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Ollis/Akers/Arney buys Paul Long Agency

Employee-owned Springfield firm adds 10 to its staff and a new vice president

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Last edited 1:32 p.m., July 23, 2018

Ollis/Akers/Arney closed July 1 on the purchase of Bolivar-based The Paul Long Agency.

Through the acquisition, Ollis/Akers/Arney doubled its office count, with the addition of one each in Bolivar and El Dorado Springs, and added a vice president in Paul Long. The firm started by the Ollis family 133 years ago has offices in Springfield and Branson.

Tammy Johnson, director of marketing and community relations for Ollis/Akers/Arney, said 10 employees with The Paul Long Agency – seven in Bolivar and three in El Dorado Springs – were added, increasing the insurance agency’s staff to 60 employees.

“We couldn’t go out and hire 10 professionals if I wanted to,” Ollis said, declining to disclose financial terms of the deal. “We’re thrilled to have his people and the expertise they bring under one organization now.”

The Paul Long Agency brings about $8.8 million in annual premiums to Ollis/Akers/Arney’s $57.3 million in premiums last year, according to figures provided by Ollis.

The Paul Long Agency handles life, commercial, auto and health insurance lines, as well as annuities, according to its website. Ollis said Long’s agency has extensive experience insuring farmers and agriculture businesses.

“Together, we’ll have a significant presence in that arena,” Ollis said.

Long joins the firm’s management team, which includes David Arney, chief operating officer, and Kevin Robbins, chief sales officer. The position of president and general counsel was vacated in late March, when Richard Russell took the CEO post at Missouri Trust & Investment Co. Russell joined the insurance company in 2014 after working for law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. Ollis said Russell’s position is now being filled via outside counsel.

Ollis said he and Long got to know each other through the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents. They’d been in conversations about a merger for almost a year, he said, and worked diligently on the process the past six months.

“This partnership is going to create opportunities for The Paul Long Agency staff as they will now be owners of the company with a stake in Bolivar and El Dorado Springs,” Long said in a news release.

Ollis/Akers/Arney formed in 2015 after Springfield-based Ollis & Co. merged with Branson-based Akers & Arney. The firm ranked second on Springfield Business Journal’s list last year of the largest independent insurance agencies in the area. The company reported 45 agents and 50 total staff. On the list ranked by number of agents, Barker-Phillips-Jackson Inc. led with 48 agents and 50 total staff.

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