Posted on 16 Aug 2011
Unitrin, Inc. (UTR) proudly announces its new name -- Kemper Corporation -- effective Aug. 25, 2011 and will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the KMPR ticker symbol that day.
“Kemper is a legendary name in the insurance industry, and it offers an opportunity to create a unified brand for our family of companies and a strong platform for continued growth and expansion,” said Don Southwell, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
The company purchased the Kemper personal lines business in 2002, and this segment now represents the company’s largest business unit with just under $1 billion in total earned premiums in 2010. For marketing purposes, this unit will become Kemper Preferred, effective August 25. The holding company will incorporate the Kemper name in many of its other business units over time.
“Since the Kemper acquisition, we have looked for opportunities to leverage the value of the Kemper brand throughout our organization,” Southwell added. “When we had the opportunity to purchase the name outright in mid-2010, we jumped on it.”
In fact, the name change closely aligns with the corporate changes over the last five years. The company has worked to redefine itself from a holding company with an eclectic portfolio of companies and investments to a straightforward insurance provider with more than $8 billion in assets. Unitrin was established as a holding company after its spin-off from Teledyne in 1990.
“The Kemper name fits who we have become as a company,” Southwell continued. “It allows us to bring together all of our approximately 7,000 employees under one banner that reinforces our position as a straightforward company that delivers personal service and financial excellence in all of our interactions.”
After purchasing the name, the company immediately began a top-to-bottom study of its brands, assisted by third-party research, to explore how best to use the name more aggressively. The Kemper brand name, its attributes and recognition remain strong, with about a 30 percent greater awareness of the Kemper name over Unitrin among consumers surveyed.
While the company name will change, the commitment to customer service will remain strong. The company’s subsidiaries work through about 10,000 independent agents and 2,600 career agents who know the company’s products and understand how to find the right fit for a wide array of customers.
Customers who choose to purchase their insurance directly on-line can do so via Unitrin Direct or iMingle®, an industry first that uses social networking to enable customers to link their policies with friends.
“We view our rebranding as an investment in the company,” said Dennis Vigneau, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Over time we expect to see benefits in terms of overall growth and increased shareholder returns.”
Unitrin is a diversified insurance holding company with subsidiaries that provide auto, homeowners, life, health and other insurance products for individuals.