Business Briefs: Chattanooga-based Reliance Partners adds Chicago office

Business Briefs: Chattanooga-based Reliance Partners adds Chicago office

November 2nd, 2017 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Chattanooga-based Reliance Partners adds Chicago office

Chattanooga-based Reliance Partners, a provider of commercial insurance, said Wednesday it is expanding its market presence in the Midwest by opening a new office in the Chicago area.

Reliance Partners was listed this summer by Inc. magazine as No. 461 on its list of America's 5,000 fastest-growing companies. The Chattanooga firm was the fastest-growing property and casualty insurance agency in the country and the 10th fastest-growing company in Tennessee. The company also was among Inc. Magazine's 2017 "50 Best Workplaces," and was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of "America's Best Workplaces."

Edgar Mercado will lead the new Chicago office. Mercado started his career at Reliance in Chattanooga and has emerged as a leader in a short time. A Chicago native, he is familiar with the area and anticipates rapid growth in the Midwest market.

Reliance Partners also has locations in Birmingham, Ala., Buffalo, N.Y. and Victoria, Texas, with a national client base largely concentrated in the transportation and logistics space. The company was incorporated in 2009.


Fed doesn't alter rates as Trump names chair

The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday and signaled another rate increase remains on track for mid-December. But hanging over the meeting was the anticipation of a much bigger change: the nomination of a new Fed chairman.

The Fed's current chief, Janet L. Yellen, is expected to remain in that post until her term expires in February. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called Yellen "excellent." Nevertheless, he is expected to nominate Jerome H. Powell for the Fed chairmanship at a Rose Garden event today, according to people familiar with the decision.

Powell, a Republican who joined the Fed in 2012, has steadily supported Yellen's approach to monetary policy and is expected to follow a similar trajectory if confirmed to lead the central bank. Powell has voted for every Fed policy decision since 2012, including its four interest rate increases and the gradual unwinding of the Fed's stimulus campaign.


ADP says firms added 235,000 jobs last month

U.S. businesses added a solid 235,000 jobs in October, according to a private survey, partly reflecting a rebound from the previous month when hiring was held back by several hurricanes.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday last month's gain was the largest in seven months. Hiring fell to just 110,000 in September, the lowest in nearly a year.

October's rebound was driven by construction firms, which reported a huge gain of 62,000 jobs, the most in 11 years. That's a sign rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria are already under way.

Manufacturers added a healthy 22,000 jobs, and professional and technical services, a category that includes higher-paying jobs such as architects and engineers, gained 68,000. A category that includes hotel and restaurant workers added 45,000.


Cancer victim wants review in talc case

Survivors of a woman who claimed that Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder contributed to her ovarian cancer are challenging a Missouri appeals court ruling that threw out a $72 million award.

The estate of Jacqueline Fox, of Birmingham, Ala., was awarded the money in 2016 in the first of several cases in St. Louis claiming talc powder contributed to cancer. Fox died in 2015 at age 62.

A Missouri appeals court ruled last month that the state wasn't the proper jurisdiction, citing a June decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that said there must be a connection between the plaintiff's claims and the state where a lawsuit is filed.

Fox's survivors on Tuesday sought another review of the case or a transfer to the Missouri Supreme Court.