NC NEWS & OBSERVER By Alan M. Wolf - Staff Writer
N.C. Mutual Life Insurance, the nation's oldest and largest black-owned insurer, reported its first annual profit in eight years. The Durham-based company had net income of $790,000 in 2010, reversing a $2.5 million loss in 2009... During the past several years, the insurer has cut expenses, dumped poorly performing parts of its business and beefed up its customer service.
"I would have to call 2010 a glaring success for N.C. Mutual," said CEO James Speed Jr., on a conference call. "We are optimistic we will continue to be profitable in 2011.
" The company recently received approval from the N.C. Department of Insurance to raise up to $25 million in capital that could be used to acquire new insurance business.
Since 2005, N.C. Mutual has slashed its annual expenses from $18 million to about $11 million, Speed said. It's using technology to become more efficient and has cut back on travel and other costs.
The company also cut its work force nearly in half since 2004, mostly by offering early retirement packages, and now has about 80 employees.
By operating more efficiently, Speed expects the company can double its revenue without adding more workers.
N.C. Mutual marked its 112th birthday last fall. Its total assets increased slightly last year to $152.1 million.
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