National Lloyds Insurance Co., a household name in Waco’s business community for five decades, has announced it will move its corporate headquarters to Dallas but will offer almost 80 local employees jobs there.
All departments will relocate to the National Lloyds office in Dallas starting early next year, and the Waco operation in the Triangle Tower, New Road and Valley Mills Drive, will turn dark in April. National Lloyds’ local run started in 1964.
Dallas-based Hilltop Holdings bought the company in 2007, and the insurance carrier became Hilltop’s only subsidiary not located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, National Lloyds President and CEO Bob Otis said.
Moving all operations to Dallas will allow National Lloyds to share resources with other Hilltop units, Otis said. There is a significant insurance presence in the Dallas area “to support the ongoing needs of our employees, agents and customers,” he said.
“We do have hesitation about leaving our hometown. It’s not an easy decision at all, considering the Waco business environment and the community. It’s been our home for 53 years, and it means a lot to us,” Otis said. “We were among the first subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings, but now we are one of several, and we believe this move is best for all concerned.”
He said National Lloyds already has transferred some functions to Dallas, including IT, human resources and benefits, security, risk management and compliance, legal and marketing and communications.
Changes in industry trends and the functions of National Lloyds should mean a “seamless” relocation of the remaining processes, Otis said.
For example, more than 70 percent of insurance claims are handled by field representatives or by the Dallas staff today, while almost 90 percent of underwriting and customer service and agency support is carried out online or by telephone, according to a National Lloyds fact sheet.
Otis said every Waco employee of National Lloyds will receive a job offer in Dallas. Those who choose to leave the company will collect a severance package using a formula based on longevity.
“This is not about any kind of job reduction,” Otis said. “There are jobs in Dallas, and we hope as many employees as possible will join us there. We will provide some type of relocation assistance.”
National Lloyds Insurance operated for years in its namesake, the National Lloyds Building at 900 Austin Ave., primarily during the ownership of Waco businessman Clifton Robinson, who founded the company.
Robinson sold National Lloyds Insurance in 2000 to Iowa-based GuideOne, then bought it back nine months later when GuideOne announced it was discontinuing the sale of policies under the National Lloyds name, putting 65 local jobs in jeopardy.
In 2006, Robinson completed a deal that stuck, selling National Lloyds Insurance and American Summit Insurance, both of Waco, to Colorado-based Affordable Residential Communities for $117 million.
Hilltop Holdings, which bought the two companies the next year, operates in 30 states with 4,200 independent agents who sell policies to owners of inexpensive and manufactured homes, according to the company website. It has $9.2 billion in assets and receives $182 million in annual premiums from customers of National Lloyds and American Summit.
Its subsidiaries besides the National Lloyds Corporation include PlainsCapital Bank, Prime Lending and Hilltop Securities.