North Risk Partners has acquired Commercial Exchange Corporation (CEC), a 65-year-old agency with locations in Freeport and Melrose. The deal, effective Feb. 1, grows North Risk to 16 locations statewide, from Roseau in the North to Rochester in the South.
“I was born and raised on a farm one mile north of Freeport and bought my first auto insurance policy from CEC,” says Steve Thelen, president of North Risk’s St. Cloud-based Apollo Division. “This is a great opportunity for two long-time small community competitors to share expertise and resources.”
For Commercial Exchange clients, both businesses and individuals, the acquisition means more options for coverages and loss prevention services. The result is better customization of insurance programs that align with a client’s unique risk exposures.
“This partnership allows us to continue our mission to be the finest, most respected multi-line insurance resource for our clients,” says Fritz Hoeschen, who co-owned CEC with his wife Joyce Hoeschen and business associate JoAnn Boeckermann. “In addition to more coverage and service options, North Risk will strengthen our capabilities in the health and life side of the business, including employee benefits.”
Farm and agriculture has long been a major area of strength for CEC. “We’re excited to share in and build on the knowledge Fritz and his team have in the agricultural space,” says Thelen.
According to North Risk Partners President and CEO Chris Meidt, the farm sector is a strategic growth priority for the agency. “CEC will help us accelerate our footprint in this space,” says Meidt.
The acquisition will add 10 insurance professionals to the North Risk Partners team, growing the company to 170 employees statewide.
About North Risk Partners
North Risk Partners is a top ten Minnesota independent insurance agency with 16 locations statewide, including Albany, Annandale, Baudette, Freeport, Hastings, Lake City, Mankato, Melrose, Monticello, Red Wing, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Thief River Falls, and Willmar. North Risk’s advisors help both businesses and individuals mitigate risk through insurance and a wide variety of value-added services designed to prevent avoidable losses.