Integrity Marketing Group has been innovating in insurance since 2006, when it was a startup in its CEO’s home in Highland Village. Now he’s going against the suburban office trend by moving hundreds of Coppell employees to downtown Dallas. Its six floors in IM Pei’s iconic Fountain Place tower make the company one of the biggest recent additions to downtown. The growing company plans to continue expanding its âvertical campusâ floor by floor for years to come.
Integrity has grown aggressively recently, primarily from acquisitions, from 1,700 to 5,500 employees since the start of 2021. The company made 40 acquisitions in 2020 alone. of America’s largest independent distributors of life and health insurance products, Integrity works with more than 370,000 agents nationwide and plans to help insurance companies achieve more than $ 7 billion in new sales in 2021 .
Integrity has already occupied three floors of the renovated Fountain Place. When the company’s other three floors are ready next spring, a total of 300 to 400 employees will have moved from Cypress Waters in Coppell to its new âshared service centerâ downtown.
Bryan Adams, co-founder and CEO of Integrity, spoke to Dallas Innovates about his company’s move, why he’s âgetting bigâ with the office, and the next step in insurtech. (And since everyone’s asking, no, Adams isn’t related to the rock star or the East Dallas high school namesake.)
Choose a “rocket”
Integrity had to move. He had grown so fast – over 100% in 2020, and set to do so again in 2021 – that his Cypress Waters campus no longer matched. The company searched “all over the Metroplex” for options, but kept coming back to downtown Dallas and a building that looked like its home.
âWe think of ourselves as a rocket ready to take off,â Adams told us, âand this building looks a bit like a rocket too.â
IM Pei’s 58-story Modernist Fountain Place Tower – one of five downtown Dallas buildings by the architect, including Dallas City Hall – indeed stands above the Ross avenue with intense verticality.
Other incentives: a $ 75 million renovation of Fountain Place by its owner, Goddard Investment Group; new equipment to attract employees; have all the infrastructure and systems in place; and the fact that the building has one of the lowest occupancy rates in the city center, which helped make the move “quite economically attractive”.
Steven Sigrist, chief financial officer of Integrity, says the talent pool near the city center was another deciding factor. âHaving our head office in the heart of where highly talented experts live, work and play will be a differentiator for us to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent,â he said. stated in a press release.
“The move comes at a time when many companies are assessing the needs and wants of their employees and their business plan,” said Quito Anderson, CIO of Goddard, in the statement. âThis flagship initiative further strengthens the understanding that the downtown arts district is a very special place to work. You cannot replicate a building or environment like this in today’s world, let alone in the suburbs.
Josh White and Ryan Buchanan of CBRE represented Integrity in the lease transaction; Fletcher Cordell, Dennis Barnes and Jackie Marshall of CBRE represented Goddard.
An âoasisâ of the arts district with a $ 75 million makeover
With its outdoor fountains and âspectacularâ lobby, Adams considers Fountain Place âa bit of an oasisâ.
âWe’re in the arts district, so there’s a lot of great art,â he said. âThe renovations they’ve done with the health and fitness center and other things are great for our employees. Everyone is delighted to be here.
Goddard’s $ 75 million renovation includes a new 10-story parking lot, retail and dining space, as well as a tenant lounge and conference center. According to a statement, the redesign “complements Pei’s original vision for the project by opening the lobby to the outdoor plaza and the namesake fountains designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley.” Fountain Place shares the plaza with AMLI Fountain Place, a 45-story luxury residential tower that opened last fall.
Corgan designs a âcollaborativeâ vertical campus
Integrity hired architectural firm Corgan to design a bespoke “Culture Expansion Space” ideal for Integrity’s growth. The customizations include interconnected staircases for ease of movement and an employee cafe and lounge âwhere we eat, celebrate and meet together,â Adams said.
From furniture choices to architectural design, Integrity is using everything it has learned during the pandemic to ensure that it has “not only a great working environment, but a very safe environment as well.”
The company respects COVID protocols like temperature checks, and encourages but does not require employees to be vaccinated, even offering paid time off to do so.
Kiss the office
Why go big with the office now, when some companies are rethinking it?
âIntegrity is a people-fueled business,â Adams told us. âWe believe that people work and serve better by being together. Companies like ours will truly thrive because of the creativity and collaboration that comes from being together. “
Adams noted that his company’s 5,500 employees work in offices nationwide, and his Dallas Shared Services Center supports them all. “We just feel like it’s better to be together in person.”
Buy large-scale investments
Integrity employees might not linger in their new fitness center because there is a lot to do. As the company’s shared service center, the Dallas office serves all 5,500 employees in the United States, from technology needs to HR, marketing, compliance and more.
âPart of this is buying large-scale investments,â Adams told us. âAs we hire new partners, we can take over some of the back office work for them so they can grow faster. “
Growth appears to be in Integrity’s DNA: Part of the company’s rapid expansion is driven by organic growth, but its 40 acquisitions last year really helped it take off, and others are growing. will continue in 2021.
âIntegrity is structured like a partnership,â Adams explained. âAs we acquire a business, we’ll add value to the business. The seller will take some of their proceeds in cash and some in Integrity shares. Then we can all work together to grow organically even faster.
A $ 7 billion âpeople companyâ
All of this growth has one goal in mind, Adams says: to be a “people business.” Integrity’s 370,000 agents serve eight million customers and will generate more than $ 7 billion in sales this year.
As an independent distributor of life and health insurance products, Integrity works with 450 different insurance companies.
Integrity serves nine million customers each year “to make sure they have the right products, the right services, and that they’re getting the most out of their products.”
When one of their 370,000 agents meets a life, health or wellness consumer, “we can provide them with the best options that meet their individualized needs at the best affordable rate possible,” Adams said. âIt’s about people, and we make customers for life. “
Supply of insurtech tools
Recent acquisitions have strengthened Integrity’s insurance offerings. The company acquired CSG Actuarial in January to take advantage of its insurance quote registration tool. In April, it acquired Deft Research, a data analytics company that helps Integrity work with carriers to ensure it properly reviews and understands customer needs. This can lead to the development of products that Integrity supplies directly to carriers.
âWe can quote and enroll customers in a product in nanoseconds,â Adams said. The company’s proprietary technology allows its sales force to use an iPhone or computer to quote and register directly through Integrity’s systems in real time, ensuring people are getting the best products available. .
âWe have five million interactions with clients a year to make sure they have the right network of physicians, that they understand the benefits of prescription drugs, and all of the things they need to make sure that they’re getting the most out of their healthcare journey, âAdams said. .
It all started in Adams house
When Adams got married in 2008, his wife Robyn moved into his Highland Village home, where six people worked daily. He had founded the business in his home in 2006, so Robyn knew what to expect. She was understanding, but only up to a point.
âWe had cubicles and stickers with people who worked there,â Adams recalls with a laugh. âMy wife was patient for about a year, then finally encouraged me to get an office. “
That first office he moved into? Needless to say, it was not designed by IM Pei. But Adams has since developed his integrity and has no plans to stop now.
âIt’s kind of ironic that we were able to accomplish what we did,â Adams says. “But it’s really a story to be here to serve others and to look for ways to grow and serve more people.”
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