Tompkins TrustCo Inc., the holding company of three upstate New York banks, has entered the insurance business by purchasing two agencies in the state.
Austin Hardie Wise Agency Inc. of Attica and Ernest Townsend & Son Inc. of LeRoy are retaining their names under Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., a subsidiary created by the acquisitions. James R. Hardie, president of Austin Hardie Wise, has been named president and chief executive officer of Tompkins Insurance Agencies.
Tompkins Trustco is interested in buying other agencies, especially in Ithaca, its home and home to its largest bank, $750 million-asset Tompkins Country Trust Co. But James W. Fulmer, the holding companys president, said it has no specific acquisition targets lined up.
Tompkins, which has assets of $1.3 billion, did not say what it spent to buy the Austin Hardie and Ernest Townsend agencies, which have revenues of about $2.5 million combined. The purchase was completed Jan. 1.
We felt that the industries are coming together, and we think its inevitable that there will be crossover between the two businesses, Mr. Fulmer said. He noted that the agencies offices in Attica, Warsaw, Alden, LeRoy, Batavia, and Caledonia have good overlap with the branch locations of Tompkins Bank of Castile.
Austin Hardie and Ernest Townsend mostly sell commercial and personal property and casualty insurance; they also sell some life and health.
The bank is developing a plan to cross-sell insurance to its banking customers, Mr. Fulmer said.
Tompkins other bank is Mahopac National Bank.