When the Lincoln Monetary Group sells its business park and campus in Concord’s North Finish (you can buy it for $6 million) and no more time has a existence as an employer in Money Town, it will near the guides on far more than a century of background of existence insurance underwriting for a succession of businesses.
This tale commenced back in 1913 when a group of Concord’s main citizens recognized the United Lifetime & Accident Insurance policy Organization, to start with positioned at 65 North Key Avenue in the coronary heart of the city’s downtown. Among the the early executives and directors were brothers S.W. and John B. Jameson, Benjamin W. Crouch, fireplace and casualty coverage executive Charles L. Jackman, and clerk of the new corporation. Allen E. Hollis, one particular of the city’s most outstanding legal professionals (Hollis turned president of United lifetime in 1923).
The firm appears to have had near connections with the Republican Social gathering, as New Hampshire Govs. Rolland H. Spaulding (elected 1916) and Henry W. Keyes (elected 1918) had been additional to the company’s board of directors.
The younger lifetime coverage organization prospered and had brokers offering its merchandise up and down the eastern seaboard. It stored most of its reserves in non-desire bearing accounts in Harmony banks, earning the bankers content. It also invested in railroad and municipal bonds and it acquired up some 6% farm mortgages in Kansas and Nebraska. Then arrived the bust – the Terrific Melancholy and the Dust Bowl in the plains states. United Daily life suffered reversals as effectively, and even stopped paying out income to procure new business.
Post Environment War II, the sun reappeared for the firm, and in 1951, it moved to the former Durgin Silver Firm setting up at 2 White Avenue (now home of UNH’s Franklin Pierce Faculty of Regulation). New management on the board of directors arrived in the particular person of lawyer Dudley W. Orr, and as president, Douglas B. Whiting.
By the late 50s, United Existence experienced prospered to the extent that it became an desirable takeover target, and in a defensive shift, Orr steered the enterprise into a friendly takeover by Keene-centered Peerless Insurance policy Organization, about which Orr also exercised handle. Quickly, even though, United Lifestyle eclipsed Peerless in worth and Orr engineered a stock break up that returned United Life to independence. Orr also hired a youthful Yale Regulation School graduate whose father had been Orr’s roommate at Dartmouth and Harvard Legislation Faculty. His name was John F. Swope, and he would figure drastically in the company’s foreseeable future.
United Everyday living continued to mature and prosper, innovating a new products in the late 60s termed ULAICO, which merged lifetime insurance policy with securities ownership. Under its “Hampshire Approach,” agents marketed insurance that turned paid out up in 10 years together with an appealing mutual fund investment decision. It was a significant results, and United Lifetime was yet again a key takeover focus on. Seeking to command its future as a great deal as possible, the firm hired a merger expert, T. Benson Leavitt, and billed him with soliciting the very best offer.
The suitor that match turned out to be a New Jersey enterprise, Chubb Insurance Organization, whose chairman, Percy Chubb, was an alumnus of Concord’s St. Paul’s Faculty. The fit among Chubb and United Daily life was a fantastic one and the merger was consummated in the summertime of 1971. That was the stop of United Life’s company title, but rarely the conclusion of the story.
John Swope experienced served steer United Existence to its pinnacle of success, and in 1977 he was rewarded by being named President of Chubb Insurance Company. Before long thereafter, Chubb moved out of the White Street setting up and into a model new “campus” called 1 Granite Place, uphill from the intersection of Rumford and Penacook streets. A 96,000-sq.-foot, 4-tale building housed the increasing enterprise for only a several several years and yet another 114,000-sq.-foot constructing went up in 1985, all of this on a campus of 178 acres. Chubb named John Swope President of Chubb in 1977, and in 1982, the corporation adopted its new name, Chubb LifeAmerica. Chubb employed about 750 men and women in Harmony at its peak in the 80s and early 90s.
Concord attained from the presence of the Chubb operations in just its borders. Swope and the Chubb management turned lively in aiding the city gain a good recognition in the arts earth, supplying generously to the Capitol Centre for the Arts (the place the huge stage and auditorium have been named the Chubb Theatre), the Concord City Auditorium, New Hampshire General public Radio and additional. The is effective of regional artists ended up hung in the public regions of the Chubb structures. And John Swope, and his wife, Marjory, grew to become regarded group leaders. Swope says the company’s civic engagement reflected the commitment of United Life’s founders to general public provider.
Issues went together frequently nicely and the organization grew till the early 90s when Wall Road pressured Chubb to return to its roots as a home and casualty firm, and to market off its lifestyle insurance plan enterprise. Swope was pressured out as president on Dec. 31, 1994 and his put was taken by mergers and acquisitions professional Theresa Stone, who engineered the sale of the everyday living insurance policies enterprise to North Carolina-primarily based Jefferson-Pilot Company. Later on, Jefferson-Pilot moved its headquarters to Nebraska, and in 2006, merged with Pennsylvania-primarily based Lincoln National Everyday living Insurance policies Firm. That diversified to become Lincoln Economic Group, and a slow but deliberate downsizing of the Harmony operations commenced. That sales opportunities us to the conclusion of the street for the tiny lifestyle insurer acknowledged as United Daily life and Incident Insurance plan Corporation.
To browse a lot more about this story, and about various other insurance policies firms that grew as Harmony progressed, see “Insurance: the organization that changed the railroad,” Chapter 14 of “Crosscurrents of Transform: Concord, N.H. in the 20th Century” posted by the Harmony Historic Culture. It may perhaps be ordered at the Modern society website or at Gibson’s E-book Retailer.