updated 4/4/2011 4:16:01 PM ET 2011-04-04T20:16:01

ATLANTA, April 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PointeNorth Insurance Group has acquired Hodges & Associates and Smith Insurance Services, creating one of the largest independent insurers in Georgia.

Hodges & Associates is recognized as one of the leading employee-benefit providers in metro Atlanta and will operate as a member of the PointeNorth group of companies. The Marietta-based agency's BondsPlus subsidiary, Risk Management Continuum division, and employee-benefits practice, were purchased with stock and cash. Effective April 1, Stan Hodges will serve as Senior Vice President of PointeNorth's Benefit Practice and Sales Manager.

Smith Insurance Services, a Marietta-based agency that offers property, life and casualty insurance products was purchased effective April 1st. Moving forward it will operate as PointeNorth Insurance Group and Ken Smith, its owner will serve as a PointeNorth vice president.

PointeNorth CEO Bill Skeeles said the acquisitions are based on the agency's ongoing growth strategy. PointeNorth, he said, is actively seeking additional partnerships.

"We're highly interested in partnering with growth-minded independent agencies that add to our capabilities and want to keep their entrepreneurial spirit fully intact," Skeeles said. "We're focused on aggressive growth to better compete against the large national agencies, while, at the same time, maintaining the locally-owned flavor that has always set us apart."

PointeNorth, which is listed in Atlanta Business Chronicle as a "Top 10 Property & Casualty" insurance brokerage by premium dollar value, adds significant employee-benefits expertise with the addition of Hodges & Associates.

"We now have a broader selection of insurance for commercial and personal accounts," Skeeles said. "With Hodges & Associates' expertise, we are instantly positioned in the thick of the employee-benefit market."

Hodges said his agency was focused on expanding smartly, even as much of the insurance industry has drawn back due to the economy.

"This partnership is not one company gobbling up another but rather two companies merging expertise," Hodges said. "We're bringing extensive experience in employee benefits, auctioneer bonds and risk management. And with PointeNorth's well-deserved reputation behind us as one of Georgia's leading independent insurers, our agents will be able to better serve existing clients and attract new ones."

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About PointeNorth Insurance Group

PointeNorth Insurance Group was formed by Bill Skeeles and John Langsfeld in 2010, with the merger of TRC Stevenson and certain P & C assets of the former Merritt-McKenzie. With the addition of Hodges & Associates and Smith Insurance Services, the group has locations in Atlanta, Decatur and Peachtree City and provides insurance and financial products to more than 15,000 households and businesses in the Southeast.

For more information, visit www.PointeNorthIns.com .

TRIO Media Group
Immediate Release
Contact: Ron Slotin
404-255-1970
ron@triomediagroup.com

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