February 14, 2020
(Courtesy: Jacksonville Business Journal)
Harden, a Jacksonville-based insurance agency, recently announced the expansion of one of their South Florida offices. The strategy behind this expansion? Filling the gap left by the consolidation of major insurance agencies.
Harden is expanding its office Fort Lauderdale and will be adding several new jobs over the next five years, said President Justin Terry.
Terry said there a few large employee-owned independent agencies left. Most larger firms have been consolidated and are dominated by private equity money, leaving a gap for intermediary agencies like Harden.
Terry said that Harden has always had clients in the South Florida region, but the offices in Fort Lauderdale allow for the company to provide more localized service.
The company prides itself on remaining independent but providing a level or service that rivals larger firms. Rather than focusing on returns for investors, employees are concentrated on the delivering on the value proposition that they offer customers, Terry said.
“We have comparable resources with a personal touch and access to leaders,” said Terry.
Another way that Harden sets itself a part is by not concerning itself with short term profits.
“Short term economics aren’t our priority,” said Terry. “We’ll accept lower short term returns to deliver on our mission.”
Despite the expansion in Fort Lauderdale, Terry says they aren’t currently eyeing any new markets. Instead, the company will focus on organic growth in the regions where they already have a foothold.
Harden has offices in Amelia Island, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. They provide various services, including risk management, insurance, employee benefits and personal and financial services. Harden currently employs 130 associates.