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Connell Insurance enters merger deal

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Local firm Connell Insurance Inc. has entered a merger deal with a Texas company that operates in multiple states.

Tom Jensen, a partner with the firm, said Connell Insurance merged with Fort Worth, Texas-based Higginbotham, effective Oct. 31. The financial terms of the deal, announced in a news release yesterday, were undisclosed.

With the merger, Jensen said Connell Insurance is branded as a Higginbotham partner. Jensen, Casey Chastain, Jay Hickman and Chase Marable, the local firm's leaders, have been named Higginbotham managing directors.

Higginbotham's deal with Connell Insurance marks the company's entry into Missouri, according to the release.

"We have offices in the states that border south Missouri, so we had our sight set on finding the right partner to help establish our presence there," Higginbotham Chair and CEO Rusty Reid said in the release. "Connell Insurance being one of the fastest-growing insurance agencies in the region is what prompted our interest, because obviously they’re doing something right."

Connell Insurance, which has 38 employees across two offices in Branson and Springfield, plans to hire more people post-merger, officials said in the release.

"We see Higginbotham as a larger version of our firm," Jensen said in the release. "To be a long-term partner for our clients, change is essential, and joining Higginbotham is part of that strategy."

Higginbotham’s footprint now covers 14 states.

A property and casualty insurance and employee benefits brokerage firm, Connell Insurance was established in 1970, according to the release.


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