Lighthouse acquires Gales Agency

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Tom Helmstetter. Courtesy Lighthouse

Lighthouse, an Alera Group company, acquired an insurance agency based in Oceana County that previously was a subsidiary of Shelby State Bank.

Grand Rapids-based Lighthouse said Wednesday, Jan. 5, it acquired Gales Agency.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gales Agency will begin operating as a division of Lighthouse, effective immediately.

Founded by Newell Gale in 1932, Gales Agency began as an independent agency. Over the years, Newell Gale’s two sons, Lyle and Harrison Gale, became involved in the agency, and Gales acquired several local agencies. Today, descendants of Newell Gale still are part of the family business. In 1999, Gales Agency became a wholly owned subsidiary of Shelby State Bank, operating three offices in Oceana County and one in Whitehall.

The transaction will allow Shelby State Bank and Gales Agency to continue to grow while each focusing on their core business, and the acquisition by Lighthouse will provide Gales Agency employees and clients access to expanded capabilities and resources, Shelby State Bank said.

Mishelle Comstock. Courtesy Shelby State Bank

“We are pleased with this transaction with Lighthouse, (which) is a well-managed insurance provider that combines industry-leading capabilities delivered through committed local service teams,” said Mishelle Comstock, president and CEO of Shelby State Bank. “Our partnership with Gales Agency has been mutually beneficial for many years. With the growth of both companies, this transaction allows us to focus on our banking relationships in the various markets we serve, and it allows Gales Agency the resources to continue to grow.”

Tom Helmstetter, managing partner of Lighthouse, said Gales Agency is “an exciting addition to our growing footprint.”

“We are eager to support their presence in this region of the state, and Gales’ strategic carrier partnerships will significantly enhance our capabilities for our existing clients in the area,” he said.

Based in Grand Rapids and owned by Deerfield, Illinois-based Alera Group, Lighthouse serves clients in more than 20 verticals, including specialties in construction, manufacturing and retail.

Lighthouse’s local leadership and best practices in property and casualty insurance, employee benefits and retirement support is backed by Alera Group’s national pool of resources, which includes 3,000 employees in 120 locations across the country.

Since joining Alera Group in December 2020, Lighthouse said it is positioned to continue its M&A activity this year.

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