Alabama Retail Comp honors Thames Batré Insurance for 127 Years in business

MOBILE – In 1891, Thames Batré Insurance began in downtown Mobile as a partnership between Gustav Thames and Lloyd Batré. Although there is no longer a Thames nor a Batré associated with the 127-year-old agency, the current owners represent generations of four Mobile families. Today, Alabama Retail Comp, the workers’ compensation program for the Alabama Retail Association, recognized the agency as an Alabama Centennial Insurance Agency. It is the seventh agency so recognized.

From left, six of the seven owners of Thames Batré Insurance: Harry W. Mattei, Ernest Ladd, Peyton Mattei, Taylor Beville, Allen H. Ladd and Lewis E. Beville. Sign in background hung on the original location when it opened 127 years ago.

Four generations of the Ladd family have provided leadership at Thames Batré. That family is currently represented by owners and cousins Allen and Ernest Ladd, both as vice presidents. Mergers in 1983 and 1990 brought together the Harry Mattei Agency, Ison Insurance Agency and Beville Insurance Agency, all third-generation insurance families. Harry Mattei serves as Thames Batré president and his son, Peyton Mattei, is a partner. Harlon Ison Jr. is a vice president-secretary. Lewis Beville is vice president-treasurer and his son, Taylor Beville, is a partner.

For the first 20 or 30 years, we were doing a different type of insurance,” Allen Ladd said of what is now a property and casualty insurance brokerage firm.

We worked all across the Southeast and across Alabama with other smaller agents,” he said. “That changed about World War I, when we got our feet wet and some traction, insuring cargo that was going across the Atlantic to supply the troops.”

Now, the company focuses on business insurance, but also offers personal insurance and risk management services to privately held businesses, mostly throughout South Alabama, Ladd said. It has offices in Mobile and Gulf Shores. 

Alabama Retail Comp honored Thames Batré Insurance at the Alabama Retail Day luncheon and awards ceremony in Birmingham. Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, Slappey Communications and the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business were the luncheon sponsors.

For a business to survive the dramatic changes of the past century is a remarkable achievement,” said Alabama Retail Comp Fund Manager Mark Young. “It is fitting to celebrate the enduring first-century contributions Thames Batré Insurance has made to Mobile and the surrounding communities.”

The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.

Rachel Ewing, Thames Batré Insurance | 251.473.9000
Nancy Dennis, Alabama Retail Association | 334.551.0643 | 800.239.5423
Melissa Warnke, Alabama Retail Association | 256.338.0621 | 800.239.5423