The Heffernan Group, Area West Insurance Services Inc. Announce Merger

September 26, 2001

The Heffernan Group, one of the largest brokerage firms in the country, announced its merger with Area West Insurance Services Inc., a San Rafael, Calif.-based brokerage firm specializing in property owners/managers and personal insurance. Under the terms of the deal, Area West will join Heffernan Insurance Brokers’, the retail arm of the Heffernan Group, in its rapidly expanding Sonoma office, further expanding the firm’s presence in Northern California.

The Sonoma branch of Heffernan Insurance Brokers has grown significantly over the past two years to become one of the largest full-service brokerage operations serving the North Bay and Sonoma County regions. The addition of Area West Insurance Services, brings the office to 22 employees. The Sonoma office provides insurance services to a diverse group of emerging and established industries in the North Bay, including wineries, real estate, technology and construction companies. The office also serves as the primary service center for the firm’s Personal Insurance division. “We have seen tremendous growth in our Sonoma office over the past two years and we are confident that the addition of Area West’s expertise to our firm will enable us to expand the services and solutions that we can offer to our North Bay clients,” said John Tallarida, Senior Vice President, Heffernan Insurance Brokers.

Formed in 1991, Heffernan Insurance Brokers’ Sonoma office offers a variety of products such as Errors & Omissions Liability, Commercial Property, Commercial General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Employee Benefits and Personal Insurance. Last year the office reported $24 million in premium revenue and will end 2001 with over $36 million in premium revenue.

The Heffernan Group, formed in 1988, is a full-service insurance brokerage firm with 2000 premium volume exceeding $240 million. The firm provides comprehensives insurance and financial services products to a wide range of business and individuals. The Heffernan Group customizes insurance products for specific industries tailored to their unique needs. The company currently has 200 full-time employees, and is headquartered in Walnut Creek, California with additional offices in San Francisco, Menlo Park, Sonoma, Oregon, Nevada and Tennessee.

The Heffernan Group includes three different entities – Heffernan Insurance Brokers, a full-service retail brokerage firm; Heffernan Ryan Investment Management, LLC, a provider of fee-based financial services; Advanced Risk Technologies (ART), a provider of risk management insurance including loss control, first aid claims administration, claims management services and third party administrator services.

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