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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Truliant buys finance company for insurance premiums

Truliant Federal Credit Union, seeking to diversify how it makes money, recently bought an Atlanta-area company that specializes in lending to companies to cover the cost of insurance premiums.

Winston-Salem-based Truliant bought P1 Financial Holding, which was started 37 years ago but acquired in 2016 by a group led by President Bill Villari. Since then, it has operated as a division of a Georgia credit union. Terms weren’t disclosed.

P1 needed to be part of a larger institution after achieving annual loan volume topping $500 million, Villari says. “Our new alliance with Truliant provides significant capacity,  allowing us to focus on smart, systematic growth,” he says.

The vast majority of the business is for commercial business insurance, Villari says. The service is used in the purchase of excess and surplus policies when the annual premium is due.

Like many credit unions, Truliant has expanded its services for businesses in recent years after starting as a low-cost option for workers of a specific business. In Truliant’s case, it started in the 1950s to serve Western Electric employees in the Triad, and later became AT&T Family Federal Credit union.

Truliant’s assets top $5 billion, making it the second-largest N.C. credit union behind the $50 billion asset State Employees’ Credit Union. It reported net income of $30.8 million in 2023, compared with $45.3 million in 2022 and $47.2 million in 2021, according to federal filings.

The institution has 36 branches in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, with about half of them in the Triad. About 720 of its 920 employees are in the Triad, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Credit unions “tend to be more egalitarian, enthusiastically serving a broader cross-section of borrowers with great service and straightforward solutions,” Villari says. He noted many industry peers are aligned with commercial banks, “which is also a fine solution.”

Interest rates on financing provided by P1 is generally at or slightly higher than the prime lending rate, which is now 8.5%, Villari says. The cost of commercial and personal insurance has increased in recent years, which “makes what we do, financing premiums, all the more necessary,” he adds.

Truliant bought P1 to diversify its “product mix and risk management practices,” Chief Credit Officer Anderson Langford said. Having more products aligns with “credit unions’ mission of serving members’ financial needs,” he says.

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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