Proctor Retains Independence under Brown & Brown

In April, Brown & Brown Inc. here acquired ownership of Proctor Financial Insurance, but the new owners are not changing much at the firm.

Tom Proctor still runs the company and his management team remains intact in the firm's Troy, Mich., office. Cory Walker, chief financial officer at Brown & Brown, said that's the way the parent company wants it.

"The only thing that has changed with Proctor is the ownership, and Proctor will continue to operate just like they always have. Tom proctor still runs it. He is the profit center manager."

Brown & Brown, which is ranked as the nation's sixth largest independent insurance intermediary by Business Insurance magazine, has acquired many local insurance agents and related businesses in recent years. Mr. Walker said the company's strategy is not to centralize operations but to allow each of its "branches" to operate autonomously.

He described Proctor as the best provider of lender-placed insurance that he knows of, but Mr. Walker also said it wasn't the lender-placed insurance niche that attracted Brown & Brown to the Proctor.

"It's always about people. Good people can run their operations locally," he said. "We find people who have good businesses and good organizations and a strong work ethic, and we are attracted to them."

The advantage for Proctor is that it will have the financial backing of Brown & Brown, so the company will have more financial resources if they need it to do more things better, Mr. Walker said.

As an independent insurance agency, Brown & Brown has been in business since 1939 with home offices in Daytona Beach and Tampa, Fla.

Proctor and Brown & Brown finalized an acquisition agreement last April.

Founded in 1994, Proctor, with annual revenue of approximately $18 million, provides specialty insurance products to more than 1,500 financial institutions.

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