Banks want marketing and wholesaling expertise."
Laughlin managed insurance programs for 128 banks.
Allstate will continue to sell its products through banks, Ms. Donahue added, and will de-emphasize outside providers' products. "We're excited to grow in the bank channel," she said.
The Laughlin name will be phased out as the insurance company concentrates on selling its own products through banks and relies less on the services Laughlin offered, Ms. Donahue said.
Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate bought Laughlin Group in 1995 from its founder, Paul Laughlin. What remains of Laughlin's services will still come from its Beaverton, Ore., offices.