Florida-based Main Street America to operate as stand-alone bran - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Florida-based Main Street America to operate as stand-alone brand of American Family

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison-based American Family Insurance group and Florida-based The Main Street America Group will pursue a merger, the companies announced today.

Upon completion of the merger, Main Street America will operate as a stand-alone brand within American Family Insurance group, similar to The General and Homesite, acquired in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

The American Family Insurance group ended 2017 with approximately 11,300 full-time equivalent employees and Main Street America has approximately 900. At this time, no major employee or operational changes are expected as a result of the merger, according to the news release.

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon says the merger is good news for Madison-based business.

“This is terrific news for American Family Insurance and their ability to reach new markets while supporting current policyholders," Brandon said.

Approved by the companies’ boards of directors, the merger will improve diversity of risk, promote growth through geographic expansion and provide agents and policyholders broader product offerings, according to a news release.

The merger does not involve capital outlay by either. Both also have national distribution capabilities, but each with a regional emphasis. The merger, expected to close by year-end, will require approval by mutual policyholder-members of both companies and state insurance regulators.

“This merger will give policyholders – particularly small business owners – more insurance products to choose from and more ways to buy them,” said Jack Salzwedel, chairman and CEO of the American Family Insurance group. “Given our focus on policyholders and agents, that’s a win.”

“Both companies are able to immediately take advantage of our unique marketplace positions, as well as the ability to bring new value to each of our agency distribution systems,” said Tom Van Berkel, Main Street America’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our ability to sell new products through our independent agent-customers will help us and our agents profitably grow, while simultaneously bringing American Family enterprise products to a different policyholder base.”

The combined equity of the merged entities is expected to be more than $9 billion.

More from the news release his HERE.

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