The latest move in BB&T Insurance Services busy year of wheeling and dealing emphasizes the former.
The North Carolina companys seventh acquisition deal of the year and second announced last week would bring it the trucking industry insurance specialist Lofton & Co. Inc. and its sixth Georgia agency.
Its deal for Lofton, of Savannah, was announced Thursday. Wade Reece, the president of BB&T Insurance Services, said many trucking companies are based in states where BB&T has operations, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia, so acquiring Lofton would be a very logical extension.
BB&T Insurance Services already has Georgia agencies in Alpharetta, Thomaston, Macon, Dalton, and Kennesaw.
The unit of $68.9 billion-asset BB&T Corp., of Raleigh, had announced on Monday of last week that it had agreed to buy the property/casualty agency Lowery D. Finley & Co., of Virginia Beach, Va., and in discussing that deal with American Banker Mr. Reece said it expected to announce two more in the next few weeks.
The prices of the Lofton and Lowery deals, both of which are expected to close in September, were not disclosed.
Dennis O. Lofton, the president and chief executive officer of Lofton, which wrote $35 million of premiums last year, said that operating under the aegis of BB&T would enable his 12-employee agency to continue to focus on its specialty providing property/casualty insurance for trucking companies but on a wider stage.
BB&T really has a good reputation in the industry, and its focus on the small-business market fits the size of business we go after, Mr. Lofton said.
Both Mr. Reece and Mr. Lofton see cross-selling potential. Mr. Lofton said his agency could be called in as a specialist to help trucking clients throughout BB&Ts operation area and that it could refer to BB&T agencies clients needing help with other business lines. Mr. Reece said its possible that the Lofton agency, meanwhile, could refer transportation clients to BB&T Corp. for equipment loans.
Mr. Lofton is to be the manager of the agency, which is to be renamed BB&T-Lofton Group. It would operate from its existing office and retain all its employees.
BB&T Insurance Services owns 64 agencies: 30 in North Carolina, 19 in Virginia, four in South Carolina, five in Georgia, three in Maryland, two in West Virginia, and one in Tennessee. Its sister company, Branch Banking and Trust, has 1,000 branches in these states plus Alabama, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia.