LOCKPORT, N.Y., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- An Albany-based commercial insurance agency has joined one of the top 100 largest agents in the United States, First Niagara Risk Management, Inc., the insurance subsidiary of First Niagara Bank. Earlier today, officials representing First Niagara Risk Management and Brooks-Byer Associates, Inc., a boutique commercial insurance agency with emphasis on the sale of property, casualty insurance and surety bonds for clients in the construction industry, finalized the acquisition. First Niagara Risk Management CEO John Hoffman said, "We believe this mutually beneficial partnership will significantly enhance our construction expertise in the Capital Region. It will also bring added insurance resources to First Niagara Bank's commercial customers." As a result of the acquisition, the new, stronger agency team will focus on nurturing existing business relationships and cultivating new growth opportunities. By agreement of both parties, financial terms were not disclosed. Brad Byer, who has been serving as the agency's president for the past twelve years, will join the Albany office of First Niagara Risk Management as vice president. Two other key professionals will also join First Niagara. "We saw great customer value in combining with a firm that is very professional and represents such high quality insurance carriers," said Byer. "First Niagara Risk Management also has significant construction expertise, and we hope to expand that value proposition." Byer is a graduate of St. Michael's College and is a member of the American General Contractors Surety Bonding and Risk Management Committees. He serves on the board of the Eastern Contractors Association and is a member of its insurance committee. First Niagara Risk Management's product line includes personal and commercial insurance, surety bonds, risk management, employee benefits and life, disability and long-term care coverage. First Niagara Risk Management also handles the administration of self insured disability and workers compensation plans. With anticipated revenues of over $22 million in 2005 and 150 employees at offices in Buffalo, Newfane, Rochester, Ithaca, Hudson and Albany, the agency has provided protection for tens of thousands of families and businesses since 1968. First Niagara Risk Management is part of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: FNFG). The company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, has assets of approximately $8.0 billion and deposits of $5.1 billion. First Niagara Bank is a full-service, community-oriented bank that provides financial services to individuals, families and businesses through 115 branches and several financial services subsidiaries across New York State. For more information, visit http://www.fnfg.com .
SOURCE First Niagara