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BB&T Unit Closes Regions Insurance Group Deal: More to Come?

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With an aim to further expand its insurance business, BB&T Corporation (BBT - Free Report) through its wholly owned subsidiary, BB&T Insurance Holdings, Inc. has acquired Regions Insurance Group. The financial terms of the transaction, announced in April, were not disclosed. Regions Insurance is a subsidiary of Regions Financial Corporation (RF - Free Report) .

Regions Insurance, providing property and casualty insurance and employee benefits products, serves more than 60,000 clients across the Southeast, Texas and Indiana through 30 offices.

The transaction further strengthens BB&T’s wholesale and retail insurance channels. The deal positions the company as the fifth largest insurance broker in the United States and globally.

With the closure of this deal, roughly 50% of insurance brokerage revenues will come from BB&T Insurance's retail network. Notably, in June, BB&T Insurance announced rebranding its BB&T Insurance Services retail broker as McGriff Insurance Services, which includes Regions Insurance.

Moreover, at the time of announcement of the transaction, BB&T had projected a rise in annual insurance brokerage revenues to roughly $2 billion. Further, as part of the deal, the president and CEO of Regions Insurance, Rick Ulmer as well as other associates will join BB&T Insurance’s senior leadership and other positions.

What Next?

With BB&T having a proven track record of successfully integrating acquired businesses, this insurance transaction will improve the company’s top-line growth. The bank plans to further expand its footprint in Texas and Pennsylvania through such opportunistic acquisitions, with the key aim to increase revenues from insurance operations.

Further, BB&T’s strong liquidity position will continue supporting its inorganic growth efforts.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 2.9% so far this year against the industry’s decline of 5.3%.



Stocks Worth a Look

Better-ranked bank stocks include M&T Bank Corporation (MTB - Free Report) and East West Bancorp, Inc. (EWBC - Free Report) . Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Current-year earnings estimates of M&T Bank have been revised marginally upward in the last 60 days. Further, over the past year, the company’s shares have rallied 3.5%.

East West Bancorp’s current-year earnings estimates have moved 1.3% upward over the last 60 days. The company’s shares have gained 9.6% over the past year.

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