Hub International Limited (NYSE:HBG)(TSX:HBG) (the "Company"), announced that its most recently created hub operation, Hub International Midwest ("Hub Midwest"), has acquired for an undisclosed amount of cash, the stock of Wilson & McPherson, Inc. ("Wilson"), an insurance agency based in Madisonville, Kentucky. Hub Midwest has existing offices in western Kentucky.
Wilson, whose operations date to 1867, serves primarily mid-size commercial clients. The agency, with revenues of approximately US$500,000, will remain in Madisonville, and its President, Layne Smith, will continue as a producer and account manager, reporting to Michael Kohlmeyer, Hub Midwest Senior Vice President and Regional Manager.
Discussing the acquisition, Roger Forystek, Hub Midwest President, said that folding successful local agencies into Hub's regional centers was a key component of Hub's growth strategy. He added, "Wilson McPherson is a fine local firm that will add scale to our business in the territory and also enhance our marketing relationships with regional insurance carriers." Mr. Smith said, "The products and services offered by the Hub organization will enable us to strengthen further the support we offer our clients. It's a good fit, and we think we'll grow and prosper as part of the Hub Midwest team."
Hub Midwest was created December 31, 2002 when the Company purchased Fifth Third Insurance Services, Inc. from Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB). This acquisition created Hub International of Indiana Limited which is doing business as Hub Midwest and is the Company's 11th hub in North America. Wilson is the Company's fourth acquisition in 2003.
Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Hub International is a leading North American insurance brokerage that 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, 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 U.S. insurance brokerage industry by acquiring quality firms in key geographic regions that focus on servicing middle-market commercial businesses. In addition, Hub plans to leverage its decentralized approach, differentiate its service, and capitalize on its scale to provide broader product offerings to its client through multiple distribution channels. Hub International currently has eleven large "hub" brokerages 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 other Hub International offices in its territory. The hub brokerages are responsible for growth through sales, service and fold-in acquisitions. The hub offices report to the head office which, in addition to monitoring the activity of each hub, retains responsibility for identifying and acquiring additional hub brokerages.
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 and 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 corresponding fluctuations in our premium-based revenue, any loss of services of key executives, industry consolidation, increased competition in the industry, fluctuations 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.