Joe Max Green insurance agency is no stranger to companies wanting to buy the Nacogdoches business that he's owned for 45 years. It's among the nation's largest insurance agencies, and certainly the leading agency in this region. But when BancorpSouth came knocking, Green said he had found the perfect match. " This is not a take the money and go home and quit deal. This is a deal that we're doing because it's going to better Nacogdoches. It's going to better East Texas and it's going to better all of of our employees," said the chairman of JMG/IC Insurance Agency. He spoke before a crowd of his own employees and business people.
The cost of the business is not being disclosed. BancorpSouth is aggressively adding to a growing Texas franchise. The corporate leaders are confident in the decision, despite an uncertain economic climate. BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO Aubrey Patterson said, " We have such closeness to the community and such great local leadership that we weather these cycles very well and what that permits the parent company to do, BancorpSouth, is provide the capital that's needed to continue to support the opportunity. "
Green and agency president Gary LaFour will remain in their current positions. More importantly, Green's 80 employees will keep their jobs. Green said, " It is so important that we join someone that's going to make sure and has promised me under no uncertain terms, 'Hey, Joe Max, you're still there. Gary is still there and your employees are still there.'"
The next year will be one of adjustment. Growth will undoubtedly be in the future. BancorpSouth Insurance Services President Markham McKnight said, " We are expanding the Texas franchise market. To Acquire a well established business makes good business sense. Undoubtedly, this will create more opportunities to grow in the East Texas area. "