In the four years since Johnny Morgan and David White bought back Morgan-White Group, the insurance firm they had sold in 2000, their business has changed dramatically.
The sales of proprietary products like the medical gap plan, which reduces the cost of major medical coverage to employers, has grown significantly. The company’s small group vision plan underwritten by Spectera, a subsidiary of United Healthcare, has taken off. And the small group dental plan that Morgan-White, Ltd., began to market in 2005 for United Healthcare has exceeded their expectations.
“The sales of these three products have caused us to increase our marketing personnel by 50% and our administration employment by 30%,” said White, president and CEO of the Morgan-White Group. “Of course, this has caused real space problems in our current office building.”
In January, the former 15,000-square-foot Gateway Computer building on Interstate 55 in Jackson became available for sale. After touring the facility in February, and seeing that it is completely open from back to front, Morgan and White decided it fit their situation perfectly.
“For a sales and administrative organization like ours, it was ideal,” said White. “We closed on the building in May and we’re in the process of refurbishing it now. We expect to move in by October or November.”
This new facility will allow for a 50% increase in Morgan-White Group’s current Jackson staff. Now, the company has approximately 100 employees with offices in Jackson, Oxford and Greenville in Mississippi and an international office in Miami.
“The Miami office has also seen significant growth in 2006 and has over 28 employees,” explained White. “The international division provides administrative services to insurance companies that market major medical insurance to persons in Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean. Morgan-White has been providing services to these insurance companies since 1990.”
Morgan and White also formed an insurance company in Bermuda in 2005 to handle some of their international medical business. Their largest international client: Lloyd’s of London. Morgan-White in Miami has been providing services to the English re-insurer since January 1999. This year, Morgan-White Administrators International Inc. added to its client list a new insurer in Barbados, which White would only say, “will become a major account for our Miami operation very quickly.”
“Even though our international business has been on the upswing in 2006, it’s our domestic administrative services that has grown the fastest,” noted White. “Based on this year’s growth and what I know of now for the rest of the year, it wouldn’t surprise me to outgrow this new building almost before we move in. But that’s not a bad thing. It just shows the quality of our employees and our customers recognition of the excellent service we provide.”
Two Ole Miss grads and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers, Morgan, an economic developer, and White, a Proctor & Gamble representative, created the Morgan-White Group in 1987, primarily focusing on payroll deduction supplemental insurance products. The company has grown and seen many changes since its founding, but one thing has remained the same.
“It’s very important to us that we’re a closely-held insurance company with the ability to address market needs very rapidly, and that makes us a niche company,” said Morgan, vice president of Morgan-White Group.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne W. Jeter at Lynne.Jeter@gmail.com.