140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Haake buys California agency

Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 1:07 PM CST Kansas City Business Journal

Haake Cos. announced Thursday that it has acquired Thompkins & co. a California property and casualty insurance provider for an undisclosed amount.

Thompkins & Co., based in Alameda, Calif., specializes in property and casualty insurance for Masonic lodges and shrines. The program is available in all 50 states.

Thompkins has about nine employees who now work for Kansas City-based Haake Cos.

Haake CEO Jeff Cox said the man who established the Masonic insurance program at Thompkins died a few years ago. About 95 percent of the firm was owned by his wife, who wasn't very active in the business.

"So they really needed somebody who had experience running an agency to take it over," Cox said. "Mostly, it was just an opportunity to pick up a business that we understood and saw an opportunity to grow."

Cox said Thompkins wrote nearly a third of the premium available in the whole Masonic insurance area. He said Haake can double that in the next three to five years.

"A program like this has a lot of affinity with members," Cox said. "You get to design coverages that are unique. If you do a great job with them, they have a longer longevity and are less susceptible to competition than just one-off businesses."

Tom Klug, Haake managing director, will oversee the business development and expansion of the Thompkins Masonic Insurance Program from the Haake office in Kansas City.

The company has brought in people who had books of business, Cox said, but as far as he is aware, Haake never acquired a company before.

"This is an opportunity for Haake to get into more program business," Cox said. "We'll continue to look for these niche plays that we feel have something unique or different about them and provide a better opportunity than just opening a retail office in California."

Haake Cos. ranks fourth on the Kansas City Business Journal's list of Top Area Independent Insurance Agencies, based on property and casualty premium volume

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