Traverse City’s High Street Insurance Partners of Detroit’s Huron Capital Acquires Three Agencies

Detroit-based Huron Capital, a lower-middle-market private equity firm, today announced its insurance brokerage platform, High Street Insurance Partners in Traverse City, has acquired Schoolcraft, Mich.’s Trust Shield Insurance Group; Martin, Mich.’s Ken Bleeker Insurance Agency; and New Hartford, N.Y.’s Gates-Cole Associates. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.
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Trust Shield Insurance Group
High Street Insurance Partners has acquired three agencies, including Trust Shield Insurance Group. // Photo courtesy of Trust Shield Insurance Group

Detroit-based Huron Capital, a lower-middle-market private equity firm, today announced its insurance brokerage platform, High Street Insurance Partners in Traverse City, has acquired Schoolcraft, Mich.’s Trust Shield Insurance Group; Martin, Mich.’s Ken Bleeker Insurance Agency; and New Hartford, N.Y.’s Gates-Cole Associates. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

“Even with the disruption in the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, High Street’s growth plans remain on track and its deal pipeline is robust,” says Matt Hare, a Huron Capital partner. “The rapid growth that Scott Wick and his team have been able to achieve in a short time has been impressive, and we are confident that the addition of these three distinguished community-leading companies and industry specialists will help to keep that momentum going.”

High Street will gain greater market share through the acquisitions and expand into a new state.

“All three of these companies will provide High Street with an even deeper team of respected industry professionals with decades of combined expertise,” says Scott Wick, CEO of High Street. “We expect that these additions to the High Street family will help us to solidify our position as a leading insurance agency in our home market in Michigan and new markets.”

Founded in 1993, Schoolcraft’s Trust Shield operates three offices in west Michigan. In addition to individual customers, the company has a client base that includes Michigan-based companies in the energy, landscaping, and agriculture industries. Schoolcraft is south of Kalamazoo.

“At Trust Shield Insurance Group, we have built a strong, family-owned business over nearly three decades,” says Tom Olvitt, founder and principal. “We are especially excited about joining the High Street family because we personally know members of its leadership team, and we believe we will be able to grow faster and provide even better service by joining forces.”

Martin-based (about halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo) Bleeker Insurance provides services to clients statewide and specializes in personal and commercial lines of property and casualty insurance, group and individual health coverages, and individual life insurance. Brian Bleeker, president, will remain in his current role and active in the business.

“Our team is happy to secure a partnership that makes sense for the local legacy we have built over the past 51 years,” says Bleeker. “I also believe our clients will benefit from the additional resources available to us through High Street.”

Gates-Cole is a central New York-based insurance agency with nine offices in the greater Syracuse area. The agency sells property and casualty insurance plans to employers and individuals in New York. President Bill Cole and vice president Tom Cole will remain active in the business in their current roles.

“Our desire for expansion is aligned with High Street’s objectives,” says Bill Cole. “We are committed to securing and strengthening our business in western and central New York and are encouraged by the opportunities ahead.”

High Street is one of 15 of Huron Capital’s ExecFactor initiatives, which combine industry expertise with Huron Capital’s investment experience and committed capital. High Street was founded in 2018 and is a full-service insurance brokerage that provides business insurance and risk management, employee benefits and human capital management, financial and retirement services, and personal insurance solutions. With offices throughout communities in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, High Street employs more than 300 insurance specialists.

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