Hub International Limited (NYSE: HBG and TSX: HBG) announced that Battle Creek, Michigan-based Burnham Insurance Group (Burnham), one of Hub's largest retail brokerage units, has purchased for an undisclosed amount of cash the assets of Warner Associates, Inc., a Montgomery, Alabama specialist in the direct marketing of life and health insurance coverage to retail customers of financial institutions.
Warner, founded in 1983, generates approximately $1.4 million in annual revenue. The acquired company will remain in Montgomery under the direction of Darrel Warner, its Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Warner will become a Vice President at Burnham, reporting to James L. Harvin, Executive Vice President - Financial Institutions.
Speaking of the transaction, Charles C. Burnham, Chairman and CEO of the acquiring company, said this is a promising expansion into the southeast. He added, "The solid base of business Darrel Warner has built provides excellent opportunities for our Financial Institutions Group to cross-sell other banking related products in the region." Burnham's Financial Institutions Group designs risk management and fee income-producing products for banks and other financial organizations. The group won a Fireman's Fund "Most Valuable Producer" award in 2001.
Bruce D. Guthart, President of Hub's U.S. Operations, commented, "The Warner purchase, following closely on our McCarthy group's purchase of Trussell, further demonstrates how we are executing an important element of our growth strategy - expanding on the strengths of our regional brokerages by adding successful local agencies that focus on a particular market segment or coverage discipline. We are fortunate to have Darrel Warner as part of the Burnham and Hub teams." In a recent press release Hub announced that on October 8, 2002 their Massachusetts-based C.J. McCarthy Insurance Agency, Inc. had purchased the Trussell companies, New England specialists in arranging insurance for real estate businesses.
Darrel Warner said, "I am pleased and excited to be joining forces with the fine Burnham organization. I look forward to greater opportunities to grow my business and help extend Burnham's outreach to the southeast financial community."
Hub International currently has nine large "hub" brokerages, including Burnham, that have significant market presence in their geographic regions in the U.S. and Canada. Each hub provides insurance brokerage services and manages the various smaller Hub International brokerages in its territory. The hub brokerages are responsible for growth through sales, service and acquisitions, while the head office, located in Chicago, IL, coordinates access to the insurance market, expands the use of best practices among the hubs and manages the acquisition of additional hub operations.
A leading North American brokerage, Hub International has grown rapidly since its formation in 1998 through mergers, acquisitions and organic growth. It provides a broad array of property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits and investment and risk management products and services through offices located in the United States and Canada. Hub International's strategy is to expand its market share in the highly fragmented North American insurance broker industry by acquiring quality brokerages in key geographic regions serving middle-market commercial businesses, to leverage its decentralized approach in order to differentiate its services and to capitalize on its scale to provide broad product offerings to its clients through multiple distribution channels. Additional information on Hub International can be found at its website: www.hubinternational.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to our plans and objectives for future operations. These forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. These uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with implementing our business strategies, identifying and consummating acquisitions, integrating acquired brokerages, attaining greater market share, developing and implementing effective information technology systems, recruiting and retaining qualified employees, fluctuations in the premiums charged by insurance companies with a corresponding fluctuation in our premium-based revenue, any loss of services of key executives, industry consolidation, increased competition in the industry, fluctuation in the demand for insurance products and the passage of new legislation subjecting our business to regulation in jurisdictions where we operate. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Additional information regarding these risks and other factors that could cause Hub International's actual results to differ materially from our expectations is contained in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as otherwise required by federal securities laws, Hub International undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.