Business

Cameron Harris sells his insurance company – for the second time

Local insurance brokerage firm Cameron M. Harris & Company, based in SouthPark on Fairview Road, has been acquired by Valhalla, N.Y.-based USI Insurance Services, the companies said Thursday.
Local insurance brokerage firm Cameron M. Harris & Company, based in SouthPark on Fairview Road, has been acquired by Valhalla, N.Y.-based USI Insurance Services, the companies said Thursday.

Local insurance brokerage firm Cameron M. Harris & Company has been acquired by Valhalla, N.Y.-based USI Insurance Services, the companies said Thursday.

Founded by Cameron “Cammie” Harris, the Charlotte-based firm will remain at its current location and retain its employees, the company said. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“This acquisition reinforces our continued investment in the Southeast and our pledge to helping local clients grow their businesses,” said James Dunn, head of USI’s southeast region, in a statement. “I am thrilled to have such a respected pool of professionals join our growing family and I welcome Cammie and his team to USI.”

Harris, brother of prominent real estate developer Johnny Harris, said the deal will give his firm’s clients access to a wider range of products.

“Our clients, colleagues and communities will enjoy best-in-class solutions that are customized through proprietary analytics, local and national resources and team-based planning,” said Harris. “This is an exciting and new, chapter for us, and we look forward to collaborating with Jim and his team on growing this strategic marketplace.”

It’s the second time Harris has sold his firm, the first iteration of which he started in 1979. In 2002 Harris sold the company to Charlotte-based Wachovia, which later became part of Wells Fargo. He restarted his namesake insurance business in 2009.

The new Cameron M. Harris & Co. is based in its former office on Fairview Road in SouthPark, offering commercial property and casualty insurance, insurance for individuals, employee benefits and other products.

Wachovia did not disclose the terms of the acquisition when it was announced in 2002. At the time, Cameron M. Harris, founded in 1979, had $27 million in annual revenues, making it the largest privately held insurance broker based in the Carolinas and among the 50 largest in the U.S.

The sale of the company to Wachovia later erupted into a complex legal dispute in 2009 after the bank verged on failure during the financial crisis. A lawsuit filed by Harris and his wife, Dee-Dee Harris, accused bank officials of making falsely optimistic statements about the bank's condition before its 2008 collapse.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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