Seven-month-old Gateway Bank and Trust of Elizabeth City, N.C., announced last week that it is buying its first insurance agency.

The bank, which has $32 million of assets, has a deal to buy Dowd & Twiddy Inc., a 101-year-old Edenton, N.C., agency that specializes in commercial insurance.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by early next year, were not disclosed.

Buying an insurance agency is part of Gateway's plan to offer a broad array of financial services, said Mark A. Holmes, the bank's chief financial officer.

The bank was lucky to find an agency that fit with its commercial focus at a time when competitors in North Carolina are snapping up insurance agencies, he said.

"We live in the shadow of BB&T and Centura. But we happened to find one (agency) that was a good fit-it only takes one," Mr. Holmes said.

The agency, which sold $650,000 in premiums last year, has a commercial customer base that will fit in with Gateway's game plan, he said.

Gateway plans to follow BB&T's insurance model, which allows "the insurance people to do the insurance and not bring it into the bank," Mr. Holmes said.

The agency would keep its 20 employees and four offices but probably be renamed Gateway/Dowd & Twiddy Insurance Services.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.