Truist expects more M&A opportunities in insurance
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Truist expects more M&A opportunities in insurance

Truist Financial, which has made 11 acquisitions in the insurance business since 2019, is on the lookout for more such deals.

John Howard, the company’s chief insurance officer, said Friday that the insurance brokerage industry is in the midst of a great deal of consolidation, and he expects that trend to continue, which will present opportunities for Truist.

“I think we will see some attractive components that help us fill in white space,” Howard said at a banking conference, “whether it’s bringing an additional capability or a geographic coverage that would be beneficial for us.”

Truist Financial’s recent insurance-related acquisitions include the purchase in September of a premium finance firm from Texas Capital Bancshares.

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Charlotte, North Carolina-based Truist has a large footprint in the insurance business, which makes it unusual in the US banking industry. Truist Insurance Holdings is the country’s sixth largest insurance broker, and it provides 9% of the company’s net income, 14% of its revenue and 34% of its fee income, according to a Truist presentation Friday.

So far this year, Truist’s insurance unit has announced three acquisitions, including the purchase of a nationwide premium finance firm from Texas Capital Bancshares.

Truist, a $548 billion-asset company that grew out of the 2019 merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, has been facing pressure from investors to increase its revenue and improve its efficiency. During the third quarter, its total revenue rose by 4.4% from the same period a year earlier, but net income available to common shareholders fell by 5%.

After completing the integration of BB&T and SunTrust earlier this year, Truist executives said Friday that the company is now focusing more on clients.

“And so I think we’re beginning to see the fruits of that,” Chief Financial Officer Mike Maguire said in remarks at the BancAnalysts Association of Boston conference. “We’re seeing pipelines build. We’re seeing productivity gains.”

Truist also said that it sees an opportunity to sell insurance to more of its customers.

“We have millions of retail clients and hundreds of thousands of commercial, middle-market and corporate clients, where we can play a role in helping them secure insurance coverage,” Howard said.

“We are making significant investments in training and technology to facilitate this,” he said. “And now that the core bank integrations are complete, our teammates in those businesses have significantly more time to have strategic and risk advisory conversations with their clients.”

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