MARIETTA, Ohio, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Peoples Bancorp Inc. ("Peoples") (PEBO) today announced its insurance subsidiary, Peoples Insurance Agency, LLC ("Peoples Insurance"), 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% 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% of this amount.
"These transactions reflect our focus on growth through acquisitions and maintaining our diversified revenue stream," summarized 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.
Safe Harbor Statement:
Statements made in this news release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the successful integration of the transactions contemplated in this news release, which includes the retention of the acquired customer relationships, adverse changes in economic conditions, the impact of competitive products and pricing and the other risks set forth in Peoples' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result, actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this news release.
Peoples encourages readers of this news release to understand forward-looking statements to be strategic objectives rather than absolute targets of future performance. Peoples undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable legal requirements. Copies of documents filed with the SEC are available free of charge at the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov and/or from Peoples' website.