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July 10, 2006

Wachovia Insurance Services Enters Miami Market

Wachovia Insurance Services announced today the acquisition of Miami-based US Insurance Underwriters (USIU) in a deal that provides Wachovia its first entry into the Miami market through a well-established insurance brokerage firm specializing in property & casualty and employee benefits.

Julio C. Moreno, a native of Matanzas, Cuba, founded USIU in 1980. His son Jay, a graduate of Florida State University's risk management program, joined the firm in 1991 as a managing partner.

"The Hispanic community across our country has an estimated buying power of approximately $700 billion," said Stewart McDowell, president of Wachovia Insurance Services. "Julio and Jay Moreno have spent their entire business careers creating and serving relationships within the Hispanic community in Miami. Julio, Jay and the staff of USIU bring a wealth of talent that will be shared across Southeast Florida. We expect the combination of their experience and Wachovia Insurance Services' extensive professional insurance resources to produce exponential growth."

Julio Moreno will continue leading the Miami operation. He will report to William Allen, managing director for Wachovia Insurance Services in Southeast Florida, and focus his team's efforts on expanding sales and services.

"This combination represents an important first step toward achieving our strategic goal of having a significant presence in the Miami-Dade market," said Valerie Harwell, regional managing director for Wachovia Insurance Services in Florida. "Having already worked on several projects jointly with the Morenos, we have witnessed firsthand the depth of their relationships within the community and the professionalism with which they approach their business. We are very excited that the Morenos will serve as the foundation of our future growth and success in this vital market."

"Wachovia has an established and admired brand within the Miami/Dade Hispanic community and the corporation shares our high regard for excellent customer service," Moreno said. "It made perfect sense for us to combine our firm with Wachovia Insurance Services. Our existing contacts and reputation in the local business community combined with the additional resources that Wachovia brings in the way of products, services and markets truly make this a win-win situation. I am proud to be the newest member of the Wachovia Insurance Services team."

The deal closed June 30, 2006.

Posted by Tom Troceen