Protective Life Corporation, a U.S.-based insurance company owned by Dai-ichi Life Holdings, is launching a wealth management firm, Concourse Financial Group, on July 19 that will consolidate three Protective Life businesses, ProEquities, First Protective and Protective Distributors, into one entity.
“We’re consolidating them to go to market together as a unified front, to provide a more holistic set for financial professionals,” said Doyle Williams, senior vice president at Protective and the head of Concourse.
The firm originated with ProEquities, a Birmingham, Ala.-based independent broker/dealer with an RIA. First Protective, also in Birmingham, serves as a brokerage general agency that provides risk management planning, while Protective Distributors is the firm’s wholesale life insurance distribution business that, for the most part, services Edward Jones.
Of the 495 registered representatives ProEquities has, about a third, or 160 plus, use the firm’s RIA. Concourse will carry the $16 billion in assets under advisement and $5 billion in assets under management. Half of the AUM are advisory, Williams said. But the firm hopes to grow that in the future.
"We are leaning into the RIA space a little more and we want to make sure we have services to provide for them,” he said.
Overtime, Protective will add a concierge desk, protection insurance products, more technology and services around financial planning, and additional staffing.
“We’re rebranding three operating companies, but it’s more than that—we’ve restructured as a result,” said Williams. “We’re bringing the back-offices together. That helps us be more efficient and lean into different opportunities and also provide some [professional] growth opportunities.”
In the end, Concourse will have investment and insurance services, financial planning, and practice management. Concourse will also help with the transitions of insurance agents who want to become investment managers, brokers looking to add advisory services, and investment advisors who want to grow their business.
“We’re giving them everything they need to become successful, according to their metrics. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re here for,” said Williams.
There have been “minor” redundancies as the three businesses merge, he said.
While Williams said the consolidation has been driven by overall industry changes, including fee compression, he sees the move as the foundation for Protective’s future growth.
“With all the M&A going on, we’re confident we will be a player at some point. The multiples are very rich right now, and we have patient capital because of our parent; we’re not going to rush into market,” he said.
David Lau, CEO of DPL Financial Partners, an insurance management platform for RIAs, said the RIA space is hot for insurers because, for one, “it’s a multi-trillion-dollar market in terms of assets” and, two, “it’s a new green field for insurance.”