October 31, 2017—Burgin Platner Hurley Insurance (“Burgin Platner”), the Quincy-based agency, announced that it had acquired the assets of the Brendon Potter Insurance Agency (“Potter Agency”), a full-service independently owned agency located in Hingham.
Mike Prendergast, the president of Burgin Platner, in speaking about the acquisition said:
We were thrilled that Brendon approached us when he considered retiring. I live in Hingham and have known Brendon for many years. I know many of his policy holders and I know they appreciate his hard work and sincerity. He has been a great independent agent for them.”
Burgin Platner plans to move the Potter Agency to its Quincy location at 14 Franklin Street.
Mr. Potter and his wife, Jane, plan to retire. Their daughter, Kerry, who also worked at the Potter Agency, has joined Burgin Platner.
Mr. Prendergast also said the acquisition of the Potter Agency with his clientele focused in Hingham and its environs, “will increase Burgin Platner’s presence on the South Shore” and, he added, “We know Brendon is a high-quality individual and we believe that his policy holders are going to be very similar to him—people with good old-fashioned values—just exactly the type of policyholders we want to do business with.”
Mr. Potter began building his agency by making fifty cold calls a day
Brendon Potter started his insurance career in 1971, working as a sales agent for Liberty Mutual. After a short stint with Allstate, he joined Hastings-Tapley in Cambridge for several years as a commercial lines producer.
In 1976, he invested his savings into opening his own agency in Hingham. A prolific marketer, Mr. Potter applied all his energy to making his new agency a success. In his first year of business, he decided that to gain traction for his new agency, he would make up to fifty telephone cold calls a day. At the end of his first year in business, he obtained the endorsement of the Massachusetts State Pharmaceutical Association to market to its local drugstore members a program sponsored by Chubb. As soon as he obtained the endorsement, he began driving all over the state to visit every member drugstore in the association. His direct canvassing paid off by his soon writing over 200 local drugstores under this program.
As the insurance market changed so did the Potter Agency. Over the course of the years, the agency, still located in Hingham, went from a book made up of 95% commercial risks to a book predominantly made up of homeowner, automobile, malpractice and umbrella policies. Mr. Potter, however, never lost his interest in commercial lines. Until recently, his agency marketed a program he partnered with Brown and Brown that insured over 400 Massachusetts optometrists.
Agency was a family affair
The agency was very much a family affair with his wife, Jane, and his daughter, Kerry, working in the agency with him. After 47 years in a business he loves, however, he finally decided it was time for him and his wife to retire.
In making his decision on who to approach to purchase agency, Mr. Potter said he was, “never in doubt.” He had been a Quincy Mutual agent for 30 years. He also had known Mike Prendergast, the president of Burgin Platner, for almost the same amount of time. “I approached Mike and told him of my interest in retiring and he quickly got back to me with a proposal that I immediately accepted.” Mr. Potter added, “I would have done this deal on a handshake with Mike. I am old school like that. And had that much confidence in Mike, Burgin Platner, and Quincy Mutual.”
About Burgin Platner Hurley Insurance
Thomas Burgin, a mayor of Quincy and also a Massachusetts congressman, founded the Burgin Agency in 1925. Joined by Nelford Platner in 1930, Burgin Platner & Company quickly became a leading South Shore insurance agency.
In 1996, Quincy Mutual simultaneously bought Burgin Platner and the Hurley Agency and merged them as an independent agency subsidiary of Quincy Mutual.
Mr. Prendergast went with the newly formed agency and became president in 2000. Since acquiring these agencies, Mr. Prendergast notes, Quincy Mutual has allowed the merged agencies to run as stand-alone businesses, in almost the same way they operated as independent agencies before their acquisition.
Although, Burgin Platner has acquired a number of agencies since 2000, Mr. Prendergast emphasized they never actively seek or solicit acquisitions. Each of these transactions has resulted, like the Potter Agency, by an agency’s principal approaching Burgin Platner in the first instance.