September 4, 2009 10:30:00 AM
The sale of Cadence Bank''s insurance business back to its original owners had been in the works for "a number of months" before the deal became official this week, company officials said.
The transfer of Galloway Chandler McKinney Insurance Agency to its previous owners and associates after 10 years as a Cadence subsidiary became official this week, announced at the same time Cadence shelved a planned sale of stock in an effort to shore up its low stock price, which closed Thursday at $1.75 a share.
The sale enables each firm to focus on its core business, Jimmy Galloway, president of GCM Insurance, said in a release.
"The sale of GCM Insurance was not influenced by any regulatory body or organization," Galloway said. "We have actually been having discussions on and off with Cadence officials for a number of months regarding the possibility of this transaction. We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Cadence and will remain supporters of the bank. Each company has a desire to focus on their core business, and we believed this was the best way to accomplish that."
Galloway remains a member of the board of directors of Cadence Bank.
The company said that "with partners'' sons Brandt Galloway and Kyle Chandler IV of Columbus and West Point, plus William Hilbun of Starkville, now working for GCM Insurance, the purchase of the agency will allow GCM to continue to grow and expand with a new generation of leadership."
"We''re taking this opportunity to get back into the traditional independent insurance agency business, and once again be a family and friends owned and independently operated agency," GCM officer Kyle Chandler III said.
Lewis F. Mallory Jr., chairman and CEO of Cadence Bank, in a release called GCM is "a first-class company that provides excellent service and products to its customers."
Our association with them and their people has been a valuable one and will continue to be in the years ahead. We believe they will continue to be the leading agency in this area of Mississippi," he said.
The business evolved in 1994 from Galloway-Wiggers Insurance of Columbus (founded in 1965) and Kyle Chandler Insurance of West Point (founded in 1920). Galloway-Chandler-McKinney Insurance is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Mississippi with locations in Amory, Aberdeen, Columbus, Starkville, and West Point.