(Fort Worth, Texas) – The team from Houston’s Iscential, a premier independent insurance agency, risk management and financial services firm, has joined forces with Fort Worth’s Higginbotham, the largest independent insurance, financial and HR services firm headquartered in Texas and one of the top firms in the country. This strategic move allows access to enhanced services for Iscential clients and adds a second Houston team to the Higginbotham roster.
As Higginbotham celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid continues looking toward the next milestone. Reid champions strategic growth for the company by bringing aboard agencies and teams that enjoy strong reputations in their local markets and share the same energy, culture, values, and commitment to service as Higginbotham.
“Iscential fits perfectly into our national network of firms,” Reid declared. “I could not be more pleased to bring them into the fold. They are a firm with impressive growth and an incredible reputation for client service. Our partnership with Iscential will allow both of us to better provide enhanced services to our clients for years to come.”
Warren Barhorst, CEO of Iscential, also looked to the future as he searched for a company that could bring long-term organizational continuity to the business he founded 30 years ago. But his search was complicated by what he found in the marketplace.
“There were a lot of agencies to choose from,” said Barhorst. “But when we started taking a closer look, we realized that so many companies are driven by stock price rather than customer and employee care, and they’re not run by insurance people.
“Then we looked at Higginbotham,” Barhorst continued. “Not only do they have the long-term, proven performance we needed, but they also have the right culture. They’re employee-owned. They’re sales-driven and customer-focused. And best of all — they’re run by insurance people. With Higginbotham, we found a partner that values what we’ve built, values our culture and associates, and wants more than a financial transaction.”
Barhorst noted that he was particularly excited to now be able to offer Higginbotham’s wide array of services to Iscential clients: “When we looked at the Higginbotham services, there was no question — they’ve done what we were trying to do on a smaller scale, and they’ve done it right.”
Reid elaborated, “At Higginbotham, we’ve strategically and diligently built the in-house services for risk management, benefit plan administration, HR services, and more, and we’re looking forward to offering these solutions to Iscential clients.”
“Despite the obvious benefits, the decision to team up with Higginbotham was surprisingly emotional,” Barhorst concluded. “Higginbotham kept telling us it’ll be business as usual, and they were right. Except they’re enabling me to refocus on the parts of the business I love most. If you’re a baker and you like to bake, you want to make cookies. You don’t want to sit at your desk alone doing paperwork. Today, I got to make the insurance version of cookies: I got to be back with clients all day long.”
Dowling Hales acted as exclusive financial advisor to the sellers in this transaction.
Iscential is an independent insurance agency, risk management and financial services firm dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses protect their most valuable assets. One of the largest writers of Nationwide property and casualty insurance in the country, Iscential was founded in 1993 by current CEO Warren Barhorst and his wife. With roots planted in Houston, Iscential has grown to encompass over 140 associates and is licensed in over 38 states. Visit iscential.com for more information.
Employee owned and customer inspired, Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance, financial and HR services. The firm was established in 1948 and ranks by revenue as the nation’s 21st largest independent insurance firm. Serving thousands of businesses and individuals through locations coast-to-coast, Higginbotham’s approach to finding insurance, employee benefit and risk management solutions is more individual and less institutional. By understanding customer priorities, eliminating inefficiencies and committing to transparency, Higginbotham is a place that leads with values so value leads. Visit higginbotham.com for more information.