Company expects high volume after merger

March 29, 1998|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

After about 10 years of talking about it, owners of two Hagerstown insurance companies have merged their businesses to form what they believe is the highest-volume insurance company in the Tri-State area, company officials said.

Once all of the papers were signed last week, Wright Gardner Insurance Inc. and Tischer Associates became Wright, Gardner and Tischer Insurance, said John H. J. Frantz, one of the new company's five owners.

"This will make us probably the largest in the Tri-State," said Frantz, who wouldn't say how much money changed hands in the deal.

Joining the two companies made sense because it would increase the consumer base, he said.

"We have like philosophies, so it was a good match," Frantz said.

While it was structured like a merger, the deal was technically a mutual buyout, said Joseph C. Tischer, who started Tischer Associates about 20 years ago.


Wright Gardner took Tischer Associates' property and casualty insurance business and Tischer's Tischer Surety Inc. company took Wright Gardner's contract surety business, Tischer said.

He said their contract allows him to be part of the management team and to groom young employees in the contact surety business.

If he wasn't 62 years old, he said, it would have been a pure merger.

The future of the insurance industry is in larger not smaller agencies and in specialization, said Tischer, who said the deal gives Wright, Gardner and Tischer Insurance annual billings of around $23 million.

"It's just a new way of doing business," he said.

Everyone at Tischer Associates was offered a position in the new company, but some chose not to come, Frantz said.

The insurance company now has 38 employees, he said.

Workers from the Tischer Associates office off of Pennsylvania Avenue were moved into the existing Wright Gardner offices at 100 W. Antietam St., Frantz said.

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