Insurance giant Unum has completed its $127 million purchase of Starmount Life Insurance Co. and AlwaysCare Benefits, a dental and vision benefits company based in Baton Rouge.

Unum and Starmount announced the deal in April. Unum plans to make Baton Rouge its "center of excellence" for the dental and vision market, according to Unum President and Chief Executive Officer Rick McKenney.

“This is an excellent fit for both our Unum US and Colonial Life businesses and is an important component of our long-term strategic growth plan,” McKinney said.

Unum Group provides financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company offers disability, life, accident and critical illness coverage. In 2015, Unum reported revenues of $10.7 billion in 2015 and provided $6.8 billion in benefits

Starmount covers more than 940,000 lives nationally, manages in-force annualized premium of more than $180 million. The company was founded by the Sternberg family in 1983. Its headquarters will remain in Baton Rouge, along with a leadership team including CEO Erich Sternberg and President Deborah Sternberg and a staff of more than 220 employees.

“We are glad to be part of the Unum family and look forward to helping provide greater access to dental and vision insurance at the workplace and to consumers,” Erich Sternberg said in a news release. “We have ambitious growth plans and share Unum’s focus on providing exceptional service, innovative products and thoughtful solutions for our customers.”

Those plans include growing Starmount into a $1 billion company over the next 10 years.

Starmount will become the fourth brand under the Unum Group umbrella alongside Unum US, Unum UK and Colonial Life. Unum Dental and Unum Vision products will be underwritten by Starmount and introduced to the market in 2017. Colonial Life Dental and Vision will be introduced in 2018.

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