VOL. 115 | NO. 212 | Wednesday, December 12, 2001
First Tennessee to Acquire Nashville-Based Insurance Broker
First Tennessee to buy insurance broker
First Tennessee National Corp. announced its principal banking subsidiary, First Tennessee Bank has entered into a definitive agreement with Synaxis Group Inc., to buy the Nashville-based insurance broker. Synaxis, which ranks among the 20 largest privately owned insurance brokers in the United States, is a network of major regional and community-based insurance agencies in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The acquisition will give First Tennessee the ability to serve existing and potential customers with insurance products. Synaxis provides a broad range of commercial products including property, casualty, bonds, employee benefits, workers compensation and other forms of liability protection. Personal insurance coverage includes automobile, homeowners and other products designed to meet the insurance needs of individuals and families.
"Synaxis will be a great addition to First Tennessee," said Larry Martin, First Tennessee's business banking president. "Their established expertise and excellent reputation will give First Tennessee a solid foundation for expanding its presence in the insurance industry."
David Haynes, Synaxis chairman and chief executive officer, said customers will continue to benefit from the personal relationships they've developed with their agents and now will have access to a full line of financial products from one of the nation's top financial services providers.
The transaction should be completed by the end of the year, subject to routine closing conditions. Terms were not disclosed. The agreement is a continuation of First Tennessee's previously announced plan to improve its long-term growth rate by enhancing the overall business mix of the company and expanding product offerings and relationships with its customers, Martin said.
Synaxis was formed in March 1998 and employs about 280 people, including 60 sales professionals. Synaxis services insurance premiums in excess of $275 million. Its operations include Employers Risk Services Inc.; Frost Specialty Risk Inc.; Mann, Smith & Cummings Inc.; Merritt & McKenzie Inc.; Polk & Sullivan Group Inc.; and Van Meter Insurance Inc.
FTN has assets of $19.7 billion and is a nationwide, diversified financial services institution and one of the 50 largest bank holding companies in the United States in asset size and market capitalization. Banking and other financial services are provided through the regional banking group and three national lines of business: First Horizon Home Loans, First Tennessee Capital Markets and transaction processing which includes First Horizon Merchant Services (credit card merchant processing) and Express Processing (nationwide payment processing operation).