DALLAS – Integrity Marketing Group, LLC (“Integrity”), the nation’s largest independent distributor of life and health insurance products, today announced it has acquired The Assurance Group, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing insurance marketing organizations (IMOs). The acquisition also includes Leads2Success, The Assurance Group’s affiliated lead generation company. As part of the acquisition, Ed and Beverly Shackelford will become Managing Partners in Integrity. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In 1988, Ed Shackelford launched Piedmont Brokerage, which became The Assurance Group. Under Shackelford’s leadership, The Assurance Group and its 120 employees have experienced a 40 percent year-over-year organic sales growth rate for the past several years. Their 600 career agents and 5,000 brokerage agents are heavily focused on the senior market and support the retirement needs of more than 70,000 Americans with industry-leading Medicare, life and annuity products. In 2020, The Assurance Group expects to produce total annual premium of more than $250 million.
Beverly Shackelford founded Leads2Success in 2004 to support the agency’s growing group of sales professionals. Now under the leadership of their daughters, Brooke Mitchell and Brittany Bowles, Leads2Success provides direct mail services and lead lists—mailing more than 50 million pieces per year. By combining Leads2Success’ deep expertise in lead sourcing with Integrity’s resources and network of partners, The Assurance Group will now be able to scale faster than it ever has before.
“Family has always been central to the Shackelford’s business and we’re thrilled that they are now part of our Integrity family,” said Bryan W. Adams, Co-Founder and CEO of Integrity. “Companies like The Assurance Group join the Integrity platform to accelerate growth and accomplish more than they could on their own. We know that The Assurance Group has an exciting future ahead and together we will achieve new milestones and serve more Americans with their life and health insurance needs.”
“At The Assurance Group, our focus has always been centered on building our business, but we recognized that in order to achieve the exponential growth we knew was possible, we needed a partner who could help us scale,” said Ed Shackelford. “By joining Integrity, you’re not selling your business, but partnering with industry leaders to achieve more without taking all of the risks on your own. The employee ownership opportunities, resources and access to industry talent we receive through Integrity have left me with no doubt that this was the right decision at the right time. I have been impressed by what Integrity has built. The exclusive technology-enabled sales platform provided to their agents will now be available to our field force. I can’t even imagine the heights we will reach as an Integrity partner.”
Renowned for its emphasis on agent career development, The Assurance Group has partnered with Integrity to bring ownership opportunities to their employees and enhanced resources and capabilities to their agents. The Assurance Group’s employees will receive meaningful company ownership for the first time through Integrity’s Employee Ownership Plan. In addition, agents can now achieve growth goals by combining Leads2Success’ proven leads management and delivery system with Integrity’s extensive technology solutions. These include tools such as online quoting, enrollment and CRM capabilities. The partnership also includes access to Integrity’s large-scale infrastructure, which incorporates marketing, accounting, product development and human resources.
“Building our team has always been the most important aspect of our business, whether it’s by providing exemplary training or supporting them with high quality leads,” said Beverly Shackelford. “With access to the Integrity platform, our agents receive the full range of marketing and delivery services to truly diversify and scale their business. We know we’re stronger together and we’re excited about all Integrity can offer our agents and employees.”
“At Integrity, we believe in investing in great leaders,” said Steve Young, Chairman of the Board of Integrity. “It’s been exciting to watch the Shackelfords grow their business and then help them determine the right time to secure their legacy. Partnership is crucial to drive future growth and we know incredible opportunities are in store for The Assurance Group as an Integrity partner.”