First Niagara Risk Management Expands Into Eastern Pennsylvania with the Acquisition of Broomall's Summit Insurance Group, Inc. - First Niagara continues to grow its insurance subsidiary's reach to match the $21-billion, 255-branch bank's footprint in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania -

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rennie Rodriguez and Kevin McAdams, the founders of Summit Insurance Group, Inc. and Summit Benefits, LLC, announced that their Pennsylvania businesses have been acquired by First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: FNFG) insurance subsidiary, First Niagara Risk Management.  Summit Insurance Group, Inc. provides risk management, employee benefits consulting and investment services.  The acquired businesses will adopt the First Niagara Risk Management brand, effective immediately.

First Niagara Risk Management is already one of the nation's largest insurance agencies and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Buffalo, NY based First Niagara Bank.  First Niagara Bank has 255 branches across New York and Pennsylvania with over 3,800 employees.  The Bank has a regional market center office in Harleysville, 83 branches and 775 employees in Eastern Pennsylvania, and 1433 employees across all of Pennsylvania.  First Niagara's acquisition of Broomall's Summit Insurance Group, Inc. marks its second entry into Pennsylvania's personal and business insurance market, following the acquisition of RTI Insurance Services, Inc. and Three Rivers Financial Services, Inc. in Western Pennsylvania in August 2010.

"We've become a top 50 U.S. broker and the ninth-largest bank-owned agency by pairing organic growth and the selective acquisition of outstanding insurance businesses run by successful entrepreneurs in markets where we do business," First Niagara Risk Management Chief Executive Officer Joseph Teresi said.  "With our acquisition of RTI Insurance Services, Inc. and Three Rivers Financial Services, Inc. in Western Pennsylvania, combined with today's announcement of our acquisition of Summit Insurance Group, Inc., we are moving forward with our strategic plan to build our organization throughout our footprint."

Rodriguez and McAdams, who founded the firm in 1997, will assume leadership positions for First Niagara Risk Management in the Eastern Pennsylvania Region. In their leadership roles, they will focus on growing the First Niagara brand through continuing to build our insurance presence while working closely with the banking side of the house to deliver the First Niagara comprehensive financial solutions value proposition.

Terms of the acquisitions, which closed on November 1, were not disclosed  

With the Summit Insurance Group, Inc. acquisition in Pennsylvania, First Niagara Risk Management now has over 350 employees and more than 12 offices in two states.  Its Upstate New York offices are in and around Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse, Albany and Hudson.  Its product lines include personal and commercial insurance, surety bonds, risk management, employee benefits and administration and life, disability and long-term care coverage.

First Niagara Risk Management's $43.9 million in 2009 brokerage revenues generated by U.S.-based clients made it the nation's 50th largest broker and the ninth-largest bank-owned insurance agency, according to Business Insurance magazine. First Niagara Risk Management has also been recently named as part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big "I") "Best Practices" Study Group.  Only 224 independent agencies out of 27,000 throughout the U.S. qualified for this honor.

About First Niagara Financial Group

First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., has $21 billion in assets, 255 branches and $13 billion in deposits. First Niagara Bank is a multi-state community-oriented bank with about 3,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses. Upon completion of its pending merger with NewAlliance Bancorp, Inc. -- subject to customary closing conditions including approvals from regulators and shareholders -- First Niagara will have more than $29 billion in assets, $18 billion in deposits and 340 branches across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.fnfg.com.


Contacts


Leslie G. Garrity

Public Relations and Corporate Communications


(716) 819-5921


leslie.garrity@fnfg.com




SOURCE First Niagara Financial Group



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