North Risk Partners Acquires Corneil-Elkjer Agency in Willmar

St. Paul, Minn. – North Risk Partners, one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Minnesota, has acquired Corneil-Elkjer Agency, a tradition-rich, 74-year-old agency based in Willmar, Minn. The deal, effective Aug. 1, grows North Risk to 14 locations statewide, from Roseau in the North to Rochester in the South.

Corneil-Elkjer Joins North Risk Partners

Left to right – back row: Chad and Becky Christianson; front row: Tom Corneil and Sara Bennett.

“Because the industry has become more and more complex, the decision to join a larger, likeminded organization made sense,” says Chad Christianson, who co-owned Corneil-Elkjer with his partner Tom Corneil. “Our clients now have access to more insurance products, as well as valuable prevention resources to help mitigate avoidable losses. We’re excited to be able to do more for our clients.”

“As North Risk Partners continues to grow its brand throughout the state, moving into Western Minnesota was critical,” says North Risk Partners President and CEO Chris Meidt. “The Corneil-Elkjer philosophy of client-focused, value-driven relationships is a great fit for us, and Tom Corneil, who is a Bethel University graduate, former teacher, and tremendous sports enthusiast, gave me great confidence this partnership would work on a personal level as well.”

Meidt himself is a Bethel alumnus who spent the majority of his career coaching football at the professional, college, and high school level. Prior to joining North Risk, he obtained his MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and was a market manager for Walmart.

Christianson and Corneil will remain in sales roles with the agency, now co-branded under the name North Risk Partners – Corneil-Elkjer Agency. Christianson’s wife, Becky Christianson, and Sara Bennett will continue to support clients in service roles.

North Risk plans to continue its expansion into Western Minnesota, hoping to foster more partnerships like Corneil-Elkjer.

About North Risk Partners

North Risk Partners is a top ten Minnesota independent insurance agency with 14 locations statewide, including Albany, Baudette, Hastings, Lake City, Mankato, Melrose, Monticello, Red Wing, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Thief River Falls, and Willmar. North Risk’s advisors deliver customized insurance solutions to businesses and individuals, and act as each client’s strategic partner for reducing risk. For more information, visit

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