Longtime Pasadena insurance brokerage Bolton & Company has been acquired by the Denver-based IMA Financial Group, but the CEO says the company has no plans of leaving town.
The new partnership was announced Wednesday by representatives of both companies.
It will take effect May 1, allowing both organizations to pool and leverage resources to expand their services and client base, according to Bolton Chief Operation Officer Mike Morey.
But the employees and management at Bolton will remain the same, he said.
“We’re not going anywhere. We’ve been involved community members of Pasadena and we’ll continue to be,” Morey said. “Our commitment to the community is just being supported even further through our partnership now with the IMA.”
Bolton President and CEO Steve Brockmeyer will remain at the helm of operations as head of IMA’s California Division, IMA said in a written statement.
Brockmeyer also pointed to the company’s long history in Pasadena.
“The company was founded by Dorrance Bolton in 1931. In the 1970s it passed on to his sons, Jim and Bill Bolton. And then about 18 years ago we, the employees, myself, a number of others ended up buying out the interests of the family of Jim and Bill Bolton. And then that brings us to today,” Brockmeyer said Wednesday.
Brockmeyer said the company intends to remain an important part of Pasadena.
“All of our people are remaining. We’re continuing to grow, hiring more people. We’ve actually added about 20 people to our team over the last 12 months. And we see a lot more of that coming. Our involvement to the community and our Bolton foundation and what we do is going to be strengthened,” he said.
IMA confirmed that the “team of 200 employees will remain in the company’s offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area. The combined firm will have offices across the U.S. and deliver expanded offerings in growing specialty industries.”
The two organizations are a good match, Morey said.
“We’re both committed to being independent, employee-owned, dedicated to the community and really client-centric,” he said.
“That’s one of the reasons why we joined together, because we’re both independently owned, so we’re going to remain independent together, just as a larger organization,” Morey added.
And it’s not just about business.
“Their commitment to the community is a mirror image of who we are,” according to Morey.
While Bolton & Company has traditionally held an annual cornhole competition, a lawn game in which players take turns throwing 16-ounce bags of corn kernels at a raised board with a hole in the far end, to raise funds for charities, IMA also regularly hosts sand volleyball and pickleball tournaments to benefit nonprofits.
Combined, the two formerly separate organizations have raised more than $1.5 million for charity over the past three years, representatives said.
“Together, the powerhouse brokerage firm will employ 1,200 associates and generate annualized revenues of over $300 million,” according to the statement. “The move will launch IMA into the top 20 insurance brokers in the U.S., based on last year’s figures, yet the partners will remain focused on their client-first mentality and committed to being independent, employee-owned and dedicated to their communities.”
IMA Chairman and CEO Rob Cohen described the partnership as “a watershed moment for the IMA and for the industry.”
“It is unique for two large independent brokers that align so well in culture, strategy and community commitment to join forces,” Cohen said. “This move will take us to the next level, and we will stay on this path as long as we continue to find great strategic partners.”
Through both growth and partnerships with other firms, IMA has tripled in size over the past eight years, according to the company.
“Today’s announcement is IMA’s fourth transaction since November 2020 and its 10th in the last 12 months,” the statement said. “The agreement represents the largest partnership in IMA’s history.”
Bolton & Company has also been expanding, recording 300% revenue growth over the past decade, IMA representative aid.
Bolton was founded in Los Angeles in 1931 and has remained family owned as it moved to South Pasadena, then settled in Pasadena in 2001, according to the company.
The company partnered with RGV of Glendale in 1994, and then was sold to employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan in 2003.
“Nearly a century ago, we set out to be an independent, trusted adviser for our clients by taking a tailored approach to helping clients achieve success and growth,” Brockmeyer said. “This partnership amplifies that commitment. IMA is creating a new way forward, assembling independent partners that are highly experienced with a shared set of client-focused values.”
IMA President Luke Proctor said he was also looking forward to the new partnership.
“Our shared vision and values will allow us to join our sizable teams seamlessly, forging a path that benefits our clients, our employees and the industry,” he said.
More information on Bolton & Company is available online at boltonco.com.
More information on IMA Financial Group can be found at imacorp.com.