July 22, 2015

Crump Insurance Takes Fresh Independence to New Headquarters in Ridgeway Center

By Carolyne Park
– Memphis Business Journal –

The newly independent Crump Insurance Services of Memphis, Inc., moved to its new headquarters this week.

The company transferred from its former 8,500-square-foot office in the Marsh Building at 1000 Ridgeway Loop Road to a 12,000-square-foot office at 5865 Ridgeway Center Parkway effective Tuesday.

While Crump Insurance remains in Boyle Investments Co.’s Ridgeway Center mixed-use development, the move signifies a fresh start for the 86-year-old company five months after its split from Marsh & McLennan Cos.

Crump’s roots date back to 1920, when Memphian E.H. Crump founded the retail insurance agency Crump and Trezevant. The company expanded with branch offices around the country, and became E.H. Crump Co. when Crump bought out his partner in 1936. A wholesale insurance arm, Crump Underwriters, was formed in 1954. 32 years later, Crump was sold to Sedgwick Ltd. of London, and the excess and surplus offices became Crump E&S in 1987. In 1998, Marsh & McLennan purchased Sedgwick.

As insurance companies across the country faced scrutiny over compensation and distribution practices, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued Marsh & McLennan on charges of rigging commercial insurance claims and steering clients toward favored insurers. In January 2005, Marsh & McLennan settled, agreeing to business reforms and $850 million in restitution payments over a four-year period.

As part of its restructuring, the company sold its wholesale insurance businesses. As a result, Crump Group, Inc., was sold to the private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co. last October.

Buddy Campo, manager of Crump Insurance Services of Memphis, says the company has since expanded with new relationships with national retailers.

“Crump has always been looking to become independent,” he says. “It opened the door for us to establish some new relationships.”

As a result, the local company projects 8%-10% growth this year. The new office will provide room for Crump’s 46 employees, as well as future growth.

Campo says the company chose to stay at Ridgeway Center for convenience and the numerous amenities offered there. The 204-acre, multiple-use center was developed by Boyle in 1973, the former Ridgeway Country Club site. Ridgeway Center includes 44 office buildings, a Hilton Hotel, Malco movie theater, several banks, condominiums, restaurants, schools and a church. Located along the Poplar corridor just east of I-240, the center is home to more than 150 companies including Morgan Keegan & Co., Marsh USA, Service Master Consumer Services Co., Sedgwick CMS and SunTrust.

Mark Halperin, executive vice president of Boyle, says the center is more than 90% leased with rates ranging from $18-$20 per square foot. Crump has been a Boyle tenant since 1995, and signed a 7-year lease at its new location.

“They’re an old Memphis name and really a landmark Memphis name in the business community,” Halperin says. “They’ve been a customer for quite a while. We’re excited that they’re staying with us.”

The Dallas-based Crump Group has operations in 13 cities and is one of the largest excess and surplus line insurance wholesalers in the U.S.