In a significant industry development, Southern Trust Insurance, a reputed insurance provider with a stronghold across the Southeast for more than half a century, and Arbour National, a specialist in long-term ownership of niche Property & Casualty insurance companies, have inked a definitive agreement for a partnership.
This crucial alliance, marked by a substantial investment, aims to bolster the ongoing growth trajectory of Southern Trust Insurance, reaffirming its dedication to independent agents and policyholders throughout the Southeast.
This partnership was driven by the mutual synergies perceived by both organisations. The key intent behind this collaboration is to amalgamate resources for the expansion of Southern Trust Insurance, upholding the fundamental principles that the company has adhered to for decades.
Southern Trust Insurance, based in Macon, Ga., is a reliable provider of a diverse range of competitively priced Property and Casualty Insurance products for independent agents. With a product line spanning homeowners, auto, and a plethora of business insurance products in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, the company has a track record of sustained growth and profitability. Meanwhile, Arbour National, headquartered in Raleigh, NC, is known for its commitment to the long-term ownership of specialist Property & Casualty insurance companies steered by extraordinary teams. The firm aspires to foster an environment that integrates the resources of a larger group while preserving the independence and ownership culture of individual companies.
As part of the agreement, Southern Trust will retain its independence, continuing operations in Macon, Ga., under the leadership of Mr. Les Cole, who will remain a substantial shareholder and board member. Billy Anderson, the founder who established the organisation 55 years ago, will also persist as a board member and shareholder, thereby maintaining the company’s unique culture. Arbour National will become the majority owner of both Southern Trust Insurance Company and Southern Specialty Underwriters. The agreement also stipulates that Arbour National will contribute an additional $20m to Southern Trust’s surplus to bolster further expansion and recruitment.
The deal is slated for closure in 2023, following regulatory approval. On the selling side, the representatives included PhiloSmith and Mette, Evans & Woodside, while the purchasing party was represented by WyrickRobbins and ArentFox Schiff.
Southern Trust CEO & President Les Cole said, “This is the best thing for our people. We had a great fit with the Arbour team from the beginning, and our group is thrilled about the opportunities for growth this partnership will bring.” Dale Jenkins, Arbour National Chairman, followed suit, noting, “We think this is a quality company that has a lot of potential. We believe in Les Cole and think this team can continue to prudently grow across the Southeast.”
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