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M&T Bank buys insurance agency in Maryland

M&T Bank Corp. said it has acquired an insurance agency outside of Washington, D.C., expanding its insurance business into its faster-growing southern markets of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

M&T Insurance Agency, a full-service commercial property and casualty subsidiary of M&T Bank, paid an undisclosed price for Hess Egan Hagerty & L'Hommedieu, a commercial insurance and surety brokerage in Chevy Chase, Md.

Hess Egan will operate as a division of M&T Insurance.

Founded in 1967, Hess Egan is a full-service agency serving local, regional, national and international clients. It employs 38, and also has offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Its principals -- President Robert E. Walsh, Eugene P. Dessureau, John J. Younger, Donald W. Armbrecht and Stephen W. Freeman -- will remain with Hess Egan, with Walsh becoming vice president and regional manager of the division.

M&T executives, citing the bank's expansion into Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., with its 2003 purchase of Allied Irish Banks Plc's Allfirst Financial unit, said the insurance expansion was natural. It will also provide opportunities to cross-sell services to each other's clients.

Before the deal, M&T wrote about $110 million in annual premiums, according to Insurance Journal. Together, the combined insurance businesses write $190 million in annual premiums.

"We are joining with one of the premier insurance agencies in the Greater Washington area, a firm of professionals well-known for their tremendous expertise and for their long-term relationship with their clients," said John Rumschik, president of M&T Insurance, in a press release.

In all, M&T has more than $55.1 billion in assets, $40.3 billion in deposits and operates 650 branches and 1,550 automated teller machines in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C. The company employs more than 13,000 and serves more than 1.9 million customers.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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