Program Brokerage Corp to Assist Producers With Middle-Market Clients
Hub International Limited (NYSE: HBG; TSX: HBG) announced today that its New York City-headquartered wholesale unit, Program Brokerage Corporation (PBC), has formed PBC Environmental, a specialized facility offering "in house" environmental risk management solutions to PBC's producer network of over 1,000 agents.
The new facility, which targets middle-market real estate, manufacturing and contracting businesses as well as financial institutions, environmental engineers and consultants, will be headed by John Butler, PBC Vice President and Environmental Practice Leader. During the past ten years, with PBC and other national brokerages, Mr. Butler has focused on environmental risk management and coverage placement. He will report to Marc I. Cohen, PBC President.
In making the announcement, Mr. Butler explained that the "hands-on" support of PBC Environmental would enable middle-market agents to be more proactive in addressing their clients' exposures and thereby generate greater revenues. "Middle-size businesses face many of the same first and third party environmental risks as larger firms," Mr. Butler said, "But local producers are sometimes apprehensive about the complexity of assessing and responding to those risks, or they may not have the carriers they need for the coverages readily available. So the producer tends to be reactive, rather than proactive. We can solve that by acting as a producer's "environmental department." If a producer wishes, we'll attend client or lender meetings and design a program that responds to a particular opportunity for the client."
Mr. Cohen elaborated on the mission of PBC Environmental. "We want to help our producers establish a comfort level with environmental insurance issues so that selling these coverages can become a profit center for them. With the leadership of John Butler and his staff, we think this facility will enhance the producers' professional standing, grow their bottom line and help PBC deepen and broaden its appeal to our network. Also, making these coverages more understandable and attractive to our retail agents will serve to support our insurance company partners who are targeting this business."
Hub International currently has nine large "hub" brokerages, as well as wholesale facilities such as PBC, 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.