Industry news source Agency Checklists recently interviewed our President, Charlie Gibson, about our unique structure and how we do business.
Here’s a snippet from the interview:
Like many of the best agencies in the Commonwealth, Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates of Wellesley has been family owned and operated since 1900. Now helmed by the third and fourth generations of the Gibson clan, the agency has evolved over the years from a generalist agent into a top risk-advisor and insurance manager. With more than $40,000,000 in written premiums, however, the core of the agency’s success is in its clear mission as a client advocate and its innovative approach towards its producers which allows them to own their own book of business.
Charlie Gibson, who represents the third generation of the Gibson family, and is the president of the agency, sat down with Agency Checklists to discuss his agency’s history and its approach to recruiting and retaining talent, which includes his two sons, who will represent the fourth generation of Gibson leadership at the company.
Deland, Gibson has a rich history and family legacy as an independent, family-owned insurance agency. How did your agency start and what has been its growth over the years?
Deland, Gibson was founded in 1900 by Charles Deland, my father’s uncle. When he passed away in 1935, there was no one in his immediate family to take over for him. My father, who had joined the firm in 1929, along with his aunt, Mrs. Deland ended up running the agency as the Deland agency. It eventually became, the Deland, Gibson agency during the war years.
In 1959, a fellow named George Wrye joined the firm, and it became Deland, Gibson & Wrye, and remained that way until the 1960s. In 1973, we merged with the Meade and Gale Agency and became the Deland, Gibson, Meade & Gale Agency, which also gives you an idea as to the size of the agency then. When we were Deland, Gibson and Wrye, the agency was two-and-a-half million in premium. Meade and Gale was one-and-a-half million in premium, so the agency grew to four million in premium and we thought we were huge!
We existed like that during the rest of the 1970s, growing a little bit but nothing spectacular.
And then in 1983, we moved to Wellesley, where we have been for 31 years, and that became the jumping board for our growth. That same year, Paul Ronty joined us. He was a friend of my father’s, and he had a pretty nice book. The next year, in 1984, Phelps Edwards left his agency, Rollins, Burdick, Hunter, and joined us with a very nice book (In 1988 our name was changed to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates, Inc.).
So all of a sudden, we had a lot of new carriers receiving a lot of volume. The staff kept growing and to fast-forward to right now, we are an agency with just under $40,000,000 million dollars in premium and close to six million in revenue.
So looking back to when we thought we were big at four million in premium. Now, with almost six million in revenue, we are very happy with that.
What was your own introduction into agency life?
Well, it is funny we are having this conversation today because today is my 42nd anniversary with the agency. I first started working for the agency in 1972 after finishing Clemson University and the Navy. I basically, flew in from Vietnam and walked in the door 42 years ago today.