Northwest Savings buys Erie insurer

November 27, 2012 Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Allissa Kline

...
November 27, 2012 Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM EDT

Northwest Savings Bank plans to boost its financial product set with the pending purchase of an insurance firm in Erie, Pa.

The bank announced Nov. 21 that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy The Bert Company. The firm operates as "The Bert Insurance Group" and offers commercial and personal insurance and retirement benefits planning in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Bert Insurance Group will become a subsidiary of Northwest Savings Bank, which itself is a subsidiary of Northwest Bancorp Inc. of Warren, Pa. Northwest Savings Bank has 14 branches in Western New York, some of which are known as Jamestown Savings Bank.

Northwest, with $8 billion in assets, already offers retail and business banking products, investment management, brokerage and trust services.

"The Bert Insurance Group brings another dimension to our financial services group and we believe that strong synergies exist for the cross sale of insurance, investment, trust, retail and business deposit and lending products and services," Gregory LaRocca, Northwest executive vice president, said in the release. "Their corporate mission and values are very similar to ours and they emphasize customer relationships over transactions, just like Northwest. We also believe that the strong management team at The Bert Insurance Group gives us the opportunity to expand their services throughout the Northwest footprint."

The Bert Insurance Group was founded in 1994 by J. Boyd Bert Jr. and son Douglas Bert. The latter will become president of Northwest's insurance operations, the bank said.

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