Trustmark Corp. of Jackson, Miss., is moving into insurance.
The $6.2 billion-asset banking company, which had sold just annuities, announced last week that it is buying Bottrell Agency, also in Jackson, in a tax-free stock swap.
"We want Trustmark to be a bank involved in investments, insurance, and total financial services," said Gerard R. Host, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We plan to expand into the business further through acquisition or growth."
The banking company struck the deal after a U.S. District Court ruled in September that Mississippi's insurance commissioner could not enforce state rules interfering with a national bank's right to sell insurance, Mr. Host said.
Terms of the deal for the agency, which had more than $50 million of premiums last year, were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
Trustmark, the parent of Trustmark National Bank, said the 62-year-old insurance agency has 41 employees and 16 licensed insurance brokers. The banking company has 10 employees who sell annuities. The agency will keep its name and be a division of Trustmark Insurance Agency Inc.
The deal, approved by directors of both organizations, is the first between a banking company and a major Mississippi insurance agency, Trustmark said.