Wells Fargo to sell insurance business with operations in Charlotte, elsewhere

Commuters walk by a Wells Fargo automated teller machine location in New York in this October 2016 photo.
Commuters walk by a Wells Fargo automated teller machine location in New York in this October 2016 photo. AP

Wells Fargo announced Tuesday the sale of its commercial insurance business, which has operations in Charlotte, to New York-based USI Insurance Services.

The San Francisco-based bank did not disclose terms of the divestiture, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter and still requires regulatory approvals. Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA employees will join privately-held USI in the purchase, including approximately 200 working in Charlotte, the bank said.

Wells Fargo Insurance Services provides small business, middle market, large corporate and high-net-worth clients with property and casualty, professional risk, employee benefits, private risk solutions and targeted insurance programs to specialized industries. In 2014, Valhalla, N.Y.-based USI acquired more than 40 smaller brokerage offices from Wells Fargo Insurance.

The sale doe not include Wells’ personal insurance business, which includes products such as auto, home and renters insurance. That business will now become part of the bank’s consumer lending operation, which is led by Iowa-based executive Franklin Codel.

The sale of the commercial insurance business reinforces Wells Fargo’s focus on its core banking products and services “that best meet the needs of our customers and support strong financial returns for shareholders,” San Francisco-based Perry Pelos, head of Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking, said in a statement. Speaking last month at an investor conference, Pelos said the bank planned to continue looking at divestitures of businesses, including those that might not fit Wells’ long-term growth objectives.

Wells Fargo employs about 24,000 people across a variety of business lines in the Charlotte metropolitan area, its biggest employment hub.

It was not immediately clear how many employees work in the bank’s insurance business in Charlotte. The bank’s website lists insurance offices at 301 S. College St. and 6100 Fairview Road.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts