May 16 - Peoples Bancorp Inc. in Marietta, Ohio, (Nasdaq: PEBO) has announced its insurance subsidiary, Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC, has acquired Jackson Insurance Brokerage and FreedomChoice Benefits Group effective May 15, 2013. These acquisitions complement Peoples Insurance's April 2013 acquisition of McNelly Insurance and Consulting Agency.
"We are pleased with this opportunity to enhance our insurance capabilities and create a stronger presence for our insurance business in southeastern Ohio," said Chuck Sulerzyski, Peoples' president and CEO. "Insurance is a key component in our comprehensive financial services offering. With these acquisitions, our employee benefits line is gaining additional top-notch expertise that will help us grow this practice across our footprint."
All three of the recently acquired agencies operate from the same office building in Jackson, Ohio. In addition, Jackson Insurance Brokerage operates a sales office in Chillicothe, Ohio, which will be retained by Peoples.
"The partnership with Peoples Insurance is an exciting step for all three of our agencies," stated Rick McNelly, who will serve as the manager of Peoples Insurance's employee benefits practice. "This combination benefits our clients and communities by providing them greater access to other financial products and services while maintaining the same high-quality service."
"Joining forces will allow us to deliver a better insurance product to our clients and will offer the added benefit of a broad menu of financial products and investment consultation," said Patrick Ball, president of Jackson Insurance Brokerage.
Peoples Insurance used cash to purchase all of the customer accounts of Jackson Insurance Brokerage, LLC and FreedomChoice Benefits Group, LLC, which are mostly employee benefit plans, and assumed certain liabilities of each acquired agency. The acquired customer accounts are expected to generate a combined annual insurance commission revenue of approximately $725,000. The transactions also added five experienced insurance sales producers to Peoples Insurance's existing sales staff.
Combined, the three acquisitions are expected to add nearly $1.2 million of annual insurance revenue for Peoples Insurance in the Jackson, Ohio region. When combined with the Pikeville acquisition completed in January 2013, Peoples' annual insurance revenue is expected to exceed $12 million, of which approximately 80 percent will come from property and casualty insurance sales. In comparison, Peoples' insurance revenue totaled $9.8 million in 2012, with property and casualty insurance sales accounting for over 90 percent of this amount.
"These transactions reflect our focus on growth through acquisitions and maintaining our diversified revenue stream," said Sulerzyski. "While the impact on our bottom-line and tangible capital levels is not significant, we have created more diversity within our insurance revenue. We also will have opportunities for growth in our banking and wealth management businesses within the Jackson-Chillicothe market area."
Peoples Bancorp Inc. is a diversified financial services holding company with $1.9 billion in total assets, 49 sales offices and 44 ATMs in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Peoples makes available a complete line of banking, investment, insurance and trust solutions through its subsidiaries - Peoples Bank, National Association and Peoples Insurance Agency LLC. Peoples' common shares are traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "PEBO," and Peoples is a member of the Russell 3000 index of U.S. publicly traded companies. Learn more about Peoples at www.peoplesbancorp.com.