NU Online News Service, Jan. 5, 2004, 5:57 p.m. EST – Brown & Brown Inc., Daytona Beach, Fla., has bought the assets of Niagara Insurance Group, Buffalo, N.Y., an insurance agency that sells employee benefits as well as commercial risk management services.[@@]

The price of the deal was not disclosed.

The announcement appeared just a week after Niagara said it had acquired the John G. Berger Insurance Agency Inc., Buffalo. Niagara has more than 30 employees and reports about $4.5 million in annual revenue.

Brown & Brown plans to let Niagara merge the local Brown & Brown office into its own operations.

The acquisition will cause no reduction of personnel at the merged firm, and it could lead to an increase in staffing in the future, says Theodore Sobolewski, Niagara’s chief executive officer.

“Our team will remain the same,” Sobolewski says. “Operating decisions will be made at the local level, and the acquisition will not impact the company’s corporate structure.”

Niagara is just one of many insurance agencies that Brown & Brown has acquired in the past few years.

“The main reason we bought Niagara was the same as why we make most of our acquisitions,” says Cory Walker, Brown & Brown’s chief financial officer. “It has to do with the quality of its people and primarily its leader. Ted Sobolewski is an outstanding insurance person.”