AGENT OF CHANGE: David Andrade, president of Carey, Richmond & Viking, took over the reins of the company from his father, Victor, about a decade ago. Thanks to several acquisitions and steady growth, the company now has nearly 40 insurance professionals.
Don’t let the name fool you. Carey, Richmond & Viking, an insurance agency based in Middletown, is a family business.
It has been, in theory, since the first Andrade to enter the business arrived in the United States from Portugal and founded the John Andrade Insurance Agency in the 1930s in Bristol.
His two sons, Victor, and John Paul, eventually came onboard. When each brother wanted to go it on his own, Victor Andrade purchased the Pierce Agency in Portsmouth in 1961 and then in the early 1970s acquired Carey, Richmond & Viking.
That was right around the same time that insurance regulations, which prevented branch offices, eased enough to allow him to incorporate both agencies under one name.
“That really was the beginning of the agency that we run today,” said David Andrade, Victor’s son, who now owns and runs the agency. “My uncle had taken ownership of [family] agencies in Bristol County [in Rhode Island], so it was only natural for him to maintain that name. My father was creating a brand identity.”
John Andrade Insurance Agency, still based in Bristol, is run by David’s cousin’s family and celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Carey, Richmond & Viking operates offices in Middletown, East Providence and New Bedford.
David Andrade, 46, has worked there for 21 years, taking over leader responsibilities from Victor, now 73, about a decade ago.
“He’s still in the business with us, fortunately,” Andrade said.
“It isn’t me running this business exclusively by any means. My first role within the company was an insurance agent,” he said. “It really still is my first role.”
Joking that he had a childhood dream of one day selling insurance – he didn’t – Andrade originally set his professional sites on the hospitality field, studying hotel administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and working in hotels in Newport during summer vacations.
He kept his career there after college, working first in Houston and then in Phoenix, Ariz., with the Four Seasons and then with a consulting firm among other companies.
“Always in the back of my mind I had it that I would like to run my own business and control my own destiny,” Andrade said. “I got to a point where I had to explore the opportunity within this family business [before I got] too deep in my career. … Sure enough, it’s 21 years later, just like that.”
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