November 1, 2017

Cross Insurance acquires the Holden Agency and its benefits division

About Cross Insurance

Founded in 1954, Cross Insurance has grown from a small, family-owned and operated insurance agency based in Bangor, into one of the largest insurance providers in New England with more than 800 employees in more than 38 offices, serving 100,000 customers throughout the region. Still family-owned and operated, Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Cross Financial Corporation, provides an extensive range of customized and innovative insurance and financial products including personal and commercial insurance lines, employee benefits, surety bonds, comprehensive risk management advice and counsel, and specialized products focused on high net worth needs. Cross Insurance is recognized as one of New England's largest independent insurance providers and the nation's 33rd largest broker of U.S. Business.

About Holden Agency

Richard Holden Jr. founded the Holden Agency in 1955, shortly after beginning his career as a life insurance agent. Officially incorporated and named the Holden Agency in 1968, the agency added both business and personal lines of insurance to their product offerings. Thomas W. Holden, the agency's former president, began working at the agency in 1975. Within a year, the office was expanded, and the agency has continued to grow. In 1990, Thomas W. Holden and John R. Benoit purchased the Holden Agency from Holden's father, Richard B. Holden Jr.

Over the ensuing years, the Holden Agency expanded the employee benefits segment of the business and created a new division — Employee Benefits Solutions Inc. — to reflect the agency's strong commitment to providing employee benefits to businesses.

Bangor-based Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Cross Financial Corp. and one of the largest independent insurance providers in New England, has acquired the Holden Agency and its benefits division, Employee Benefits Solutions Inc., both based in Portland.

Under terms of the Oct. 3 acquisition, Eric Jermyn, president of Cross Employee Benefits, and Dave Messersmith, president of Cross Insurance/Portland, will assume branch management responsibilities. Holden Agency executives Thomas Holden and John Benoit will remain on staff and assist with management of the office.

Financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.

Holden Agency and its benefits division have 31 employees, according to its website.

"This acquisition represented a tremendous opportunity to expand our operations in Maine." Jonathan Cross, chief operating officer of Cross Insurance, said in a news release. "We are excited to have this group of professionals on our team."

Former Holden President Thomas Holden said he and his team regard Cross Insurance as a good fit for his company to join.

"We are a long-time family-owned business, and that's exactly what attracted us to Cross," he said. "Cross has a long tradition as a family-owned business with the traditional values and strong emphasis on customer service that we know our customers will appreciate."

John Benoit, former president of Holden's Employee Benefits Solutions, added: "Given the complexity of issues and the escalation of health care costs facing our clients, it is clear the resulting organization will enhance efficiencies and improve available resources and expertise to our clients. We are very excited to work with the Cross organization to refine our value proposition and expand our outreach. Our organizations have combined to perpetuate a family-focused culture and an excellent reputation in the market."


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