First American buys Destrehan insurance agency

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 7, 1998

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / March 7, 1998

VACHERIE – First American Bank, with branches throughout the River Parishes, has jumped into the insurance business with the purchase of Destrehan-based Riverbend Insurance Agency.

“We think it’s an exciting thing to enter the insurance business,” J.B.Falgoust, chairman of First American’s board of directors, said at a press conference Thursday.

Riverbend Insurance, previously run by partners Wayne Roussel and Nolan Louque, has served customers in St. Charles and St. John the Baptistparishes since 1964. Both partners remain as part of First AmericanAgency, L.L.C.No employees will be laid off, and offices will remain in place until the offices will be headquartered at the bank building on Louisiana Highway 20, Vacherie.

The Louisiana Legislature voted to let banks to enter the insurance business. From that, Falgoust said, the bank considered starting its owninsurance agency or buying out an existing one.

“We looked around and targeted Riverlands,” Falgoust added. “It was theright size and located in the proper place.”Roussell recalled the start of the insurance agency in Norco before it relocated in 1988 to 1972 Ormond Blvd. in Destrehan. At present, thecompany carries $4 million in premium volume with five major carriers and more than 20 other carriers.

“We look forward to the challenge,” Roussel said, adding after the three months of intense negotiations he turned to Falgoust and said, “It was a love-hate relationship, but now I like this man!” Louque noted, “I’m really looking forward to this,” and joked he’s ready to take a day off.

“They’ll tell you it takes three days’ notice,” replied Falgoust. “And younever know when I’ll drop by.”Falgoust continued, “Banking and insurance go hand in hand. We will nowbe able to provide an additional service to our customers – the convenience of buying insurance at First American Bank through First American Agency, L.L.C. We are also delighted to welcome RiverbendInsurance Agency to the First American Bank family.”Honora Gravois of Vacherie, a Port of South Louisiana Commissioner and a member of the bank’s board of directors, commented, “It’s a challenge. Ithink it’ll be fine.”First American Bank is a $300 million institution with branches in Boutte, Norco, Des Allemands, St. Rose, Gramercy, South Vacherie, James Park,Thibodaux, LaPlace, Luling, Lutcher, Hammond, Napoleonville, Metairie and Kenner.

First American Bank traces its origins to 1910.

Photo: SIGNING THE PAPERS Thursday for the buyout of Riverbend Insurance Agency of Destrehan by First American Bank are, from left, Riverbend partner Nolan Louque, bank chairman J. B. Falgoust and Riverbend partner Wayne Roussell. Louque and Roussell will continue as managers of First American Agency, LLC.

Photo by Leonard Gray.

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