Business Briefs - Sept. 23

September 23, 2012

J. Edward Cochran & Co., Keller Stonebraker Insurance Inc.

Two of the oldest insurance brokerage firms in Maryland have merged their businesses.

Keller Stonebraker Insurance Inc., founded in 1901, and J. Edward Cochran & Co., founded in 1918, combined operations on Sept. 1.

The transaction was announced in a joint statement by Edward W. Cochran Jr., president of J. Edward Cochran & Co., and John L. Schnebly, vice chairman of Keller Stonebraker Insurance Inc.

Both firms will continue to operate with their same executive management and employees at their respective locations in Hagerstown.

The combined entity will have its headquarters in Hagerstown, as well as Md. sales offices in Cumberland, Frederick and Ellicott City, and in Keyser, W.Va.

Corporate Office Properties Trust

COLUMBIA, Md. — The board of trustees of Corporate Office Properties Trust, an office real estate investment trust that focuses on serving U.S. government and defense information technology tenants, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.275 per common share of beneficial interest for the third quarter of 2012, payable Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 28.

For the Series H, J and K preferred shares of beneficial interest of the company, the board declared dividends for the period commencing July 15 and ending Oct. 14, payable Oct. 15, to shareholders of record on Sept. 28. Series H cumulative redeemable preferred share had a quarterly dividend of $0.4688; Series J, quarterly dividend of $0.4766; and Series K, quarterly dividend of $0.70.

For the Series L preferred shares, the board declared dividends for the period commencing June 27 and ending Oct. 14, payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 28. The Series L had a quarterly dividend of $0.5531.

F&M Trust

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — F&M Trust recently was named as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for 2012, marking the ninth time in the past 10 years that the bank made the list.

Companies are split into two groups: medium-sized companies (50 to 250 employees) and large companies (more than 250 employees). Company size is categorized based on the total number of employees they have in the United States. F&M Trust was awarded in the large-sized company category.

Last year, the bank was named the No. 9 best place to work in the state for large-sized companies. It was first nominated for the best places to work in Pennsylvania in 2003, finishing 12th overall for medium-sized companies (25 to 250 employees). That was followed by rankings of 14th in 2004 and 47th in 2005 in the medium-sized company group. It achieved rankings of 22nd in 2007, 25th in 2008, 11th in 2009 and 15th in 2010 for large companies.

F&M Trust will be honored at the Best Places to Work in Pa. awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Pa., when the rankings will be revealed.

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