PORTLAND, Maine — Turner Barker Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gorham Savings Bank, soon will be merged with Clark Insurance, according to Gorham Savings Bank President Christopher Emmons and Clark Insurance President Kenneth Ross. The intention is to complete the transaction within 30 to 45 days.
Turner Barker will retain its name but will operate as “A Clark Insurance Agency” with Douglas Allen continuing to serve as Turner Barker’s president, Bradford Kirkpatrick as executive vice president and Kalevi Kotkas as vice president. Emmons will join the board of directors of Clark Insurance.
The combined agency will employ more than 100 insurance agents and customer service people in offices throughout southern Maine as well as in Manchester, N.H.
With the addition of Turner Barker, Clark Insurance will remain an employee-owned company with Gorham Savings Bank becoming a minority owner. Clark Insurance established an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) in 1993 to assure it remains an employee-owned insurance agency.
Ross added in the press release issued Tuesday, “The merger will give the Turner Barker employees an opportunity to participate in the Clark Insurance ESOP, a business model that aligns the performance of the agency staff with the interests of the customers.
“We are excited to combine these two long-lived Maine insurance agencies that are so closely connected to the communities we serve. We’ve known for a long time that our two agencies share a customer-focused culture in the Maine tradition. We believe that sense of shared purpose and employee ownership will help speed a smooth and successful transition.”
Turner Barker was founded in 1908 and purchased by Gorham Savings Bank in 2001. Clark Insurance was established in 1931. Both companies always have been headquartered in Portland.
According to Emmons, “The merger will ensure continued strength at the top of the agency while fulfilling the bank’s objective of remaining invested as a minority owner in the insurance business. We believe providing access to insurance solutions complements the spectrum of diversified financial services that our bank customers value. However, banking and insurance are different disciplines that require separate operational leadership. This merger continues that distinction but with the benefits of collaboration.”
Since 1995, Clark Insurance has been rated in the top five percent in the nation for performance among agencies of its size. Turner Barker has been consistently named one of the Best Places to Work in Maine.
Turner Barker Insurance is located on Preble Street in Portland. Clark Insurance has offices on outer Congress Street in Portland as well as in Saco, Windham and Manchester, NH. Both agencies offer solutions for personal, business, employee benefits, life and health insurance.