Regions Names Stone to Lead Rebsamen Insurance

Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday officially named Fred B. Stone chairman and CEO of Rebsamen Insurance.

The appointment is effective Jan. 3. Stone, 52, will succeed Allen J. McDowell, who is retiring after 13 years at the top of the company. Stone is president of Rebsamen Insurance/Springdale Inc., in Fayetteville, and also oversees Rebsamen Insurance/Fort Smith Inc. and Rebsamen Insurance/Springfield (Mo.).

Rebsamen is headquartered in Little Rock.

Arkansas Business first reported Monday that Stone would become CEO when it reported McDowell's retirement.

It was McDowell who urged Ruth Rebsamen Remmel and her family to sell their company to Regions in 2001 for $40 million.

The Remmel family later sued Regions, McDowell and Phil Herrington, their longtime family financial advisor and member of Rebsamen's board of directors, claiming they were duped into selling — in part so that Herrington and McDowell could share more than $2.5 million in incentives.

The defendants denied the allegations, although Herrington did write a letter apologizing for negotiating the deal without the Remmels' knowledge.

The Remmels' lawsuit involving Regions and McDowell is now in arbitration. The lawsuit against Herrington has been dropped.

On Tuesday, Regions Insurance Group president and CEO David L. "Casey" Bowlin said McDowell did an "outstanding job" with the company before and after Regions acquired it.

"His leadership and sales acumen will be missed, but part of the legacy he is leaving behind is a strong team - and a strong leader in Fred Stone," Bowlin said.

Stone founded H&S Insurance, which he sold to Rebsamen in 1992. At the time, he became a Rebsamen sales manager, going on to be promoted to executive vice president before being named to his current position.

Regions Financial Corp. provides retail and commercial banking, securities brokerage, mortgage, and insurance products and services.

More on the Rebsamen Case
Click here for cover story on the dispute between the Remmels and Regions, McDowell and Herrington.