This post is part of a series sponsored by InsurBanc.
Independent agency owners — who for generations have provided competitive insurance solutions for consumers and businesses — have seen the complexity of their own financing and perpetuation situations change over the past 20 years.
In that time, a growing economy has boosted the underlying growth rates of insurance premiums, leading to sustained positive trends in organic growth and profitability for agencies. Meanwhile, a massive influx of capital from private-equity investors and a years-long low-interest-rate environment have contributed to boom times for independent agency valuations.
No small factor, though, has been the vision of the Big “I” in creating products and services for agency leaders. These options have allowed owners to build a solid future for themselves, their firms and their customers. From E&O protection to technology leadership to Best Practices to Trusted Choice® and more, the Big “I” hasn’t just responded to agency needs. It has anticipated them.
Standing amidst those innovative services is one nurtured through the visionary leadership of the Big “I”: InsurBanc, a division of Connecticut Community Bank, N.A. The Big “I” was the first and only trade association to have its own bank.
As InsurBanc was being conceived in 1999-2000, independent agents were on the cusp of a wave of business growth. And they were just beginning a generation-long trend toward agency perpetuation and acquisition. One problem, though, was that few traditional bankers understood how to assess the creditworthiness and value of an agency. Banks accustomed to lending based on accounts receivables and tangible inventory often didn’t readily recognize the value of renewal rights to an insurance book.
Big “I” saw that obstacle as an opportunity. Today, InsurBanc proudly stands as a testament to those leaders’ vision of creating an institution devoted specifically to agency lending and financing.
The story of the Big “I” is the story of a commitment to expanding strategic choices for independent agents and giving them tools to enhance success. In 2001, when InsurBanc was launched, those choices existed but often could not be realized.
Today, though, every Big “I” member across the nation has a bank uniquely created by agents for agents. One that is a click or phone call away. One that is relevant to every firm, as each typically pursues one or more strategic directions:
- Purchasing another agency or a book of business from another firm.
- Selling their agency or a book of business.
- Investing internally in producers, staff and technology.
- Perpetuating internally via a staged exit plan.
- Refreshing their cash-management options.
- Managing real estate financing options.
As you navigate your firm’s strategy, remember there is a financial institution available to you that both understands and respects the fundamental business model of your business.
InsurBanc will continue to be a steadfast partner to you — independent agency leaders — and a vital source of banking services and funding for your strategic options.
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