PayneWest Insurance, Inc., the largest independent, employee-owned, agency in the Northwest, announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement with Wells Fargo Insurance to purchase their Yakima and Wenatchee, Washington insurance operations. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close on or about April 1, 2016, were not disclosed.
PayneWest has been operating in Yakima since February of 2014 when they acquired McGree Insurance. “Joining PayneWest enabled us to continue to offer local expertise with expanded resources,” said Gerry McGree, previous owner of McGree Insurance and now a vice president of PayneWest
Insurance. “Teaming with the Yakima and Wenatchee Wells Fargo Insurance teams further solidifies our local presence and expertise, particularly in agriculture and transportation, two key industries in our area. We are thrilled to be joining together to continue to offer the very best insurance products and services for our clients,” McGree said.
Serving clients in Yakima since 1978 and Wenatchee since 1991, Wells Fargo Insurance will continue to serve customers through its existing local offices until the transaction closes, at which time, the company’s 31 team members will be offered continuous employment by PayneWest Insurance. In Washington, PayneWest also has locations in Richland and Spokane.
“Wells Fargo Insurance is focused on growing in markets where we have the greatest opportunity to partner with the bank and serve more of our middle market and large corporate customers,” said Sam Elliott, regional managing director for Wells Fargo Insurance’s West region. “With PayneWest, we are confident that our team members will be supported and our clients in Yakima and Wenatchee will continue to receive terrific service. Washington remains a key market for Wells Fargo Insurance and, through our offices in Spokane and Seattle, we will continue to grow our business, support the local communities, and serve customers in this very important region.”
“Both our companies have long been committed to knowing the insurance business, being true assets to clients and making a real difference for the companies and people we serve,” said Kyle Lingscheit, President & CEO of PayneWest Insurance. “Our intrinsic focus on our clients, colleagues and the Yakima and Wenatchee communities, are perfectly aligned with the high-caliber service Wells Fargo Insurance has provided in these markets for many years.”
About PayneWest Insurance
Operating independently since 1921, PayneWest Insurance provides business and personal insurance, employee benefits and surety. Today, PayneWest is the largest independent, employee-owned, agency in the Northwest and was ranked 38th in the top 100 U.S. Brokers by Business Insurance in 2015. Driven by their commitment to serve their Clients, Colleagues and Communities, PayneWest has 30 offices throughout Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon (with no official home office) and employs more than 640 insurance professionals, including advisor teams that specialize in highly complex market niches such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, banking, medical malpractice, and resource development. They recently were named a Best Places to Work in the Insurance Industry in 2015 by Business Insurance.
About Wells Fargo Insurance
Recently named Best Insurance Broker in the U.S. by Global Finance Magazine, Wells Fargo Insurance, part of Wells Fargo & Company, provides solutions for a wide range of customers, including retail consumers, high net worth individuals, small businesses, as well as middle market and large corporate customers. Wells Fargo Insurance writes or places $11 billion of risk premiums annually in property, casualty, benefits, and international personal lines.