April 25, 2018
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Two of Portland’s oldest insurance agencies to merge

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Turner Barker Insurance, which is owned by Gorham Savings Bank, is merging with Clark Insurance, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Turner Barker will retain its name and executive team, but will operate as a Clark Insurance Agency, according to the announcement.

The transaction is being called a merger as Gorham Savings Bank will become a 20 percent minority investor in Clark, according to Tony Payne, Clark’s director of business development. Christopher Emmons, Gorham Savings Bank’s president, will also join Clark’s board of directors.

The agencies both offer insurance products in the personal, business, employee benefits, life and health areas.

The merger of two of Portland’s oldest insurance agencies — Turner Barker was founded in 1908 and Clark Insurance was established in 1931 — will create a new agency that employs more than 100 insurance agents and customer service representatives in offices in Portland, Saco, Windham and Manchester, N.H.

Payne said there are no published data regarding comparative agency revenue or earnings, but he believes the transaction will place Clark among the top three to five agencies based in Maine, along with Bangor-based Cross Insurance, the Varney Agency, Cumberland-based Norton Insurance and the Chalmers Insurance Group, which has six locations in the state.

Gorham Savings Bank purchased Turner Barker in 2001.

“We are excited to combine these two long-lived Maine insurance agencies that are so closely connected to the communities we serve,” Clark Insurance President Kenneth Ross said in a statement. “We’ve known for a long time that our two agencies share a customer-focused culture in the Maine tradition. We believe that shared purpose and employee ownership will help speed a smooth and successful transition.”

The transaction is expected to be complete within 45 days, according to the announcement.

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