HUB International Launches Branding Strategy; Retail Subsidiaries to use HUB International Name


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 Add Title:  HUB International Launches Branding Strategy; Retail Subsidiaries to use HUB International Name
 Location:  Chicago
 Date:    2004-10-12  
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Hub International Limited (NYSE:HBG) (TSX:HBG), one of the leading insurance brokers in North America, is rebranding its operating entities under the HUB International name. Beginning this month, retail subsidiaries will incorporate "HUB International" into their names to capitalize on the advantages of being a HUB International company.

"As we continue our expansion across North America, the HUB International name is gaining increased value as a symbol of ethical and innovative service to our target customers," said Martin P. Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer. "While we benefited greatly from the identities of our acquisitions in the past, the value of the HUB name adds to the reputation of our brokerages."

HUB International has grown rapidly since its creation in 1998 to a current revenue base of approximately $400 million in North America. Including the impact of recent acquisitions, approximately three quarters of HUB's revenues are derived in the United States, versus less than 3% in 1999.

"A consistent HUB identity not only unifies over 3,000 employees across the United States and Canada, but also helps us to leverage our scale with insurers and ultimately delivers better value to all customers across our brokerages," Hughes said. "The branding initiative embodies the powerful combination of size and entrepreneurial spirit that defines HUB International and is a reflection of the strength of our entire organization."

Hughes said the company continues to emphasize decentralized management and regional autonomy as core strengths, preferring to serve clients at the local level and centralize those services that don't touch the client. At the same time, he noted, increased coordination of sales opportunities is a core strategy for the company, embodied in its ONE TEAM, ONE VISION mission.

"Our corporate identity effort will help us accelerate the pace of cross-selling across offices and leverage the impact of all our marketing expenditures across North America," he said. "This will be particularly important for the growth of our specialty practices and products, which might be based in one office but have expansion opportunity in multiple regions."

Already operating as "HUB International" companies are HUB International Midwest, HUB International California, Hub International Illinois, and Hub International TOS. The following U.S. retail subsidiaries will soon be operating under new names:


C.J. McCarthy Insurance Agency will change to HUB International New England, and

Kaye Insurance Associates will change to HUB International Northeast.

The following Canadian retail subsidiaries will also soon be changing their names:


Martin Assurance & Gestion de Risques will change to HUB International Quebec,

HUB Group (Ontario) will change to HUB International Ontario, and

Barton Insurance Brokers will change to HUB International Barton.

The wholesale subsidiaries of HUB International serve over 3,000 independent agents in North America and will continue to operate under their current corporate business names and maintain their proprietary branding. Wholesale subsidiaries in the US are Program Brokerage Corporation (PBC) and Advanced Benefit Resources Corp (ABR). Wholesale subsidiaries in Canada are The Wholesale Insurance Group Inc. (TWIG), Cross Border Underwriting Services Inc., HUB Capital Inc., HUB Financial Inc. and Beacon Underwriting Ltd..

During the first quarter of 2004, HUB recorded a pre-tax charge of $2.6 million, or approximately $0.05 net per diluted share, to recognize the write-down of intangible assets related to the name change.

Headquartered in Chicago, HUB International is a leading North American insurance brokerage that 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.

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 and the Canadian securities commissions. 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.

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Hub International Limited
Teri Gries, 812-485-2883
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 SOURCE :   Hub International Limited