NU Online News Service, Aug. 3, 2:39 p.m. EDT

Itasca, Ill.-based insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. says it acquired Group Benefits of Arkansas, LLC the first pure benefits agency it has acquired in the state.

Established in 2004, Group Benefits of Arkansas, located in Ft. Smoth, offers a wide range of employee benefit consultation and brokerage services for their middle-market clients in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The firm specialize in group medical, dental, life and disability insurance with an emphasis on consumer directed plans such as health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and cafeteria plans.

Principals Andy Jackson and Ron Novak, and about six associates, will continue to operate at their current location under the direction of John Neumaier, South Central regional executive vice president of Gallagher’s employee benefit consulting and brokerage operations.

In a statement, J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer says that the acquisition is the first benefits-only acquisition in the state, helping to “expand our client service capabilities in the region.”

Just last week, AJG acquired Potter-Holden & Company in Atlanta.

A retail insurance brokerage founded in 1918, it provides commercial property and casualty and risk management insurance services to their health care industry clients throughout the United States. The firm specialize in healthcare liability insurance for hospitals, community health centers and physicians groups.

Charley Malmquist, Potter-Holden’s principal and his associates, between 15-20 employees, will continue to operate from Atlanta under the direction of Mitchel Brashier, Southeastern regional manager of AJG’s retail P&C brokerage operation.

Terms of the transactions were not released.