Gary West is president of Texas BancPartners, an independent insurance agency partly owned by Oaks Bank and Trust Co. and Lone Star Bank, which are community banks in the Dallas area. Though West’s agency had always done some group and life insurance business with property and casualty (P/C) customers, the income derived from those products was never more than 10 percent of the company’s annual total commission revenues. West expects this percentage to more than double this year because the firm recently formed a strategic alliance with IPS Advisors, a large life insurance and benefits agency that offers a wide range of variable insurance products and estate-planning options. Texas BancPartners is currently educating bank officers about identifying good prospects for these products, too.
West, a 30-year veteran of P/C sales, says he’s amazed at the depth of the relationships banks have with their customers. “There’s a trusted advisor relationship there that’s incredible,” he says. “In the community banking world, customers follow their bankers everywhere. That’s the kind of relationship we’re trying to create, and it’s working. We think it’s going to work on the financial side.”
(Reported by Julie Crawshaw, contributor to Advisor Today)
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